ATP World Tour Finals: David Goffin crushed me, says Roger Federer after defeat
World No. 2 makes no excuses after shock loss to David Goffin in semi-finals
Roger Federer offered no excuses for his shock defeat by David Goffin in the last four of the ATP Finals. The Swiss superstar seemed a near certainty to claim a seventh end-of-season crown due to the absences of Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic, and the early withdrawal of Rafael Nadal, as well as his own stunning form this year. Federer had only lost four matches in 2017 and was facing a man who had taken just two sets off him in their previous six meetings. But defeat number five - Goffin coming from a set down to triumph 2-6, 6-3, 6-4 - denied Federer the chance to register an eighth title win of the year, and a 96th career victory.
Roger Federer reacts after losing the second set to David Goffin in the semi-finals of the ATP World Tour Finals on Saturday. Pic/Getty Images
Goffin revealed before the match that he had come up with a different game plan following those six previous defeats. And 19-time Grand Slam-winner Federer said: "Yeah. He played better. That was a good plan. It's a bit disappointing for me because it's indoors, it's a court I like to play on. But I had my chances and missed them. "When he had them, he was very committed. I think that was the difference. He's crushed me too many times in practice to not also do it once in a match situation."
Belgian David Goffin
It appeared to be business as usual at the O2 for the world number two as he breezed through the first set in just 33 minutes. However, Goffin broke early in the second and proved it was no fluke by comfortably taking the set as hitherto unseen errors suddenly crept into Federer's game. In the decider, Goffin secured a break in the third game which he never looked like relinquishing, with back-to-back aces settling the nerves as he served out to secure an impressive win. The Belgian, seeded seventh, became only the sixth player to beat both Nadal and Federer in the same tournament. "It is the best win of my career, for sure," he said. "To beat Roger for the first time, here, in such a big tournament, it was the perfect moment."
It will not be the blue riband final that tournament organisers had envisaged at the end of a year dominated by Federer and Nadal. Dimitrov, who dropped just two games to Goffin in a one-sided round robin match on Wednesday, booked his place in the final with a 4-6, 6-0, 6-3 victory over American Jack Sock.
Sign up for all the latest news, top galleries and trending videos from Mid-day.comSubscribe