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David Goffin Makes Big Comeback In Barcelona, Rafa Nadal and Novak Djokovic on Wednesday’s Schedule

Belgium’s David Goffin in action against Spain’s Marcel Granollers during their second round match of the 66th Barcelona Open Trofeo Conde de Godo tennis tournament in Barcelona, Spain, 24 April 2018. EPA-EFE/ALEJANDRO GARCIA

 

 

By Ricky Dimon

 

David Goffin blew a 5-1 second-set advantage when he went up against Grigor Dimitrov in last week’s Monte-Carlo Masters quarterfinals. He flipped the script against Marcel Granollers at the Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell on Wednesday afternoon.

 

Goffin recovered from a 6-4, 5-1 deficit and fought off one match point with Granollers serving at 5-2, 40-30 to eventually win their second-round showdown 4-6, 7-6(2), 6-2 in two hours and 23 minutes.

 

Following his mid-set meltdown, Granollers at least did well to hold serve at 5-6 and force a tiebreaker. However, the Spanish wild card lost the ‘breaker with little fight and surrendered serve to begin the third–all but ending his chances of turning things back around in his favor. With momentum in hand, Goffin dropped a grand total of one service point in the entire thid set.

 

Feliciano Lopez, Roberto Bautista Agut, Adrian Mannarino, and Malek Jaziri joined Goffin in the last 16 of this 500-point tournament. Lopez struck 13 aces as he held off Dusan Lajovic 6-4, 2-6, 6-4 in two hours and 18 minutes. Bautista Agut also needed three sets, as he overcame Ivo Karlovic 6-7(4), 6-2, 6-4. Mannarino scored an impressive 6-4, 7-6(5) victory over Pablo Cuevas, while Malek Jaziri took care of lucky loser Ernesto Escobedo 6-4, 6-3.

 

Monte-Carlo Champion Rafael Nadal will kick off his Barcelona campaign against Roberto Caballes Baena on Wednesday. Nadal has recovered from a hip injury to the tune of a perfect 7-0 record on clay so far this season–including 16-0 in total sets. The top-ranked Spaniard destroyed anything and everything in his path en route to an 11th Monte-Carlo title last week and he is now looking to accomplish the same feat in Barcelona.

 

Carballes Baena, meanwhile, captured his first career ATP title earlier this year in Quito and he beat Andreas Haider-Maurer 6-2, 6-4 on Tuesday.

 

A jam-packed Wednesday schedule also includes Novak Djokovic, who will be going up against Martin Klizan for the fourth time in his career. Djokovic leads the head-to-head series 3-1 and he is 8-1 in total sets against the Slovak.

 

The 12th-ranked Serb seemed hopeless in Indian Wells and Miami, but his comeback from elbow problems gained steam in Monte-Carlo. He picked up wins over Dusan Lajovic and Borna Coric prior to a three-set loss against accomplished clay-courter Dominic Thiem. Due to physical problems of his own, Klizan is struggling down at No. 140 in the world. But he is coming off a respectable 6-3, 6-7(5), 6-4 defeat of Federico Delbonis on Tuesday.

 

Ricky contributes to 10sballs.com and also maintains his own tennis website, The Grandstand. You can follow him on twitter at @Dimonator.

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