EXCLUSIVE: David Goffin On Motivation, Goals And Life After Tennis - UBITENNIS
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EXCLUSIVE: David Goffin On Motivation, Goals And Life After Tennis



On Friday at Wimbledon David Goffin took to the court to play his third round match almost exactly 11 years after he reached that stage of the tournament for the first time.


The Belgian is a former world No.7, a four-time major quarter-finalist and has claimed six ATP titles on the Tour. However, he currently finds himself outside of the top 100 due to the after-effects of an injury-related break. It is a frustrating situation to be in but Goffin sees it more as a challenge than a blow.

At Wimbledon, he was granted a wild card into the main draw following his run to the last eight of the tournament 12 months ago. Initially, he was set to lock horns with Nick Kyrgios before the Australian pulled out of the draw. Instead, he played and beat Fábián Marozsán who is known for upsetting Carlos Alcaraz in Rome earlier this year. Then in the second round, he dismissed Marcelo Tomas Barrios Vera in four sets.

Goffin was eventually stopped in his tracks by seventh seed Andrey Rublev but he refused to exit the tournament quietly. He clinched the second set and boasted a 4-1 lead in the third but it wasn’t enough for him to seal the win. Instead, Rublev rallied to a 6-3, 6-7(6), 7-6(5), 6-2, win.

After Goffin’s ninth Wimbledon appearance came to an end, he spoke at length to Ubitennis about the past, present and future of his career. At the age of 32, he is becoming a veteran of the Tour but that doesn’t mean his passion for the sport is evaporating. He has more goals in his career before retirement. As for life after playing on the Tour, don’t expect him to go too far away from tennis…..

UBITENNIS: It wasn’t the outcome that you would have wanted but can you take any positives from your match against Andrey Rublev?

GOFFIN: It’s never easy to play against Rublev. He has been a top-10 player for a long time and has proved again that he has the firepower. It was a tough match. I had opportunities, especially in the third set when I was 4-1 up but he started to swing like crazy and hit the ball really well.

The level was high from both of us toward the end of the third set but unfortunately, things were turning in his favor. Then he played really well in the fourth.

Overall, it was a positive match for me. At Wimbledon, I won two matches to reach the third round again. I used this tournament to try and continue with the way I am playing and to raise my level further.

UBITENNIS: In recent months you have gone through difficulties with a knee injury sidelining you from the sport. What motivates you to keep wanting to play on the Tour after such an injury?

GOFFIN: It’s never easy to come back from an injury. It’s always easier to do so when you’re younger. When I was injured at 20 it was easy. I would just come back, hit the ball, and feel great after some practice sessions.

Now I am almost 33 and it is different. It takes more time and you have to trust the process with your team. The schedule and everything to make sure you come back 100 percent.

The last few years have not been easy. I was playing with pain in my knee all the time and checking with doctors if I needed surgery. I ended up continuing to play as my ranking was still there.

I used painkillers but for my head (mentality) and level, it was not good. Now, I’m just playing for those kinds of tournaments where I can have great matches like I did against Rublev at Wimbledon this year. This is why I wanted to come back. To have a few more years of playing a lot of good matches and enjoy playing on the court which is the thing I love the most.

UBITENNIS: How is the knee now? Are there still some ongoing issues?

GOFFIN: It’s completely fine, so I’m really happy. Hopefully, I can stay away from injury. We (my team) will continue to fight and find a way back into the top 100.

UBITENNIS: You said top 100 but do you think it is possible to return back into the top 50 or even top 20?

My goal is to be inside the top 50 and be seeded again for a Grand Slam. That would be great. I have the level to get there but I have to be more consistent. I can beat the top guys and if I stay consistent for months I know my ranking would be there (top 50).

Also, staying away from injury is another goal.

UBITENNIS: Further ahead, have you ever thought about what you want to do after your career as a tennis player ends?

GOFFIN: My focus at the moment is on tennis and after that, I don’t know. There are a few things in my mind such as staying in tennis by coaching or even as a tournament director, you never know.

We will see but I am not thinking about this at the moment.

UBITENNIS: Looking at Belgian tennis as a whole, there are currently no men in the top 100. Do you think you could play a role in the future development of the sport in your country? Would this be something of interest to you?

GOFFIN: We are a small country but the level of our academies and federation is really good. We have had amazing players like Clijsters and Henin. On the men’s Tour, we have had a lot of top 100 players, including myself. It is normal sometimes that there is a gap where you don’t have played in the top 100 but I am sure that some players will come back to the top in the world of tennis.

If I can help with this, we will see. Maybe I can do something with the federation or players. We have some young talent and really good teachers.

UBITENNIS: Finally, you have been on the Tour for 15 years. How would you describe the development of men’s tennis during this period?

GOFFIN: It’s strange to have 15 years on the Tour already, it has passed by in like a second.

It has changed a little bit. When I came on the Tour I was in the top 100 at the age of 20 and it was not easy at that stage when you are young. Now you have a new generation who are so fast, quick, and strong already. Players like Sinner, Alcaraz and Rune.

The Tour has also changed a little bit. All players have bigger teams than before. When I started on the Tour, having a physio and fitness coach on your team was only for the top players. Now all players have bigger teams and you can see they are all really physically fit.

Hopefully, I can stay on the Tour for a few more years to fight with these guys. Then it will be time to stop playing but not right now.


Team World One Win Away From Victory in Laver Cup

Team World take a huge 10-2 lead over Team Europe heading into the final day



Image via Laver Cup twitter

After losing the first four editions of the Laver Cup, Team World look set to win the event for a second time as the event reaches its conclusion tomorrow.


Team World Captain John McEnroe was thrilled with the day’s results but warned against complacency: “We’re just going to keep doing what we’re doing. The job’s not done but we’re pretty close.”

American duo Taylor Fritz and Frances Tiafoe both earned straight sets wins over Andrey Rublev and Hubert Hurkacz, while Felix Auger-Aliassime and Ben Shelton beat Hurkacz and Gael Monfils.

“I want to play well for the guys,” said Tiafoe after his singles victory. “I played really well tonight. Just being in a team environment is so foreign to us as tennis players, it’s such an individual sport.”

After winning his third singles match in three appearances at the Laver Cup, Fritz was also motivated to do well:

“Yesterday, all the guys played really well. I felt that and wanted to come out on court and show what I can do. That definitely motivated me. Any type of team environment, I feel like it always elevates my game. I feel like my record in team events is really strong because I have a team cheering for me. I get pumped up. I’m excited to play for them. It just adds more pressure and fire to it. I think I play better in those situations.”

The doubles was a typically dynamic and feisty affair, and after the match Shelton was full of praise for his partner:

“It’s amazing, when you play with a guy who serves and returns like Felix, is as athletic as him, and goes back for the overhead as strong as him, it’s a fun time,” said Shelton. “We call him ‘Laver Cup Felix’ because he turns into something special this week, just glad I got to share the court with him at least once.”

Auger-Aliassime returned the compliments: “The best comes out of me when I’m playing not only for myself but for team-mates. Ben carried me through the end of that match, it was tough for me to get it done.”

Casper Ruud, meanwhile, beat Tommy Paul for Europe’s only points so far.

Matches on the final day are worth three points each – meaning that Team Europe would have to win all four remaining matches to prevent Team World from winning the trophy.

T. Fritz def A. Rublev 6-2, 7-6
F. Tiafoe def H. Hurkacz 7-5, 6-3
F. Auger-Aliassime & B. Shelton def H.Hurkacz & G. Monfils 7-5, 6-4
C. Ruud def T. Paul 7-6, 6-2

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ATP RANKINGS UPDATE: Novak Djokovic, No.1 once more



After the US Open the Serbian champion reclaims top spot. Alexander Zverev is back in the Top 10


By Roberto Ferri

Don’t ever underestimate the heart of a champion”

Rudy Tomjanovich coined this maxim just after his Houston Rockets won the NBA championship in 1995. He was paying homage to Akeem Holajuwon. It perfectly suits the heart of Daniil Medvedev, who proved 99% of tennis fans in the world to be wrong, convinced as they were that he would lose the semifinal to former No 1 Carlos Alcaraz.

But his dream to win a second US Open, after his triumph in 2021, was shattered by another champion, whose heart and class is even greater: that’s Novak Djokovic, who affixes his seal on his return to No.1, equalling Margaret Court Smith’s record of 24 majors.

Djokovic dethroning Alcaraz is not the only change in the top 20: Sascha Zverev is back in the top 10 after almost one year and Ben Shelton, great protagonist of the Us Open, debuts in the top 20 best players in the world.

TOP 20

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A few comments:

Stefanos Tsitsipas, Andrei Rublev and Alexander Zverev gain 2 positions.

Ben Shelton devours 28 positions.

Sinner, Tiafoe, Norrie and Dimitrov lose one.

Casper Ruud and Karen Khachanov, runner up and semi-finalist respectively  at the 2022 US  Open, drop 4 positions.

One step forward for Fritz, de Minaur, Paul, Auger-Aliassime and Hurkacz.


From 12 to 19 November the 8 best players of the ranking based on the points earned in the ongoing solar season will be playing the Nitto ATP Finals in Turin.

Will Novak Djokovic succeed in winning a second straight title? He appears to be heading in the right direction.


Thanks to his triumph at the US Open the Serbian overtakes Alcaraz also in the Race to Turin.

Jannik Sinner holds fourth spot while Andrei Rublev overtakes Stefanos Tsitsipas and is now fifth.

The eighth position is occupied by Alexander Zverev.

Last year runner up, Casper Ruud is currently 10th. This means he would feature in Turin as a reserve.


The Next Gen Finals, dedicated to the best under 21s, (8 effectives and 2 reserves) of the season will take place this year in Gedda, Saudi Arabia.

The 2022 winner, Brandon Nakashima, will not be defending his title, since he was born in 2001.

PositionPlayerCountryPtsYOB ATP rank
6Van AsscheFrance597200469
12Llamas RuizSpain3702002133

Taking for granted that Alcaraz and, most likely Rune, will be playing the ATP Finals, we have included in the chart the 12 current top under 21s.


Besides Ben Shelton, other 11 players have achieved their career highest this week.

We tribute a double applause to the four players who are making their debut in the top 100.

The 25-year-old Croatian Borna Gojo, 22-year-old Australian Rinky Hijkata and the Swiss next gen Dominic Stricker all reap the reward for their brilliant runs at the US Open. Seyboth Wild, the Brazilian who stunned Medvedev in the first round of Roland Garros leaps to No.76 after winning the Challenger in Como last week.

Seyboth Wild76Brazil30

Translated by Kingsley Elliot Kaye

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COMMENT: Novak Djokovic Proves His Greatness At US Open



Love him, or hate him. But respect him.


No tennis player has ever been better than Novak Djokovic.

Even Rafa Nadal and Roger Federer have to take their hats off to Novak, and admire him.

Now that Rafa and Roger have left Djokovic on his own stage at least for now, tennis fans love Novak.


Djokovic’s performance on Sunday evening in the U.S. Open final was simply amazing. Daniil Medvedev also played his heart out, but Djokovic went one step further. He was sensational.

It was a thrill-a-minute three-set match. It lasted well into the night after starting at mid-afternoon. The second set alone lasted 104 minutes.

Djokovic was the winner, 6-3, 7-6 (5), 6-3, but New York still loves 2021 champion Medvedev.


At 36, the oldest U.S. Open men’s champion ever, Djokovic obviously has a special place in his heart for the number four. It’s the number of times he has won this tournament and the 24th time he has won a Grand Slam title.

The number 24 also was displayed prominently on the white jacket. Novak, his team members and family wore for the victory celebration as a tribute to the No. 24 jersey of deceased friend Kobe Bryant.

Djokovic lost his footing at least three times in the tight second set, stumbling to the surface once, apparently due to the length of the rallies.

Djokovic could look like he was almost completely wiped out of it physically one minute, and then play like Superman the next minute.


Both men played great tennis, especially in the thrill-a-second second set in which Medvedev gained one set point in the 12th game before Djokovic recovered to force a tiebreaker.

Medvedev appeared to be in charge after out-playing Novak to win one of his drop shots to take a 5-4 lead in the tiebreaker. The match may have been decided on the next three points, all won by Djokovic on errors by the 6-6 Russian.

The big question now is what happens next January in the Australian Open. Right now, Djokovic probably wants to play . . . and win what has been his favorite tournament as far as success. But things can change quickly for players in their mid-30s. Just ask Roger or Rafa.

James Beck was the 2003 winner of the USTA National Media Award. A 1995 MBA graduate of The Citadel, he can be reached at Jamesbecktennis@gmail.com.

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