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Goffin vs Monfils ATP Rotterdam Preview, Predictions and Live Streaming: Goffin back in Rotterdam after last year's freak eye injury

Leye Aduloju in ATP Tour 12 Feb 2019
  • David Goffin vs Gael Monfils is live from Rotterdam on Tuesday, 12 February from 2:30pm local time/ 1:30pm GMT
  • Goffin leads Monfils 3-1 on head-to-head
David Goffin. (Photo by SAEED KHAN/AFP/Getty Images)

Just under a year after retiring from the tournament with a freak eye injury, David Goffin returns to the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament in Rotterdam on Tuesday as he takes on Frenchman, Gael Monfils in the first round.

Goffin arrived Rotterdam last year as the world No. 7, and was still looking to consolidate on the gains of the previous season, which yielded titles in Shenzhen and Tokyo and a brilliant runner-up finish at the Nitto ATP Finals, but he suffered a cruel blow in the semi-finals against Grigor Dimitrov, when he inadvertently misdirected a volley into his eye, and was forced to quit the match.

That injury kept him out of action for a month, and he didn't win a match for the next two months. He had a decent spell on clay, culminating in a fourth-round run at Roland Garros, while he also played well in parts during the North American, reaching the semi-finals in Cincinnati and the fourth round at the US Open, but he played just one match after Flushing Meadows- an opening round loss to Andy Murray in Shenzhen, before missing the rest of the season due to a right elbow injury. 

With a multitude of points falling off after his failed title defence in Shenzhen, missed title defence in Tokyo and absence from the season-ending finals, Goffin ended the season outside the top 20, and he remains outside that bracket after his ordinary start to the 2019 season. The 28-year-old is 2-3 for the year, with his only wins on the tour coming at the Australian Open, where he beat Christian Garrin and Marius Copil before falling to Daniil Medvedev; either side of first-round exits in Doha and Montpellier.

He's at serious risk of another first round exit as he takes on Gael Monfils in Rotterdam on Tuesday. 


Gael Monfils. (Photo by GREG WOOD/AFP/Getty Images)
Monfils is no stranger to injuries himself, he’s had a lot of them throughout his career, including last season, when he missed Masters 1000 tournaments in Miami, Monte Carlo, Toronto, Cincinnati and Paris, but he arrives Rotterdam in good form, having made the semi-finals in Sofia, where he notably took out Australian Open semi-finalist, Stefanos Tsitsipas before losing to Daniil Medvedev.

It was just his second tournament of the year, after the Australian Open (where he lost to Taylor Fritz in the second round), as he had missed the opening weeks of the year with a thigh problem. Monfils is playing in Rotterdam for the first time since reaching the final in 2016 (lost to Martin Klizan), and is back on the European indoor hard courts, after spending last February playing the South American Golden swing.

While he never truly got going last season, Monfils was not without his moments, as he opened his year with a title-run in Doha, and made a second final of the season later in Antwerp. In between, he reached semi-finals in Buenos Aires and Antalya, but his year ended on a familiar note, as he missed the rest of the campaign after retiring from his quarter final meeting with Fernando Verdasco in Vienna.

Monfils has won just one of his four matches against Goffin, but all three completed matches have gone the distance, including a five-set victory for Goffin in their most recent encounter at Roland Garros last season.

Given their injury records, fitness could be a big factor in a match between two players who are very reliant on their athleticism and counterpunching skills. They are not without their offensive weapons: Goffin, especially on the backhand wing, and Monfils, on serve, but I'm leaning slightly in the Frenchman's direction, as he brings momentum from Montpellier, while Goffin is still searching for form.

David Goffin vs Gael Monfils is live from Rotterdam on Tuesday, 12 February from 2:30pm local time/ 1:30pm GMT

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Goffin vs Monfils ATP Rotterdam Preview, Predictions and Live Streaming: Goffin back in Rotterdam after last year's freak eye injury

David Goffin takes on Gael Monfils on his return to Rotterdam after last season's freak eye injury. Can he take down the flambouyant Frenchman? Read our preview, predictions and stream the match live online.

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