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Tsitsipas vs Goffin ATP Marseille Preview, Predictions and Live Streaming: Tsitsipas and Goffin battle for a spot in Marseille final

Leye Aduloju in ATP Tour 23 Feb 2019
  • Stefanos Tsitsipas vs David Goffin is live from Marseille on Saturday, 23 February from 4:30pm local time/ 3:30pm GMT
  • Tsitsipas and Goffin have split their four previous meetings
Stefanos Tsitsipas. (Photo by PAUL CROCK/AFP/Getty Images)

Stefanos Tsitsipas targets his first final of the season when he takes on Belgium's David Goffin at the Open 13 Provence on Saturday. 

It's been a lot more like it from Tsitsipas this week, as he has looked sharp again in Marseille, after struggling in the immediate aftermath of his brilliant Australian Open run. The Greek has comfortably moving past Hubert Hurkacz and Sergiy Stakhovsky to reach his second semi-final of the season. His first semi-final was that famous Melbourne run, during which the Greek young gun scored a superb fourth-round victory over Roger Federer before being brutally eliminated by Rafael Nadal in the last four. 

Tsitsipas was left distraught by that loss, and he admitted at the start of the week that the effects of that defeat, and the general hangover from a draining run in Melbourne might have lingered into his next few tournaments- he won just one match between Sofia and Rotterdam- but he has put together two solid wins in Marseille, and has got a big chance of leaving the French city with his second tour-level title.

Tsitsipas is yet to face a break point all week, while he dropped a combined 10 points on his first serve in his two matches against fellow young gun, Hurkacz and Ukrainian veteran, Stakhovsky. The 20-year-old is looking to reach his fourth career final, having made finals in Barcelona, Toronto and Stockholm in an outstanding 2018. He went 1-2 in those finals, winning in Stockholm, while he lost to Nadal in Barcelona and Toronto. He might not have won the title in Toronto, but in terms of quality of results, that was arguably his best week of the season as he took down four top ten players- Dominic Thiem, Novak Djokovic, Alexander Zverev and Kevin Anderson- before falling to Nadal. He ended the year by winning the inaugural Next Gen ATP Finals, and bagged an impressive year-end ranking of 15th, after being outside the top 90 at the start of the year. 

Regardless of whatever happens against Goffin on Saturday, Tsitsipas will reach a new career-high ranking of 11th next Monday, as he continues to close in on the top ten.

“I know that I can play well, but the biggest challenge is to play even better, match by match,” Tsitsipas said.

His next opponent, former top-ten star, David Goffin is looking to retrace a path into that elite group after falling off last season. Goffin peaked at a career-high No. 7 at the end of 2017 following a runner-up finish at the Nitto ATP Finals, but an injury-hit 2018 dragged him out of the top 20 by the end of the year. A freak eye injury sustained in Rotterdam kept him out for about a month, while an elbow problem forced him to end his year early, sacrificing points he had gained at the back end of the previous year, hence, dropping down the world rankings.

David Goffin. (Photo by REMKO DE WAAL/AFP/Getty Images)
Goffin's early season form wasn't the greatest, as he won just two of his first four matches- the two wins coming against Christian Garrin and Marius Copil at the Australian Open (he lost to Daniil Medvedev in the third round), while he crashed to opening round defeats in Doha, Montpellier and Rotterdam. 

However, he has looked very good in Marseille, seeing off the French pair of Benoit Paire and Gilles Simon in straight sets. Goffin has dropped his serve just once this week- against Benoit Paire in his opening match- but he battled back from conceding an early break in the second set to record a fine 6-2 6-3 victory. He was almost unblemished in his quarter final against Simon on Friday, as he did not face a single break point throughout the contest, winning 78% of points on his first serve and a healthy 61% on his second in the 6-2 6-4 victory.

Goffin is attempting to reach his first final since that flurry of finals towards the end of 2017, when he win titles in Shenzhen and Tokyo, and was runner-up at the Nitto ATP Finals, but he faces a stern challenge from top seed, Tsitsipas, who has also been in great form this week.

"[Tsitsipas] serves well, and he's confident at the moment. He's the top seed and the favourite in every match," Goffin said. "I like to be the outsider, and I've already beaten him. It will be a nice semi-final for the tournament."

They have met on four previous occasions, with the series level at 2-2. Tsitsipas upset Goffin towards the end of 2017 in Antwerp, while Goffin won two of their three meetings in 2018- in Monte Carlo and Cincinnati- with Tsitsipas' solitary win last season coming in Washington.

It's an intriguing match-up between the predominantly aggressive Tsitsipas and the naturally counterpunching Goffin, but Tsitsipas is also able to absorb his opponent's offence with his movement and athleticism, while Goffin is very capable of upping his aggression, especially on the backhand wing. The head-to-head gives nothing away, neither does their forms this week, as they both progressed without much duress. There is the temptation to go with Tsitsipas because of his greater firepower, particular in the serving department, but Goffin at his best is a fantastic returner, and is arguably the more solid from the back of the court.

It's a tough call, but I'll still stick with Tsitsipas- especially if he serves as well as he can!

Stefanos Tsitsipas vs David Goffin is live from Marseille on Saturday, 23 February from 4:30pm local time/ 3:30pm GMT

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Tsitsipas vs Goffin ATP Marseille Preview, Predictions and Live Streaming: Tsitsipas and Goffin battle for a spot in Marseille final

Stefanos Tsitsipas and David Goffin battle for a spot in the Marseille final on Saturday. Read our preview, predictions and stream the match live online.

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