David Goffin is a Belgian tennis player who has, in the past few years, delighted spectators everywhere with his smooth shot-making and deceptive power.
Goffin has a slight frame but that doesn't reflect in his ground game, which is considered to be among the world's best. He reached the final of the 2017 ATP Finals after defeating both Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer en route, an achievement that put him in elite company.
Best finish at each of the four Grand Slams:
Australian Open: Quarterfinalist (2017)
French Open: Quarterfinalist (2016)
Wimbledon: 4th Round (2015, 2016)
US Open: 4th Round (2017, 2018)
Highest Ranking: No. 7
Style of play
Goffin plays primarily from the baseline, but he has a strongly attacking mindset. He takes the ball early off both wings, relying on his touch and precision to take time away from his opponents.
Goffin is not a serve-oriented player, and instead takes big cuts on the return of serve. He also doesn't come to the net too often, and prefers to finish points from the back of the court.
The Belgian has an effective slice off both wings, which he uses when pushed wide. He employs the drop shot fairly regularly, following it up with either a passing shot or a lob.
Strengths and weaknesses
Goffin has is exceptionally good in a variety of areas, but the most notable of those are movement and groundstroke precision.
Goffin has incredible foot speed and anticipation, and can turn defense into offense in the blink of an eye. He uses his anticipation skills to hit big returns too, often catching the server off-guard with powerful drives.
The Belgian's backhand is considered to be one of the best in the world, especially the down-the-line version which he uses liberally. Goffin can hit heavy topspin backhands as well as flat, on-the-rise ones, and many of his opponents are left bewildered as they struggle to predict what kind of backhand is going to come next.
Goffin's forehand is fairly powerful too, but is prone to breaking down on occasion. The fact that he doesn't impart a lot of topspin on his forehand means it can sometimes land short, and that in turn is exploited by his opponents.
Goffin's serve is possibly the weakest part of his game, as he can't match the speed and consistency of other top 10 players.
Goffin was born in Rocourt, a suburban area of the Belgian town of Liege. His father Michel teaches tennis in that same town, while mother Francoise and brother Simon also lived there for a long while.
Goffin picked up tennis at the age of six, having been introduced to the sport by his father. As a kid his role model was Roger Federer, which is not surprising given both players' tendency to hit on the rise.
The Belgian didn't play a lot of junior tournaments, and even after turning pro he preferred to play Challenger and Futures events rather than ATP ones. When he did start competing at the big events, he turned heads almost immediately; his fourth round appearance at the 2012 French Open, where he put on a shot-making spectacle against his idol Federer, is a vivid memory for many.
Goffin has struggled with injuries throughout his career, and in 2017 and 2018 he endured two immensely unfortunate setbacks. He tripped on the tarp at the back of the court during the 2017 French Open, which severely hurt his ankle and forced him to miss the next six weeks. He was then hit in the eye by the ball while attempting to play a shot at the net during the 2018 Rotterdam tournament, which put him on the sidelines for four weeks.
Despite his horrible luck with injuries though, Goffin has repeatedly made impressive returns to get back into the top echelons of men's tennis. His run to the final at the 2017 ATP Finals, where he defeated Nadal as well as Federer in three-set thrillers, is fondly remembered as one of the best shot-making displays seen in recent times.
Social media presence:
David Goffin Instagram: @david__goffin
David Goffin Twitter: @david__goffin