Halle Open 2019 final: Roger Federer vs David Goffin, preview and prediction
Nine-time Halle champion Roger Federer has stormed into the finals at the Noventi Open for a staggering 13th time with a dominating 6-3, 6-3 win over Pierre-Hugues Herbert in just over an hour.
The Swiss maestro will now meet the resurgent David Goffin in the final. Following a stern test against the home favourite Alexander Zverev in the quarterfinals, the Belgian downed Matteo Berrettini, who has been a sensational story himself, in straight sets 7-6(7-4), 6-3.
Federer will be playing in his 4th final of the year after winning in Dubai and Miami and finishing as the runner-up at Indian Wells. On the other hand, Goffin last won a title in 2017 and this is his first ever ATP 500 level or higher final on grass.
In their eight meetings so far on the tour, Federer has dominated his Belgian opponent with their head-to-head tally reading 7-1 in favour of the Swiss maestro. Their only meeting on grass came at this same venue three years ago when the then eight-time Halle champion got the better of his Belgian challenger in straight sets 6-1, 7-6 (12-10).
Goffin first rose to prominence following his monumental run at the 2017 Nitto ATP Finals where he finished as the runner-up, and was once ranked as high as 7th on the tour. But he had tapered off since the start of 2018, and 2019 has followed a similar story of disappointments. This maiden final appearance at Halle is a step in the right direction for the Belgian.
Goffin would be confident after his hard-fought win against Zverev the other day in the quarters, but in the final he will be up against the best ever player on grass. It would take a monumental effort from the resurgent Belgian to take down Federer in his own fortress.
The 20-time Grand Slam champion looked at his imperious best against Herbert in the semifinals following twin tough days in the office against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Roberto Bautista Agut. He will look to continue his form in the final to lay his hands on a remarkable 10th Halle crown.
A triumph against Goffin would not only help him make up for the loss that he suffered against Borna Coric in the final last year, but would also mark a positive start to his quest for a 9th Wimbledon title at the All England Club later in the grasscourt season.
Federer appears to be as hungry as ever and would be keen to put up his best show in the summit clash. Will the final unfold in the way most of us anticipate, or can the Belgian dare to stun Federer and win his biggest ever title on grass so far?
Prediction: Roger Federer to win in three sets.