World No. 10 and second seed David Goffin launches his Open Sud de France campaign on Thursday against the enigmatic Alexander Bublik.
David Goffin ?? vs Alexander Bublik ?? Match Info
Date: Thursday February 6
Tournament: Open Sud de France, ATP Montpellier R2
Court: Patrice Dominguez
Time: 2.00pm local time (1.00pm GMT)
David Goffin vs Alexander Bubik Head-to-Head
David Goffin vs Alexander Bubik Match Preview
Goffin and Bublik clash for the first time with a spot in the Open Sud de France quarter-finals on the line on Thursday.
Freshly returned to the top 10, Goffin is aiming for his first ATP title since 2017 this week in Montpellier, with his best result at this tournament coming in 2018 when he made the semi-finals before falling to three-time champion Richard Gasquet.
2017 was Goffin’s career-best season – the Belgian ended the year at No. 7 in the world after finishing runner-up at the Nitto ATP Finals, defeating No. 1 Rafael Nadal and No. 2 Roger Federer along the way before falling to Grigor Dimitrov. Goffin won 59 matches that season and captured two ATP titles in Shenzhen and Tokyo, while he also advanced to the quarter-finals of the Australian Open and led Belgium to the Davis Cup final.
However, a freak eye injury the following year in Rotterdam would halt Goffin’s momentum, and to be honest, he’s never really regained his 2017 form despite making his way back into the top 10 this week. Goffin did suffer other injuries to his elbow and shoulder that saw his ranking drop in 2018, but he made solid progress back up the rankings in 2019, becoming the first Belgian to reach a Masters 1000 final when he did so in Cincinnati, while he also reached the Wimbledon quarter-finals and U.S. Open fourth round.
Goffin has been pretty good so far in 2020, going 3-1 in ATP Cup matches for Belgium, where he recorded another win over World No. 1 Nadal, while his Australian Open ended in the third round at the hands of the in-form Andrey Rublev. Can he get off to a winning start in Montpellier on Thursday?
He’ll have to make it past one of the tour’s most unpredictable players in Bublik. The 22-year-old is making his tournament debut in Montpellier this week, winning his opening round match against Henri Laaksonen, coming from behind to prevail in a deciding set tiebreak, 6-7(3) 6-1 7-6(2).
Owner of a 6-0 record in Challenger finals, Bublik settled down and established himself as a top 100 player in 2019 after his initial breakthrough in 2017 and subsequent fall in 2018 that saw him drop to No. 253 in the world. Bublik started with his aforementioned success on the Challenger tour in 2019, winning titles in Budapest, Pau and Monterrey, before making new ground at tour-level later in the season, reaching his first ATP finals in Newport and Chengdu, where he lost to John Isner and Pablo Carreno Busta respectively. Bublik also reached his first Grand Slam third round at the U.S. Open to break into the top 50 for the first time. The Kazakh is down to No. 54 heading into Montpellier after a straight sets loss to Jordan Thompson at the Australian Open, while he made the second rounds of Doha and Adelaide to start 2020.
David Goffin vs Alexander Bublik Prediction
This one really could go either way. Goffin is back after a mini-break following the Australian Open, while Bublik already has a match under his belt this week and his game should prove dangerous indoors. Even though Goffin is back in the top 10 and has a win over Nadal already this season, I’m still not entirely convinced of the Belgian – it’s a solid chance for Bublik to score the upset and a top 10 scalp.