|Photo: Open Sud de France
Vasek Pospisil’s magical week in Montpellier just keeps getting better.
After knocking off three world-class opponents in straight sets – including Davis Cup teammate Denis Shapovalov in the second round – Pospisil kept the good times rolling on Saturday at the Open Sud de France by defeating No. 2 seed David Goffin 6-3, 1-6, 7-5 in a high-quality thriller to reach his first tour-level final since 2014 (l. to Milos Raonic in Washington).
In what has already been a miraculous last six months for Pospisil following back surgery and rehabilitation last year, the fan-favourite Canadian mustered both vintage form and fight to push Goffin back early in the match. He was able to secure an early break and ride it out to claim the first set with a flurry of forehand winners and tenacious play at the net.
Pospisil would earn a triple break-point opportunity in the first game of the second set, but, courtesy of some top-shelf serving from his Belgian opponent, was unable to capitalize. With the momentum against him, he dropped serve in the proceeding game before Goffin, the current World No. 10, sprinted towards the end of the set to level proceedings in Montpellier.
The third set was played at an exceptional level, with Pospisil’s all-out offence expertly countered by one of the sport’s quickest and purest ball-strikers. Both players were able to excel behind their serves until the ninth game of the match, where the visibly gassed Canadian doubled over on an ill-timed forehand into the net to relinquish the break to Goffin.
But the fight wasn’t over for the 2019 Davis Cup hero.
Capitalizing on some tentative play from the No. 2 seed, Pospisil was able to break right back as Goffin attempted to serve for the match, quickly consolidating the momentum to lead 6-5 in the decider. It was there that Pospisil – currently ranked No. 132 but on the cusp of re-entering the Top 100 – held his nerve to break the Belgian once again and win a place into the final.
What a week. pic.twitter.com/kYUB8x3U9t
— Tennis Canada (@TennisCanada) February 8, 2020
The 29 year old finished the match with an impressive 34 winners to Goffin’s 24. Although he struck 43 unforced errors, it was big play on the big points that helped him claim his first Top 10 win of the season and second Top 20 win of the week.
Up next for Pospisil – and the last player standing between him and his first ATP Tour trophy – is Gael Monfils, against whom he owns a tough 0-5 record; but if there’s anything we’ve learned this week, it’s that #AnythingIsPospisil.
(Feature photo: Open Sud de France)