David Goffin vs Pablo Cuevas
David Goffin vs Pablo Cuevas Twelve months on from making his first Masters 1000 semifinal at Indian Wells, David Goffin has a great chance to make the quarterfinals at least as he takes on Pablo Cuevas in the fourth round on Wednesday.
Drawn in the top quarter of the BNP Paribas Open 2017 field, a quarter bracketed by world no. 1 Andy Murray and in-form Rotterdam and Marseille champion Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, 11th seed David Goffin couldn’t have dared to hope that things would look this good for him heading into the climactic stages of the tournament. Murray and Tsonga both fell at the first hurdle, Murray losing to qualifier Vasek Pospisil and Tsonga to Fabio Fognini (both of whom lost their next match), and 16th seed Roberto Bautista Agut is also out, leaving just three seeds in the fourth round from this quarter: 21st seed Pablo Carreno Busta, the beneficiary of Bautista Agut’s withdrawal, Goffin and his opponent in the round of 16, 27th seed Pablo Cuevas.
Goffin made back-to-back Masters 1000 David Goffin vs Pablo Cuevas semifinals last spring at Indian Wells and Miami, having never been to the quarterfinals of a hard-court Masters before (and only once on clay). In 2016, the Belgian also made the quarterfinals of the French Open and the fourth round of the Australian and French Opens, finished runner-up to Nick Kyrgios in Tokyo and made semifinals in Metz and Antwerp. It was a very solid 49-25 season for Goffin, who ended it as world no. 12 and on the brink of securing a place in the top 10 – just two years after his stunning 2014 season saw him rise from world no. 104 in July to world no. 22 by the end of the year.
Goffin has already succeeded in cracking the top 10 for the first time after a cracking start to the 2017 season. He fell in the second round of Doha to Fernando Verdasco, but made the second Grand Slam quarterfinal of his career at the Australian Open after beating Dominic Thiem in four sets in the fourth round. Goffin lost to Grigor Dimitrov in Melbourne, who would also beat him in the final of the ATP World Tour 250 event in Sofia, but Goffin got his revenge with a three-set win over Dimitrov on the way to a runner-up finish at the ABN AMRO WTT in Rotterdam. Goffin lost to Tsonga in that final, but it propelled him into the top 10 for the first time.
BNP Paribas Open 2017 live stream: ATP tennis live from Indian Wells David Goffin vs Pablo Cuevas
Unfortunately Goffin’s sojourn in the top 10 was short-lived and he was back to world no. 11 by the time he lost in the second round of Acapulco to eventual champion Sam Querrey – not too bad a defeat, given that Querrey beat Rafael Nadal in the final. So far at Indian Wells, everything’s gone to plan for the Belgian, who beat Karen Khachanov in three sets in the second round before ousting Albert Ramos-Vinolas 7-6(3), 6-4 to set up this fourth-round clash with Cuevas.
Pablo Cuevas had to rush to the Indian Wells Masters after his final against Ramos-Vinolas at the Brasil Open in Sao Paulo was delayed by rain to Monday. Cuevas eventually won 6-7(3), 6-4, 6-4 – not before trying an underarm serve on match point – to claim his sixth ATP World Tour title, all of which have come on clay.
Cuevas missed almost two years on tour due to injury and was unranked when he came back in April 2013, but put together a superb season in 2014 that included his first two ATP World Tour titles and four Challenger titles to finish the season ranked world no. 32. The Uruguayan hit a career-high ranking of world no. 19 last October after titles in Rio de Janeiro (where he beat Nadal on clay) and Sao Paulo and runner-up finishes in Nottingham and Hamburg, but up until Sao Paulo, 2017 wasn’t exactly going to plan: He went 1-2 in January, losing to Gilles Muller in Sydney and Diego Sebastian Schwartzman in the first round of the Australian Open, and the Golden Swing, usually a fruitful time of the season for him, saw Cuevas lose to Alexandr Dolgopolov in the first round of Buenos Aires and qualifier Arthur de Greef in the first round of Rio de Janeiro.
David Goffin vs Pablo Cuevas Cuevas is currently on a six-match winning streak after beating Martin Klizan – who beat him in last year’s Hamburg final – and Fabio Fognini in the second and third rounds at the BNP Paribas Open. He has never reached a Masters 1000 Series quarterfinal.
Cuevas and Goffin have never played before, but they will undoubtedly David Goffin vs Pablo Cuevas know a lot about each other’s games. While both men play some of their best tennis on clay, Goffin is also an excellent hard-court player and has been quietly improving the aggressive aspects of his game in recent times. He obviously knows how to handle the conditions at Indian Wells, and the Belgian should be set for a return to the quarterfinals at the Masters in the desert.