Goffin aims to ride the wave to Davis Cup glory
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[November 21, 2017]
LONDON (Reuters) - Beaten but
exhilarated, Belgium's David Goffin believes his exceptional run at
the ATP Finals has strengthened him for the last great challenge of
his breakthrough season -- helping his country win the Davis Cup for
the first time.
After his three-set defeat by Grigor Dimitrov in Sunday's final of
the prestigious season-ending tournament, Goffin had no time for
regrets as he looked forward to the decider in the men's global team
championship against France in Lille.
The hosts are favorites but Goffin, who will grab the chance to
recharge batteries run down by his heroics at the O2 Arena, will on
current form be the best player on show at the three-day final,
which begins on Friday.
He also reckons he has been transformed into a harder, better
performer by the exertions of his remarkable week in London, during
which he became only the sixth man to beat Rafael Nadal and Roger
Federer in the same event.
"It was a special week for me, with a lot of emotions, a lot of
fatigue of course. Now I'm feeling tired, but I'll be ready for the
final," said the 26-year-old, who moved up to a career-high seventh
in the world rankings on Monday.
"It's such an honor to represent my country. To be another time in
the final of the Davis Cup is really something special. I will try
to give my best, as I did this week."
He believes he has moved on since performing admirably when an Andy
Murray-inspired Britain won the Cup in 2015, the second time the
Belgians had lost a final.
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Bulgaria's Grigor Dimitrov in action during the final against
Belgium's David Goffin REUTERS/Toby Melville
"I think after this week I'm a better player mentally but also
physically," said Goffin, who was eventually bested on Sunday by
Bulgarian Dimitrov after a draining two-and-a-half hour duel.
"The way I managed the pressure will help me to also manage the
pressure there (in Lille) but it will be something different. It
will be against the stadium," said Goffin.
"...The fatigue doesn't mean anything. I just have to go for every
match, every moment of the court, enjoy that moment."
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Lucas Pouille lead the French team along with
Nicolas Mahut and Pierre-Hugues Herbert, while Goffin's team mates
are Steve Darcis, Ruben Bemelmans and Arthur De Greef.
Federer, for one, believes France's strength in depth makes them
favorites and he says Goffin must win both his singles rubbers to
give Belgium a chance.
(Reporting by Ian Chadband; editing by John Stonestreet)
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