Raonic v Goffin Indian Wells SF Preview

By Ros Satar – In Indian Wells

  • David Goffin [15] v Milos Raonic [12]
  • H2H: Goffin leads 1-0

INDIAN WELLS, USA – David Goffin reached his first ATP Masters 1000 semi-final, where he will face Milos Raonic, who has yet to drop a set this tournament.

Raonic reached his second straight BNP Paribas Open semi-final with a straight sets win over the flamboyant Frenchman Gael Monfils and he knew he would have to mix up his game a lot to deal with the unpredictable Monfils.

He told the press after his match: “You adjust, but at the same time my game plan was always very simple and it doesn’t really adjust to anybody. It’s more like I do my things well, and with him he gives you a little bit more that you can maybe swipe at, but he makes you swipe at more balls. I think you just sort of change your mentality a bit.

“I’m using a lot more of the body serve. I think that’s a simple factor. You have most guys that were covering two serves against me. Now I think I have given them three serves to cover. Plus I’m coming in on pretty much all three of those. It gives me sort of six options to work with.

“I think my numbers are up in general. I think maybe it doesn’t matter as much. I can get away with going for the sidelines against the guys in the early rounds. But when it comes to, you know, these top guys that can guess, and if they get their racquet on it, they can always make it. It’s important to give them something else to think about.”

After coming through a bit of a war of attrition against Stan Wawrinka, Goffin seems to have settled back into his groove, and Raonic knows that what he lacks in similar power to the big serving Canadian, he makes up for in speed and reactions.

Goffin said after his win over Marin Cilic: “It’s good in tennis that you don’t have to be big or a tall guy to be good, otherwise I had no chance to get in the top 20. But, yeah, it’s good that in tennis you can find some solution against big players. Maybe I’m quicker. I think I can take the ball earlier than big guy. Of course I don’t have a big serve. I try to find some solution to win against big server[s]. I have other weapons.”

He already knows that he has had the game to beat the Canadian having beaten him in the 2014 Basel quarter-final. But a lot has happened for both players since then. Goffin had the weight of Belgium’s expectations on his shoulders in last year’s Davis Cup final, and Raonic came close to putting Andy Murray out of the Australian Open had it not been for a muscle tear in the match.

The Canadian started the year so well with a rematch in the Brisbane final against Roger Federer, beating the defending champion, and so very nearly made his first Slam final, and from the ‘Lost Boys’ generation could well be the next one to take the initiative to break the big title stranglehold of Murray, Federer, Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal.

It will take the ever-youthful looking Goffin a lot to try get on the end of Raonic’s serves. The Canadian admitted to being stubborn about his serving, and often has pinned everything about his game to it, perhaps not coming up with a suitable Plan B. It seems he has relented a bit, but could still be vulnerable if Goffin puts him under pressure.

Prediction: Raonic in three sets.

Goffin and Raonic are scheduled on Stadium 1 at 11am (6pm GMT).

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