Goffin beats Thiem in Kitzbuehel for 1st ATP title
KITZBUEHEL, Austria (AP) — David Goffin ended Belgium’s six-year title drought on the ATP tour by earning his first career victory at the Kitzbuehel Cup on Saturday.
Goffin rallied to beat fifth-seeded Dominic Thiem of Austria 4-6, 6-1, 6-3 in a match between two first-time finalists and became the first tournament winner from Belgium since Steve Darcis triumphed in Memphis in 2008.
The 78th-ranked Goffin stretched his unbeaten streak to 20 matches since his first-round defeat at Wimbledon, including three challenger events he won in July.
“It’s just crazy,” said Goffin, who is now likely to return to the top 50. “I couldn’t dream about this at the start of the week. Tonight I will celebrate a huge party.”
Goffin, who improved to 3-0 against the 50th-ranked Thiem, dropped serve in the opening game and missed three chances to break the Austrian’s serve in the first set.
Goffin saved two break points at 1-1 in the second before reeling off seven straight games for a 2-0 lead in the third. He broke the Austrian again on his first match point to close out the win.
“I am extremely disappointed now,” said the 20-year-old Thiem, who is the youngest top-50 player and also the youngest finalist this year. “I feel sorry, not only for myself but also for the many fans who came out today.”
Thiem said missing two break points early in the second set caused a turnaround in the match.
“I started very well but I suffered a bit of a setback,” said Thiem, who was vying to become the first Austrian winner in Kitzbuehel since Thomas Muster in in 1993. “I never expected to get this far in the tournament. It was an unforgettable week.”