Marin Cilic (CRO) vs.  David Goffin (BEL)
In three previous meetings, Cilic had never beaten Goffin; however, a lot was at stake today and he was extra motivated. He responded to the pressure of expectation better than his opponent, who seemed extremely tight and tentative. Cilic is no stranger to folding under the pressure of expectation and perhaps that was also in the back of his mind. He took the early lead and it looked like Goffin was making one of his patented comebacks against Cilic when he broke in the very next game, but it was short-lived. Cilic was having none of that today and he reclaimed the lead to take the first set. The player who could control their emotions better would be the winner today.
Who was feeling the pressure more? Both were hoping to make the ATP World Tour Finals in London, chances were better for Cilic based on his ranking; however, Goffin still had a shot if he went deep. Given the fact that Cilic had never beaten Goffin, the odds were that Goffin would advance; however, we can never underestimate the importance of one’s determination. Cilic was determined that he was going to get to London. He completely ignored the fact that he had never beaten Goffin and came out playing aggressive tennis. It was not completely smooth, but he had enough of a lead to hold on for the straight sets victory 6-3, 7-6(9) and clinch his spot in the Finals in London. Goffin left the tournament probably frustrated by his inability to conquer his emotions and play the quality tennis he is capable of when there are no expectations.
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