David Goffin (BEL) vs.  Steve Darcis (BEL)
This match demonstrated how difficult it is for some players to play close friends, countrymen and sometimes family. His loss may have been expected but the score and the manner in which Darcis performed were disappointing. Perhaps after his brilliant performance against much better players, no disrespect to Goffin, in his Davis Cup matches last weekend, I expected a better showing from him. Yet, it was readily apparent that Darcis was extremely uncomfortable at the prospect of playing his good friend and countryman. He was like a deer caught in the head lights and by the time he blinked the first set was over. In some ways it was understandable because they had never played an ATP Tour match against each other before, so there was no way to anticipate how much both players would be affected by their close relationship.
Although it was a much better effort in set two, the damage of losing the first set so dismally continued to plague Darcis and he just could not stay in the present long enough to combat the precision and persistence of Goffin. Of course, Goffin did not produce brilliant tennis today either; he simply kept the ball in play and let his opponent self-destruct. However, Goffin was better able to compartmentalize his emotional attachment to his opponent and treated him just as another obstacle in his path to the semifinals. After going down the break in set two, Darcis could not mount the effort to fight back; thus, making it a relatively easy victory for Goffin. With his 6-1, 6-3 victory he moved on to the semifinals to face Roberto Bautista Agut, who leads their head-to-head 2:0.
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