David Goffin claimed the first win of this year’s Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters on Sunday when he charged to the finish line to defeat Marin Cilic 6-4, 3-6, 6-0 on Court Rainier III.
The Belgian converted six of the 18 break points he created to advance to the second round after two hours and 11 minutes. Goffin rallied from 0-3 down in the first set and benefitted from 52 Cilic unforced errors to improve his record at the Monte-Carlo Country Club to 11-7.
“It’s a good win. [This is my] first tournament on clay [in 2021]. Starting with a victory is good. It’s a good way of starting the tournament, and I’m happy,” said Goffin.
“I did what I needed to do to win that match. I was playing better and better… In the first and second set, I had problems with the returns. In the third set, I was more consistent. It was a good match.”
Photo Credit: Sebastien Darrasse | Carte Blanche
Goffin has regained the lead in his fiercely contested ATP Head2Head rivalry against Cilic. The 2017 semi-finalist owns a 5-4 record against Cilic and is now tied at 2-2 in clay meetings.
Goffin’s victory snapped a three-match losing streak for the 30-year-old, which dated back to last month’s Qatar ExxonMobil Open in Doha. The 11th seed will face Marco Cecchinato or Dominik Koepfer for a place in the third round.
Jordan Thompson took just over three hours to join Goffin in the second round. The Aussie battled past Benoit Paire 6-4, 6-7(3), 7-6(5) in a match which featured 17 service breaks. Thompson served for the match at 6-5 in the third set, but was forced to recover from 1/3 down in the final-set tie-break to record his fifth win of the season (5-4).