Belgian David Goffin moved into the BNP Paribas Open semifinals on Thursday, getting past former U.S. Open champion Marin Cilic 7-6(4), 6-2 at Indian Wells for a spot in his first ATP World Tour Masters 1000 semifinal.
In the opening set, Goffin saved 11 of the 12 break points he faced as both he and Cilic would exchange break points to send the first set to a tiebreaker.
The 15th seed Goffin would outlast Cilic in the tiebreaker, and notch two break points in the second set to upend Cilic in one hour and 37 minutes.
Goffin, who gives up about 7 inches and about 45 pounds to Cilic, talked about how he is able to play against some of the bigger and powerful players.
“It’s good that in tennis you can find some solution against big players like Marin or Milos [Raonic] or [John] Isner,” said Goffin. “Maybe I’m quicker. I think I can take the ball earlier. I have other weapons. That’s why tennis is a nice sport.
I’m really happy with the way I managed the important points. I think it was the key to the match, to win the first set and to be more relaxed in the second.”
Goffin will take on another big player in 12th seeded Canadian Milos Raonic, who took out 13th seed Gael Monfils 7-5, 6-3 in his quarterfinal match on Thursday.
The Belgian won the only previous meeting between the two.
“He’s playing well. He’s taking the ball early. He’s trying to maybe not overpower but take away time from his opponents,” Raonic said of Goffin. “You see that he’s trying to take time away and maybe getting guys to panic and not set up their swings. But I think when it comes to that kind of stuff I’m pretty good at getting things on my terms. If he wants to stay on the baseline I’m going to have to try to push him back.”
Friday will play host to two exciting quarterfinal matchups in Indian Wells as Novak Djokovic takes on Jo-Wilfried Tsonga while Rafael Nadal battles with Kei Nishikori.