ATP Daily Hitter: Will Goffin End Zverev’s 11-Match Win Streak?
Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Alexander Zverev.
We’re back after a day off yesterday — which turned out to be the right decision, as it was a dismal day for dogs (0-7 vs. favorites, with David Goffin being the only plus-money winner via retirement).
With two quarterfinal matchups left on today’s slate from Rome, let’s dive into the daily hitter.
Match: David Goffin (+170) vs. Alexander “Sascha” Zverev (-200)
Where: Rome, Italy
When: Not before 3 p.m. EST
Sascha Zverev comes into this one riding an 11-match winning streak (including two tournament titles), dropping just one set during the streak (back in his first match in Munich). But he’ll have his hands full today against Goffin, who is known to administer some of the toughest defensive examinations around.
I liked what I saw from Goffin yesterday against Juan Martin del Potro, although the latter was clearly dealing with some type of physical ailment. Goffin has been patrolling the baseline comfortably in Rome, and, aside from that one dropped set against Marco Cecchinato, has played superb tennis this week.
Take a look at his results:
R1 vs. Leo Mayer: 6-1, 6-2
R2 vs. Marco Cecchinato: 5-7, 6-2, 6-2
R3 vs. Juan Martin del Potro: 6-2, 4-5 (RET.)
So far in Rome, Goffin has already won four 6-2 sets and one 6-1 set, so you’ve got to expect the Belgian to strut into his match against Sascha with confidence — despite the form of the young German (who’s been white hot).
And, while I’m not sure Goffin will have the stuff to rip off another 6-2 set against the big serve (and strokes) of Zverev, I do think there’s a ton of value with him at +170. Sascha has played a tennis match almost every day this month and — with Roland Garros creeping up on the calendar — I wonder how “hard” Zverev is willing to push himself, considering his lack of Grand Slam success. There’s something to be said about peaking too early before a Slam.
From a style perspective — on a slow clay court — it should be a compelling clash of offense vs. defense. The only match these two have played on clay came back in 2016 when Zverev took Goffin out in three. But Goffin had his share of chances in that match — including 11 break opportunities. On an even slower court, Goffin should have a similar type of success today on the return side.
At +170, despite the rampant form of Zverev, I’m willing to take him on and back the Belgian. Defense wins championships.
THE PICK: Goffin +170