STARNBERG, January 8, 2021
World No. 16 David Goffin opened his new season on Thursday with a remarkable first-round win at the Antalya Open, an ATP 250 hard-court event, which was included in the ATP’s updated start to the 2021 calendar on a single-year license. The No. 2 seed from Belgium saved five match points at 4-5 in the second set to secure a 3-6, 7-5, 6-0 victory over Frenchman Pierre-Hugues Herbert, his doubles partner this week in Turkey.
Goffin capitalized on eight of his 19 break-point chances to advance after two hours and two minutes. “It’s always great to start the new year with a tough win, saving match points,” Goffin told ATPTour.com. “It was definitely tricky to play Pierre. I’m happy with the way I played, especially after the beginning. I stayed in the match and believed until the end.”
The 30-year-old Monte Carlo resident will next take on the winner of the encounter between German qualifier Matthias Bachinger and Nicola Kuhn from Spain.
In other action, No. 6 seed Nikoloz Basilashvili of Georgia rallied past Andrea Arnaboldi from Italy 4-6, 7-5, 6-1 in just over two hours of play to face Turkish wild card entry Altug Celikbilek in the second round. The World No. 309 has recorded his first ATP Tour match win since June 2019 following a 7-6(7), 7-5 win over Kacper Zuk of Poland in one hour and 49 minutes.
No. 8 seed Alexander Bublik of Kazakhstan got his 2021 campaign off to a winning start with a 6-3, 6-3 victory over Salvatore Caruso of Italy in 68 minutes. He awaits the winner of France’s Tristan Lamasine and Egor Gerasimov of Belarus. Italy’s Stefano Travaglia fought past No. 7 seed Miomir Kecmanovic of Serbia 1-6, 6-4, 6-0 and now plays Finnish talent Emil Ruusuvuori, who was a 6-3, 7-6(4) winner over Jiri Vesely from the Czech Republic.
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