Goffin collects fifth title to crown Montpellier comeback

 - Alex Sharp

The Belgian, edging Roberto Bautista Agut in a three-set finale, last lifted an ATP title in Tokyo in 2017.

Roberto Bautista Agut and David Goffin during the tropy presentation after the Open Sud de France 2021 final©JB Autissier/Panoramic pour l'Open Sud de France

“It’s been a long and tough way since the last one, this one means a lot to me.”

David Goffin has that winning feeling once again.

The world No.14 is enjoying a resurgence which was capped in style on the southern French coast last week.

When everything clicks into gear

Goffin captured his first ATP title since Tokyo 2017, just over three years ago, overhauling a set deficit to defeat Roberto Bautista Agut 5-7, 6-4, 6-2 at the Open Sud de France in Montpellier.

“I had some opportunities, I’ve had matches where I had zero chance to win in the final. Sometimes you take it, sometimes not,” stated the Belgian. “I’ve played some finals, but you need to continue, you need to improve your game, you need to fight and I’m happy that it paid off at the end.”

Goffin arrived in Montpellier without a win in his past three matches, but clicked into gear in the south of France with three gutsy deciding set triumphs.

David Goffin serving during the Open Sud de France 2021 final©JB Autissier/Panoramic pour l'Open Sud de France

Threat nullified

The week began with a hard-fought 4-6, 6-4, 7-5 passage past Frenchman Benjamin Bonzi.

The 30-year-old then nullified the threat of world No.36 Lorenzo Sonego 6-4, 6-4, before overcoming Andy Murray’s conqueror Egor Gerasimov 6-4, 2-6, 6-4 to book a final ticket.

As for many, 2020 was an uncertain and tricky time. Goffin dealt with injuries, a dip in form and testing positive for Covid-19 last October.

He’s put in the hard yards, thanking his team’s endeavours during the on-court trophy presentation, and is now brimming with belief.

“I had tough weeks last season and I’m happy that I’m back with a level like this,” added the relieved 30-year-old.

David Goffin kissing his girlfriend Stéphanie after having won the Open Sud de France 2021©JB Autissier/Panoramic pour l'Open Sud de France

“A final is always different. You have to just go for it. You’ve already had a good week and you’re playing the final. It’s the last match of the week, so you have to give everything to try to win the trophy

“It’s never easy to win tournaments. This is my fifth and every tournament that I’ve won was very special.”