Roland: Goffin's growth

Top-ranked Belgian tells Roland magazine of his love affair with Parisian clay and the keys to his top-10 ascent.

David Goffin ©Marcel Hartmmann pour "Roland"/FFT
 - Matt Trollope

David Goffin first burst to prominence in 2012 when, as a lucky loser ranked No.109, he surged into the fourth round at Roland-Garros and pushed Roger Federer in a compellling four-set loss.

It was a campaign that began the Belgian’s affinity with the clay-court Grand Slam, and put him on the path to eventually cracking the world’s top 10.

Roland caught up Goffin in Monte-Carlo, where he now resides, and took a trip down memory lane, recalling his lack of confidence as a teenager which ultimately gave way to the belief that he could make it as one of the world’s very best players.

“I didn’t believe in myself enough: when you’re young and you barely reach your opponent’s shoulder, you tell yourself you just don’t have what it takes to keep up,” he admitted.

“I had to find alternative solutions, think more. I kept these qualities, and with more striking power (following a growth spurt at age 16) I quickly caught up to the others.”

The Belgian has since gone on to win four ATP titles, reach the quarter-finals at Roland-Garros in 2016 – his best-performed major tournament – and peak at world No.7 in November 2017.

Currently ranked ninth, Goffin arrives at Roland-Garros this year having won nine of his 13 clay-court matches.

Read the full feature in Roland, the new official magazine of Roland-Garros, is available for sale on site or through the Eshop.