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August 18, 2019

David Goffin

Cincinnati, Ohio


7-6, 6-4

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Daniil said at 5-3 he was starting to cramp. Did you notice anything the way he was playing?
DAVID GOFFIN: He started to cramp? No, I didn't notice. I took my serve and then he started to -- was 15-40, and then he made four unbelievable serves.

Yeah, it was really only opportunity I had in the second on his service game. But, no, I didn't notice. With a serve like this, it helps.

Q. He's obviously been playing incredible. I'm not sure how much you have seen of him in these last three weeks or what you make of his form coming in. He's sort of been the dominant player of this stretch of the year.
DAVID GOFFIN: Yeah, he played unbelievable last three weeks. He's super solid. He doesn't miss. It's like playing against a wall.

Nothing special, you know. Just playing cross, cross, wait for the ball. His pace is not too fast, not too slow. It's quite a special pace to play against him. And then you receive bombs coming from his serve, and then he doesn't miss.

He counter you really well. He's not easy to play. Side to side, he's moving okay for a big guy. And he just doesn't miss. So you don't know between to be solid or attacking.

That's why everybody is struggling, because he's so consistent, now with more confidence. He's a really good player, really good player. And on that kind of surface when it's tough to control the ball, he's just solid. It's tough to make winner, to be precise. He's really good, unbelievable the level he had the last three weeks. No, it's congrats to him.

Q. Do you think he can win the US Open?
DAVID GOFFIN: To win a Grand Slam it's another story, because it's best of five. It could be unbelievably hot and humid in New York, as well. You know, it's something different.

This year, I don't know. This year, I don't know. Maybe it's too early, but one day, yes. Why not?

Q. He started a new strategy midway through the match yesterday, going big on second serves. What's it like being on the receiving end of almost two first serves every time?
DAVID GOFFIN: Not every time he tried to mix, but when he wants to have a free point, he goes on the second serve. I knew it. I knew it before. He did the same on the grass. He did the same on the previous matches here and during the tournament.

No, he doesn't make a lot of double faults like this. When he goes for it, it's always in almost all the time, and it's not easy. But I returned a couple of good ones on the big second serves. But it's just because he needs the point. He doesn't want -- maybe he felt on the second serve that I would be aggressive. And, no, of course you have a guy like this, he can do it.

Q. What did you think of your own performance today?
DAVID GOFFIN: I fought the whole match. Was some great rallies at the beginning. It was a little bit better, and I started to play much more better. Tried to mix it up with the slice, tried to change direction first.

So I started to play really well. I took the chances I had in the first to come back, because he doesn't give a lot of chance in his service game, and I took it to come back. It's just that it was in a key point to make 2-0 in the tiebreak, an easy volley after dropshot, and then another one that I could finish.

So it's one point here and there that could make the difference in the tiebreak that I didn't play well. So I tried. Yeah, the tactic was not to play always the same pace, you know, to give him different kind of ball because he's a machine. Left, right, left, right. It's not a problem. You have to change, play short, try to slice, try to attack, try to go to the net, to change, and that's what I did. It worked. But it was not enough.

Q. Have you enjoyed your time in Cincinnati this week?
DAVID GOFFIN: Yeah, of course. I enjoyed a lot. Like I said, during the week I always had good matches here, good results. It was a second semifinal back to back, and then I won the semifinal against Richard, so it's another final. Good memories again.

So it's always a special tournament because I know that I play well here, and so that's why this place, it's more special.

Q. Normally to win a Masters tournament you have to go through at least one of the big three guys. Does it feel to some extent like a missed chance to not win here?
DAVID GOFFIN: Yeah. I don't know why you say "normally." (Smiling.) Yes, of course they are always there. But you don't have to -- but this week, yes, it was opportunity. I took it the whole week, to be in the final already. It was another one. I fought until the end. I have no regrets.

But Daniil, it was just a few points that made the difference. He was more confident and he had more wins under the belt than me, so that made the difference. I have no regrets even if it was a good opportunity.

Q. There were a lot of Belgian people in the stands today. Where do you think they all came from?
DAVID GOFFIN: I have no idea. I have no idea if they are living here or if they are on holiday and they took the car to come back. So it was really nice to see some Belgian flags and also costumes and paint on the face. It was nice.

Q. What have you been more satisfied with this week? Obviously your first Masters final.
DAVID GOFFIN: I think it didn't start well, so what I'm proud of this week is the way I fought to come back to my best level, because it was not easy after Montreal to come here. I was not feeling great.

And then was tough first round against Fritz, second round against Pella. And then match after match I worked a lot to start to feel the ball, to be more aggressive, more confident. And at the end I played well. Semis and the final I played well. It was -- yeah, the key was to fight.

Q. Would you have been surprised that your first Masters 1000 was on hard court rather than clay?
DAVID GOFFIN: No, I think I can play some good tennis on every surface. I made some results everywhere, on grass, hard, indoor, outdoor, clay. You know, it's tough to have something on the clay, because Rafa is already there (smiling). And here I had a chance, but if you have a chance and you take it, with my game it could be anywhere, yeah.

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