Belgian David Goffin continued his giantkilling run as he stormed into the last four of the Indian Wells tennis tournament on Thursday with a 7-6 (7-4) 6-2 upset of US Open winner Marin Cilic.
A day after ousting third seed Stan Wawrinka, Goffin battled through to his first Masters 1000 semi-final where he will meet Canadian Milos Raonic, a 7-5 6-3 victor over Frenchman Gael Monfils.
Goffin saved 11 of 12 break points against tall Croatian Cilic before sealing the win in just over an hour-and-a-half and declared himself ready to take on another big server.
“It’s good that in tennis, you can find some solution against big players like Marin or Milos or (John) Isner,” the 25-year-old told reporters.
“Maybe I’m quicker. I think I can take the ball earlier. I have other weapons. That’s why tennis is a nice sport.
“I’m really happy with the way I managed the important points … it was the key of the match, to win the first set, and to be more relaxed in the second.”
After being forced to fight off four set points in opener, Goffin broke 10th seed Cilic’s serve twice in the second set.
“I was on my baseline and I was making him run a lot,” said the Belgian, winner of two ATP titles.
“When I had the opportunity on his second serve, I was really aggressive, so that’s why it was a better second set.”
Raonic pounded down 10 aces to reach the semi-finals at Indian Wells for the second straight year.
“I did things well. I created opportunities for myself,” the 12th seed said.
“I served well and, when I did get myself in trouble, I felt like it was me forcing the game. Those kind of things are positive and I stuck to it and it came together.”
Raonic relinquished an early break to Monfils in the first set but broke back in the 12th game to go 1-0 up and carried the momentum into the second set before serving out the victory after 90 minutes.
The Canadian was sidelined in February because of a groin injury that contributed to his semi-final loss at the Australian Open but is fully fit now and ready to take on Goffin.
“He’s playing well,” said Raonic. “If I do the right things, I can give myself a chance. I think I have shown that this year, and I hope I can keep showing that.”