Alexander Zverev vs David Goffin ATP Rome tennis Preview, Predictions and Live Stream: In-form Zverev continues Rome title defence against Goffin

Leye Aduloju in ATP 18 May 2018
  • Alexander Zverev vs David Goffin is live from Rome on Friday, 18 May from 9:00pm local time/ 8:00pm BST
  • Zverev and Goffin have split their two previous meetings
  • Watch and bet on tennis live from Rome at bet365 > live streaming > tennis (geo-restrictions apply; funded account required or to have placed a bet in the last 24 hours to qualify)
Alexander Zverev. (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)

Alexander Zverev continues his title defence at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia on Friday when he takes on Belgium’s David Goffin in the quarter-finals.

Alexander Zverev vs David Goffin is live from Rome on Friday, 18 May from 9:00pm local time/ 8:00pm BST
Watch and bet on tennis live from Rome at bet365 > live streaming > tennis (geo-restrictions apply; funded account required or to have placed a bet in the last 24 hours to qualify) 

Playing the most consistent tennis of his young career, Zverev is on an 11-match winning streak, and is quickly emerging as a genuine contender for the French Open title. His Grand Slam record is poor- only once has he made the fourth round of a major- but given the form he has shown on clay this season, it’s impossible not to put the German in the mix for possible French Open contenders. Rafael Nadal remains the overwhelming favourite for Roland Garros, but Zverev may have just catapulted himself to being the second favourite.

The German didn’t have the best start to the year, losing early at the Australian Open, Rotterdam and Indian Wells, but he clicked into form in Miami, and has reached the semi-finals or better in his last four tournaments. 

Zverev is a superb 14-1 on clay this year, with his only loss on the surface being a semi-final defeat to Kei Nishikori in Monte Carlo. He has won eleven straight matches since then, winning titles in Munich and Madrid, and advancing to the quarter finals in Rome. What’s more? The 21-year-old is on a 22-set winning streak. It’s not quite in the class of the great Rafael Nadal’s 50-set winning streak, but it’s still a fabulous effort nonetheless. Having received a first round bye, Zverev began his Rome title defence against Italian, Matteo Berrettini, winning 7-5 6-2, before coming through an almighty tussle in the third round with Kyle Edmund, beating the Brit 7-5 7-6 after two hours. Zverev appeared to have control of the match at different points, but Edmund kept coming back, and came agonizingly close to dragging this into a third set.

Zverev took early control with a break in the opening game of the match, but he faltered while he attempted to close out the set, dropping his serve for the first time in the tournament. However, Zverev played a superb return game to break again, before serving out the set at the second time of asking. The second set was not to dissimilar, with Zverev jumping out to an early break of serve before being pegged back. Edmund grew in confidence as the set approached its end, striking his forehand with greater authority and putting the Zverev serve under pressure. The Brit had set point when Zverev served at 5-4, but the German held firm- and a tie break was needed to separate the players. Again, Zverev seemed to have done enough when he opened up a 6-3 lead, but he couldn’t close out the match, setting the stage for an lentgthy tie break during which the players alternated between superb winners and poor errors. The breaker lasted 24 points but it was Zverev who converted his eighth match point to take the set, and the match.

“I'm just happy that I found a way in both sets, at the end of the sets, and I'm through in two sets. Being able to play another quarter-final of a Masters [1000] event is great,” Zverev said of the tussle.

The German moves on to yet another quarter final, where he takes on David Goffin.


Goffin has also compiled a very impressive 9-3 record on clay this season, reaching at least the quarter finals in three of his four tournaments in the European clay season. 

David Goffin. (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)
The Belgium made the last eight in Monte Carlo, beating Roberto Bautista-Agut and Stefanos Tsitsipas before falling to Grigor Dimitrov, while he reached the semis in Barcelona, losing to Rafael Nadal. His one real failure so far on the surface came in Madrid, where he was beaten by Kyle Edmund in the third round. He has rebounded nicely in Rome, taking out Leonardo Mayer, Marco Cecchinato, and then Juan Martin del Potro to reach the quarter finals for the third time in four years. He had an easy win over Mayer in the opening round; and appeared on course for another stroll in the park when he opened up a 5-1 lead over Cecchinato in the second round, only for him to strangely lose six straight games to concede the set. He hit back to win the next two sets fairly comfortably, taking the match to set up a date with Juan Martin del Potro.

Striking the ball crisply and moving sharply, Goffin breezed through the first set 6-2. A struggling del Potro received treatment on a groin complaint early in the second set, but the Argentine battled on bravely, playing his part in a dramatic sequence of four straight breaks of serve in the mid-to-later part of the set. Del Potro got broken while serving for the set at 5-3, and also failed to convert two set points on Goffin serve in the next game. That proved to be the final straw as the Argentine called it quits after those set points. Del Potro now faces a race against time to be fit for the French Open, while Goffin moves on to the Rome quarters.

“I started the match really well... I played a really good tactic, making him run a lot from both sides. Going to his forehand on the right shot and staying on his backhand,” Goffin said.
 “When he came back, he started to play well... And he can be really dangerous when he's like that. I have seen so many matches when he did the same. Always he looks like tired, but he's not. And he's really dangerous in that case.”

It’s been a welcome return to form for Goffin, who was the victim of a freak eye injury in Rotterdam earlier in the year. The Belgian, who had a strong finish to last season, with titles in Shenzhen and Tokyo, and a runner-up finish at the Nitto ATP Finals, didn’t begin the new year well, losing early at the Australian Open. Worse was to follow in Rotterdam, as Goffin redirected a backhand volley into his own eye during a semi-final meeting with Grigor Dimitrov. He missed a month of action as a result, and after serving up a loosener against Joao Sousa in his comeback match in Miami (he was beaten 6-0 6-1), he has been getting better and better through the clay-court season. Is he the man to snap Zverev’s 11-match winning streak when they meet on Friday?

Goffin and Zverev are tied at 1-1 in career meetings, but Zverev won their only previous meeting on clay in Munich in 2016. Zverev has played an awful lot of tennis in recent weeks, and fatigue could well become a factor against an opponent that will make you run a lot with his expertise at working the ball around the court.

Having said that, Zverev does not mind running. His movement is an understated aspect of his game, one that has improved a lot in the last year or so. He may not be as rapid as Goffin around the court, but he is mobile enough to stick with the Belgian in extended rallies. The German bosses most other departments- he has been almost impenetrable on serve for some time now (except against Edmund!), possesses one of the best two-handed backhands in the game, forehand isn’t shabby, and most importantly, he is playing with plenty of confidence.

Will the German maintain this superb run on clay? Or will Goffin snap his winning streak?  

Alexander Zverev vs David Goffin is live from Rome on Friday, 18 May from 9:00pm local time/ 8:00pm BST
Watch and bet on the match live at bet365 > live streaming > Alexander Zverev vs David Goffin (geo-restrictions apply; funded account required or to have placed a bet in the last 24 hours to qualify) 


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Alexander Zverev vs David Goffin ATP Rome tennis Preview, Predictions and Live Stream: In-form Zverev continues Rome title defence against Goffin

Alexander Zverev continues his Rome title defence against David Goffin on Friday. Will Zverev pick up his 12th straight win on the tour? Read our preview, predictions and stream the match live online.

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