Skip to main content

The Globe and Mail

Federer beats fan Goffin to reach French Open quarter-finals

Roger Federer of Switzerland (L) shakes hands with David Goffin of Belgium after winning his match during the French Open tennis tournament at the Roland Garros stadium in Paris June 3, 2012.

GONZALO FUENTES/REUTERS

Roger Federer surrendered one set against Belgian fan and newcomer David Goffin before beating the lucky loser 5-7 7-5 6-2 6-4 to reach the quarter-finals of the French Open on Sunday.

Federer, seeking a record 17th grand-slam title, will play either Argentine Juan Martin del Potro, the ninth seed, or number seven Tomas Berdych of Czech Republic in the last eight.

The Swiss, who won the Roland Garros title in 2009, saved two breakpoints before surrendering a third on a forehand error to lose the first set.

Story continues below advertisement

The 21-year-old Goffin, the first lucky loser to reach the last 16 of a grand slam since compatriot Dick Norman at Wimbledon in 1995, kept up the pressure but ultimately was no match for the wily Federer.

Goffin, who plastered his bedroom walls with posters of his idol Federer when he was a teenager, won over the fans on the windy Suzanne Lenglen Court with his fighting spirit and prowess at the net.

At a break down in the fourth set, and presumably feeling defeat's warm breath on his neck, Goffin won a point on Federer's serve with a particularly athletic volley.

The Belgian put his arm in the air, then graciously bowed to three sides of the court as the crowd cheered.

Federer, 30, held serve and served out for the match at the next opportunity, showing his younger rival how it was done with an ace and a spectacular forehand down the line on the final two points.

"David has played an extraordinary tournament," the Swiss said in an interview on court. "I congratulate him from the bottom of my heart."

Goffin beamed. "It is really a dream to play against Roger and I hope to have many more matches like this," he said.

Story continues below advertisement

The two men embraced. The crowd cheered. Everyone went home happy.

Report an error
Comments

The Globe invites you to share your views. Please stay on topic and be respectful to everyone. For more information on our commenting policies and how our community-based moderation works, please read our Community Guidelines and our Terms and Conditions.

We’ve made some technical updates to our commenting software. If you are experiencing any issues posting comments, simply log out and log back in.

Discussion loading… ✨

Combined Shape Created with Sketch.

Combined Shape Created with Sketch.

Thank you!

You are now subscribed to the newsletter at

You can unsubscribe from this newsletter or Globe promotions at any time by clicking the link at the bottom of the newsletter, or by emailing us at privacy@globeandmail.com.