David Goffin of Belgium returns a shot against Richard Gasquet of France during their men's singles quarter-final match of the Japan Open tennis tournament in Tokyo on Oct 6, 2017. (TORU YAMANAKA / AFP)
TOKYO - David Goffin recovered from 5-2 down in the first set and won 10 of the next 11 games to set up a 7-5, 6-1 win over Richard Gasquet on Friday, advancing to a Japan Open semifinal against Diego Schwartzman.
Goffin, the runner-up here last year, has been on a winning run in Asia after claiming his first title in three years last weekend at Shenzhen, China.
David Goffin recovered from 5-2 down in the first set and won 10 of the next 11 games to set up a 7-5, 6-1 win over Richard Gasquet
Schwartzman's match against Steve Johnson was played with the roof closed. Yet despite a forecast for heavy, persistent rain throughout the rest of the day, officials decided to start Goffin's match with the roof open, only to close it again with Gasquet leading 3-2 in the first.
Goffin struggled to regain his rhythm after the 15-minute delay and quickly needed to save three set points, with Gasquet on serve at 40-0 in the ninth game.
The Belgian player hung on to break serve, and then held in his next to go on a roll. The pair could meet again next month when Gasquet's French team hosts Belgium in the Davis Cup final.
Friday's win moved Goffin to No. 11 in the Emirates ATP Race to London rankings. With Novak Djokovic and Stan Wawrinka ruled out for the season, 10th place will be enough to secure a place at the end-of-season showpiece.
Earlier, Schwartzman defeated Sam Johnson 6-0, 7-5 to register his career-high 32nd match win of the season.
"In the beginning it was really nice for me," said Schwartzman. "Then he started to improve and tried to change his game. He started to serve better, got his first serve in, and became more aggressive, coming to the net a few times more.
"I was on the defensive many times and couldn't dominate."