The past 12 months have been the toughest the Belgian has faced since he made his ATP Tour debut in 2011 after he was forced to end his 2021 season in August due to a knee injury.
Last month Goffin returned to the winners’ circle in Marrakech, capturing his sixth tour-level title at the ATP 250 clay-court event. It was a major moment for the 31-year-old, who had doubted his future just weeks earlier. He said:
“Winning Marrakech meant a lot. I have had tough moments for the past year. First with my knee. I had to end my season in August and then the beginning of this year I was struggling with my game. My knee troubled me in Sydney, I had to pull out of my match against [Andy] Murray. There were a lot of things in my head. ‘Would my knee ever be the same? Is it affecting my footwork? Am I slower?' I wondered if I would ever be the same again."
Detailing his journey from Sydney to now, Goffin said:
“After Sydney I began to feel more confident in practice and at the gym sessions and I was like ‘OK, I am feeling great’. Then I started to play some good tennis and the confidence came back, match after match. Then the clay arrived and every year when the clay swing arrives, it is always a good and important period for me. In Marrakech, I won one battle and then another and then the confidence grows. Winning a title meant a lot after that tough period.”
On Madrid, he said:
“Madrid is quite special. It is the first time I have played qualifying in about 10 years I think. It is different because of the altitude and the courts are really fast. It can also be completely indoor on three courts when it is raining, so it is a little bit different."
He will face Rafael Nadal later today.