David Goffin is so far enjoying what could be a momentous year for his career in 2017.
The Belgian made the Australian Open quarter-finals for the first time in January and since reached or surpassed the last 16 at each of the ATP Masters events in Indian Wells, Miami, Monte Carlo and Madrid.
His record for 2017 stands at an impressive 27-10 despite being unable to pick up his first title for the season as yet.
Goffin – the current world No. 10 – is showing no signs of letting his fine form slip up with a dogged win over Spanish veteran Fernando Verdasco at the Italian Open on Tuesday.
The 26-year-old progressed to the third round despite dropping the opening set to secure a 3-6, 6-3, 6-2 victory on Centre Court in Rome.
Goffin looked uncharacteristically shaky after racing to a 2-0 lead straight out of the blocks. He lost six of the next seven games, allowing his experienced opponent to get a firm grip on proceedings.
But the two-time Grand Slam quarter-finalist regained his composure and outplayed Verdasco in the second and third sets with some spectacular shots to boot.
He produced his most remarkable effort in the second set while on serve with three game points up his sleeve.
After allowing Verdasco to seize control of the point using his devastating forehand, Goffin found himself in a position where only one perfect shot could win him the point.
With the server pushed deep into his backhand corner, the Spaniard closed in on the net expecting to be met with an easy volley to put into the open court.
However, while nearer to the back wall than the baseline, Goffin somehow whipped an on-the-run backhand winner down the line.
Take a look at the incredible passing shot in the video below.
Goffin will next meet sixth seed Marin Cilic – who won all but seven points on his first serve and hit ten aces during a comfortable 6-3, 6-2 win over American Ryan Harrison.
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