David Goffin overcame Santiago Giraldo 6-3, 4-6, 7-5, 6-2 on Wednesday to set up a 3rd round clash against Frenchman Jeremy Chardy. Goffin's performance wasn't one of flowing consistency but included many a moment of inspiration and in the end came through a tricky match comfortably, something he has failed to do on the big stage far too often.
Against Chardy he will be aiming to reach the 4th round for the first time since his birth to top tier tennis in 2012 when he came from qualifying to meet Roger Federer in the last 16 in this same event. Many predicted a bright future for the young star only those few years back but there has been many a swing Goffin has endured in his career since then, with notable lows like dropping outside the top 100 last year, to character building highs such as dropping down to the challenger level and becoming virtually unbeatable. It showed how serious Goffin was, and after hitting near rock bottom in 2014, it turned out to be a defining year in his career. He won his first ever tour level titles in Metz and Kitzbuhel and also reached the final of the prestigious Swiss event in Basel, only to lose to hometown king and Goffins very own idol, Roger Federer.
Fast forward to the present day and David Goffin is at a career high ranking of 18 having performed consistently although not spectacularly through 2015. In the 3rd round Chardy will pose threat to Goffin's run at Roland Garros, the Frenchman possesses great firepower off both serve and forehand and will most certainly have the crowds backing. However as the title suggests Goffin is never short of fans and is one of the most likable players on tour, with impeccable sportsmanship and manners on and off the court. Goffin will go into the match as the favourite and if he does come through will face either Andy Murray or Nick Kyrgios. A tough task to reach his first ever grand slam quarter final.
Goffin has lacked killer instinct at times in his career and has not been helped by his smaller build which can mean players just simply over power him. It was a point of improvement people thought was needed for Goffin after his run in Paris in 2012. He seems to have worked on this to some extent but it is still a limitation to his game. However he times the ball from the back of the court as well as anyone and is always a threat from the return. He plays an exciting brand of aggressive tennis and it does mean he always has a chance if he can hit a hot streak.
Will Goffin make the quarterfinal for the first time at a grand slam event this week? Probably not. An inform Andy Murray would be hard to stop but the task seems more possible now for David than ever before and his continual improvement is impressive. Even if Goffin doesn't manage to make a huge dent this week, his game, attitude and consistency is seeing him rise without signs of stopping. His focus will entirely be on his next game against Chardy, as viewers and fans we can all but wait to see how it unfolds.