Back in November David Goffin turned up to London as an alternate at the World Tour Finals. It pays to hang around and that is what he did as he got to play at the O2 and after his brief encounter with the tour finals I wrote a piece saying he’s had a taster and this year he needs to press on and he has.
I have been meaning to write this piece for quite a while as over the clay court season he has been exceptional and the performance against Novak topped it off but not only was the performance bloody brilliant but you can see the improvements in his game compared to 6 months ago.
The aspect of his game I want to pick out is the backhand. It was never a backhand which made you think this would cause me danger it was all about his forehand but the key there is the word ‘was’.
Above we have a still of two backhands six months apart and those little changes have helped make it a massive shot for Goffin making him more dangerous.
1. Footwork. The footwork is pretty much the same with the right foot holding the weight but instead of being one behind the other which leaves you a bit wobbly he has changed it to have his foot planted and leaning into the backhand with body weight.
2. Lean of the body. The body has much more impact on the backhand now as his body is more tense and is a big factor in the improvement of the backhand.
3. Racket head. This is the most important improvement to his game. Look at the backhand at the O2 in London. It’s what I would call a training backhand it isn’t asking much but because of the lack of follow through on the racket head he’s hitting the ball with the middle of the racket so isn’t focusing the racket to maximum effect.
Roll on to Rome and this is where it gets better! Goffin is hitting the ball towards the corner of the racket hitting a low backhand with power instead of a powerful short backhand and you can see the difference in the follow through with Goffin focusing his backhand to hit the ball and direct cross court and end the rally.
The improvement deserves credit and his results have been very good, London is a possibility in November but he has his eyes set on a title in Paris and I wouldn’t completely rule it out!