By John Delong
For David Goffin, the streak continues. For Jurgen Melzer, the reign as defending Winston-Salem Open champion has come to an end.
That was story on Monday afternoon on Center Court as Goffin rolled to a 6-3, 6-4 victory in a first-round match.
Goffin extended his winning streak to 23 straight matches – counting three Challenger titles and an ATP World Tour title in Kitzbuhel, Austria in the past month – with a near-flawless display.
The 25-year-old Belgian, who won two matches in qualifying to make it into the Main Draw, was in control throughout. He got early breaks in both sets and was never broken, saving six break points along the way.
“That’s unbelievable,” Goffin said of the winning streak. “At the beginning of summer, I wouldn’t expect this but I won three Challengers and then I won an ATP 250 and now here, so I am happy with the way I am playing at the moment, and I want it. What can I say?”
Melzer, who was 3-0 against Goffin previously with a four-set win in the first round at Roland Garros in May, said that Goffin is playing with immense confidence.
“The word losing is not in his vocabulary at the moment,” Melzer said. “You can see it in the important points. If he’s down 15-30, he always comes up with a good serve. I think he aced me three or four times at 15-30. And he’s not a big server. He just has the confidence to go at the lines at the moment. Tennis is a lot about confidence and that’s what he has.”
The win moved Goffin into second-round action against fourth-seeded Leonardo Mayer in the second round on Tuesday.
Goffin raced to a 3-0 lead in the first set and then served out the set with little problem. He then broke Melzer in the first game of the second set and had all he would need to win in straight sets.
“It’s always tough to play from behind,” Melzer said. “Especially in the beginning at 40-15 in the first service game and he breaks right away. With a guy that has as much confidence as him at the moment, it’s just tough to get back. I felt like I had enough chances to turn the match around, but if you look at it overall, he was the better player.”
Melzer has now lost in the first round of five straight tournaments, as he continues to try to regain form after toe surgery earlier this summer.
“It’s a disappointing loss,” he said. “Let’s say I’m not at the level I want to be at. It’s just hard work to put in to get there. The most important thing is to win a match now, and hopefully I can get that at the US Open.”
Goffin, who is attempting to repeat the success of Julien Benneteau, who went all the way from the qualies to the finals of the inaugural 2011 WSO, was playing his third match in three days after beating Adam Lee and Jason Jung in qualifying.
“The condition was tough today with the humidity, and it was a really tough match,” he said. “But I played really well. He didn’t break me the whole match so it was a great match, really solid from beginning to end.”
Goffin, who came in at No. 62 in the latest ATP World Tour rankings released on Monday, has never faced Mayer, currently ranked No. 26.
“He has played well this summer,” Goffin said. “He won at Hamburg. I think he has a good game. So it is going to be a tough match. But I’m happy to be playing in it.”
In other early matches on Monday, Jerzy Janowicz defeated Carlos Berlocq 6-1, 6-4; Federico Delbonis beat Martin Klizan 7-6 (5), 6-4; Igor Sijsling beat Andrey Golubev 7-6 (5), 6-3; Paul-Henri Mathieu beat Robby Ginepri 6-3, 7-5; Aleksandr Nedovyesov beat Marcos Giron 6-4, 6-4; and Adrian Mannarino beat Damir Dzumhur 6-2, 6-2.