These two francophones have already met 3 times. Jérémy Chardy won their first match (Roland Garros in 2015), while David Goffin took his revenge in 2019 at Wimbledon and at the Australian Open in 2020.
So this will be the first time they will compete in a tournament that is not a Grand Slam.
This is David Goffin’s eighth time at the Rotterdam tournament. He reaches the second round for the third time, and his best performance is a final in 2017. He didn’t make it past this step last season.
For his part, Jeremy Chardy is playing this ATP 500 for the fourth time in his career. This is the third time he has reached the second round and he has never been able to go further.
In this edition
In his first match, David Goffin defeated Jan-Lennard Struff (6-4 6-0).
As for Jeremy Chardy, he managed to get out of qualifying after victories over Griekspoor and Hoang. The Frenchman then defeated another compatriot in the first round: Ugo Humbert. A victory in 3 sets including two tie-breaks won.
I don’t really have any doubts about David Goffin and his ability to come out on top in this match. And his entry in this Rotterdam tournament confirmed that he didn’t come here just to pick up the first round paycheck.
David Goffin enters this ATP 500 with great confidence. This trophy in Montpellier did him good. To tell the truth, I hope that he passes this round to see what he could give against Andy Rublev, Karen Khachanov or Stefanos Tsitsipas (who are in his part of the table).
For the moment, Jeremy Chardy has always fallen through the cracks (he has dropped a set in each of his matches in Rotterdam, including the qualifiers). He seems to be physically in the cleat, and this can be seen in his shots. If the Frenchman manages to play such aggressive tennis, David Goffin will have to throw some heavy stuff in front of him (and be careful not to get punished too much on his second balls).
Where I think the Belgian should take the upper hand is on the backhand side where Jeremy Chardy is really weak. The Frenchman is indeed very dependent on his forehand. His backhand is much less dangerous and that should allow David Goffin to create some break opportunities. 2-3 steps inside the court and an offensive shot on the Frenchman’s backhand side, and that’s it. Easy, isn’t it?
More seriously, I have a real point of attention on the fact that Jeremy Chardy has the ability to get David Goffin into one or more tie-breaks. And if that happens, I’m worried about the Belgian, because the Frenchman has been a killer in this area since the beginning of the season. Indeed, Jeremy Chardy played 8 tie-breaks in 2021 and lost only one (against Fabio Fognini in Antalya on January 10). In comparison, David Goffin has had to play two since the beginning of the season, and he has won one.
So David Goffin may need to get the job done before he gets to a tiebreaker. Compared to the tennis he’s been playing these past few days and his current confidence, he’s quite capable of it. Be careful though, because this 2021 edition of the ATP 500 in Rotterdam is quite surprising.
Prediction: David Goffin wins