David Goffin has become the first Belgian to enter the top 10 in the ATP rankings.
The 26-year-old secured a career-high ranking of No. 10 by defeating Pierre-Hugues Hebert in the semifinals of Rotterdam, accomplishing a goal he has had for some years.
Not that he was immediately aware of it. "Really, I didn't know," he told the media at the tournament. "It was the speaker who announced it when I left the court.
“I was super-happy, because since 2014, I have always finished in the top 20,” he added. “But to be in the top 10, there is no room for errors."
He and Herbert nevertheless shared a warm embrace at net following the three-set encounter. "It was a special match, because Pierre-Hugues is a friend," said Goffin, who fell to Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the final.
Goffin first reached the No. 11 ranking eight months ago and has spent several weeks on the cusp of the top 10. And he didn't need to count points to know he had a real shot at finally getting there, having also reached the final in Sofia a week ago and the quarterfinals of the Australian Open.
"Of course I knew I was around there, but I did not want to do all the calculations because otherwise I would have thought of nothing else but that," he said.
Goffin also defeated the surging Grigor Dimitrov in the quarterfinals.