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By Richard Pagliaro | Saturday, February 17, 2018

David Goffin

Grigor Dimitrov led David Goffin, 6-3, 0-1, when the Belgian suffered a freak left eye injury that forced him to retire from the Rotterdam semifinals.

Photo credit: @TennisTV

A pulsating Rotterdam semifinal came to a painful end.

David Goffin suffered a freak injury when a ball ricocheted into his left eye forcing him to retire from a riveting semifinal with Grigor Dimitrov leading, 6-3, 0-1.

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The unfortunate end sent the second-seeded Dimitrov into tomorrow's ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament final against either new world No. 1 Roger Federer or veteran Andreas Seppi.

In the second game of the second set, Goffin was lunging for a backhand volley when the ball ricocheted off the frame of his Wilson racquet and struck him in the left eye.

The Belgian dropped his racquet in pain and fell to a squat covering his eye with his hands as Dimitrov ran around the net post to help his fallen opponent to his chair.

The tournament trainer came out on court to examine Goffin’s reddened left eye, which was beginning to swell when Goffin was escorted off the court for a medical timeout.

After about a five minute treatment, Goffin did not return to court.

Chair umpire Gianluca Moscarella announced the retirement after 61 minutes of dynamic tennis.

“Ladies and gentlemen, due to injury Mr. Goffin cannot continue to play, game, set and match Dimitrov,” Moscarella said.

It is the second time in a year Goffin has suffered a freak injury in a high-profile match.

Last June, Goffin's Roland Garros ended in a most painful fashion.

Two points from winning the first set against Horacio Zeballos, Goffin was sprinting behind the court, when his right foot stuck in the tarp and he tumbled to the court injuring his right ankle.

That injury forced him to miss Wimbledon.

Still, Goffin recovered and became the first Belgian man to qualify for the Nitto ATP Finals where he knocked off Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer en route to the championship match bowing to Dimitrov in three wildly entertaining sets.

Quick court coverage and eye-popping strikes on the run made for some magical rallies in today's rematch.

Gliding all over the court, Dimitrov drilled a forehand down the line for break point in the fourth game. Goffin missed the mark with his signature shot, the backhand down the line, as Dimitrov broke for 3-1 after 19 minutes.

The Bulgarian bolted a forehand swing volley that helped him back up the break in the fifth game. Goffin pumped his second ace down the middle capping a love hold for 2-4.

Midway through the set, the quality of all-court exchanges spiked again.

Dimitrov fended off a pair of break points holding in the seventh game. A creative Goffin withstood service pressure sliding another game-ending ace for 3-5 after 37 minutes.

Racing out to a triple-set point lead, Dimitrov was on course for a routine hold to wrap up the set, but dumped three errors in a row inciting a near 11-minute grinding game.

Dimitrov denied four break points before drilling successive aces to close a quality 50-minute set in style.


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