As a junior he won the Australian Championships Boys' Singles title in 1964.
Goven reached the semi-finals in both singles and doubles (partnering François Jauffret) at the 1970 French Open.
He notably defeated Ilie Năstase (then World No. 7) in Paris in September 1977 with the help of the Spaghetti racket, and Vitas Gerulaitis (then World No. 5) in Florence in May 1983.
After retirement he has coached such players as Nicolas Escudé, Nathalie Dechy and Tatiana Golovin. Currently, he is the captain of the France Fed Cup team since 2005 (he replaced to his compatriot and former player Guy Forget) and was the Davis Cup team captain from 1993–1994.
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