Goodall defeat seals Davis Cup loss for Great Britain
Great Britain missed out on a place in the Davis Cup World Group play-offs after Belgium secured victory on Sunday in their Europe/Africa Zone Group I tie.
A play-off place was at stake for the victors at the Braehead Arena in Glasgow, but Britain needed to win both singles rubbers. Victory in the doubles on Saturday had maintained life in the tie, but world No. 253 Josh Goodall had to beat David Goffin to take it to the fifth and final rubber.
The Belgian team had been rocked on Sunday morning when a quad injury ruled out Olivier Rochus. As a result, the less experienced world No. 112 Goffin stepped in and performed admirably in a 6-4 6-4 6-4 victory.
Both players had been on a good run of form in recent times, with Goffin triumphant in an ATP Challenger event in Guadalupe last week, while Goodall tasted success in Switzerland. However, when paired on the same court there was a gulf in quality between them.
Goffin broke as early as the third game in Glasgow, setting a pattern for the match as he repeated the trick in the next two sets. A netted forehand from Goodall then gifted his rival the opening set, and it was a position from which he never looked able to recover.
The Brit saved break point in the first game of the second but a fine forehand winner down the line saw Goffin penetrate serve at the next time of asking. Goodall had a chance to break back late in the stanza, but Goffin eventually moved to a 2-0 lead when converting his fifth set point.
The third-game curse struck again as Goodall handed control to his rival once more, although on this occasion he did immediately break back. The problem was that Goffin was able to consistently target the Goodall backhand, and he eventually made another match-sealing breakthrough despite Goodall saving five break points in the fifth game.
In the final rubber, Dan Evans was beaten 6-4 6-4 by Steve Darcis.