News & Media

Goffin piles pressure on Germany

5 January 2018, by AAP

Team Belgium will attempt to steal a Mastercard Hopman Cup 2018 final place, having secured a commanding triumph over Team Canada in the singles.

Elise Mertens began Friday with a 6-4 6-4 victory against Eugenie Bouchard, before unbeaten world No.7 David Goffin wrapped up the tie with a 6-2 6-4 scoreline facing Vasek Pospisil.

However, Belgium’s hopes of reaching the silverware showdown by topping Group A are out of the nation’s hands.

If Germany beat Australia tonight, they will finish top and will tackle Team Switzerland’s pairing of Roger Federer and Belinda Bencic.

“It was very hard, it was my first day session match and it was so hot,” said Goffin. “I’m very happy how I managed the conditions and played a very good match. We’ve done our job and we’ll watch tonight. Hopefully Australia can help us and win their match.”

Should Belgium sneak into the final, Goffin will vie in the singles against Roger Federer. “Who?” joked the 27-year-old. “He’s probably relaxing right now. Belinda (Bencic) is also playing really well, so it would be tough.”

Goffin struck an early 2-1 break lead at a blazing hot Perth Arena with a sumptuous drop shot, but was reigned back in by world No.109 Pospisil, who angled a smart forehand cross court forehand winner to level the scores.

However, Goffin struck a piercing backhand winner over the net post from out wide as the catalyst for a pivotal break. The Belgian maintained his exemplary recent form to close out the set.

Pospisil kept testing the world No.7, but Goffin stole the break lead at 2-2, prevailing in a lung-bursting rally to crack the resistance of the Canadian.

A sixth ace of the contest finished the task to propel Belgium into contention for Saturday’s final.

Earlier, Elise Mertens earned Belgium the lead, defeating former world No.5 Bouchard in straight sets.“It was a tough battle, we both fought to the end,” said Mertens, following a second singles victory at Perth Arena. “It was a good performance, I hope everyone enjoyed it, because I did.

“I’ve played three matches so far, it’s really great preparation going to back to Hobart.”

Bouchard required treatment on her back during the second set, with Mertens wrapping up the win in 85 minutes.

Maddison Inglis replaced Bouchard for the mixed doubles and the Perth local joined forces to represent Team Canada with Pospisil in a highly entertaining 3-4(3) 4-3(2) 4-3(4) win to deny a Belgium clean sweep.