Davis Cup: Darcis & Goffin Power Belgium To 2-0 Edge; Delbonis Rallies From The Brink
BELGIUM 2, CANADA 0
Surface: Clay - Middelkerke, Belgium
The 31-year-old Darcis fired a total 49 winners, including 16 from his backhand wing, while converting on six of 15 break points during the two hour and 42-minute affair. The two players have known each other since their junior days, once sharing a dorm room at an event in England nearly 20 years ago. It was his 15th Davis Cup singles match victory and second of the year, having led the Belgians past Switzerland in the first round in March.
"It's always an honour to play Davis Cup for your country," said Darcis. "A lot of people were cheering for us, so it was a big moment.
"After the first set, I managed to change the tactics and came more to the net. I tried to be more aggressive and push him back. I made him move a lot and that was the plan today."
Without the services of stalwarts Milos Raonic and Vasek Pospisil, the Canadians turned to Peliwo to level the tie in his Davis Cup debut, but World No. 14 Goffin was too strong, converting on five of 16 break points, while saving six of seven.
Canada comes into the tie with a 1-0 head-to-head lead, courtesy of a 4-0 win earned on neutral English soil back in 1913. Belgium is bidding to reach the semi-finals for the first time since 1999, while Canada is shooting for a second trip to the semis since 2013, when it beat Spain and Italy before falling to Serbia.
ARGENTINA 2, SERBIA 0
Surface: Indoor Clay - Buenos Aires, Argentina
It did not take long for Argentina to claim an immediate edge in its Davis Cup quarter-final clash against Serbia. Juan Martin del Potro was on hand to cheer his comrades, as World No. 22 Leonardo Mayer routed Filip Krajinovic 6-4, 6-2, 6-1 in one hour and 38 minutes, firing 12 aces and 39 total winners. Mayer won 92 per cent (34/37) points on his first serve, staving off the lone break point faced.
With Novak Djokovic not making the trip to Tecnopolis, the Serbians looked to 2010 Davis Cup hero Viktor Troicki to stem the tide in Friday's second singles rubber, but former World No. 34 Federico Delbonis had other ideas. The 24 year old stormed back to defeat Troicki from two sets down, 2-6, 2-6, 6-4, 6-4, 6-2 in three hours and 27 minutes, giving Argentina a commanding 2-0 lead. It was the first five-set win of Delbonis' career, having gone the distance against Nick Kyrgios at the 2015 Australian Open and against countryman Juan Monaco at Roland Garros.
Serbia will hope Dusan Lajovic and Nenad Zimonjic can keep the tie alive with a doubles victory on Saturday. They are looking to avenge their 2011 loss at the hands of the Argentines. A battle of two consistent tennis powers, the hosts could reach a 10th World Group semi-final since 2002 with a win, while the visitors have joined the final four three times in the past five years.