ATP Cup 2020: Nadal loses but Spain still advance to semi-finals
Despite Rafael Nadal's straight-set loss to Belgium's David Goffin, Spain advanced to the semi-finals of the inaugural ATP Cup where they will face the home-favourites, Australia. Nadal was well below his best, nevertheless, the combined efforts of the Spanish side was enough to see them edge Belgium 2-1.
Spain is the most successful team in the history of the Davis Cup with six titles. Their most recent triumph came in December where Nadal lead them to yet another title, to once again demonstrate that they have been the nation with the greatest depth of talent over the last decade.
Going into the tie, Spain were heavy favourites to beat Belgium, who were one of the weaker teams to feature in the quarter-finals. Things began as one might expect, with Bautista-Agut breaking Kimmer Coppejan's serve 4 times before going onto win the tie 6-1 6-4.
With this victory, Spain had the advantage over Belgium going into world number one Nadal's match against Goffin. Before the match began, it looked as though Spain would win comfortably.
Goffin had other ideas, however, and played an awe-inspiring match of tennis. Neither man could take real control of the match and both sets featured each player breaking one another at least once.
Nevertheless, Goffin managed to win the tie in two straight sets, including an intense tie-break in the second and as a result levelled the scores at 1-1. Going into the doubles it felt as though Belgium had Spain against the ropes, especially after they managed to take a 1 set lead.
Spain rallied, however, taking the next two sets to edge Belgium and ultimately win the tie. They will now face Australia in the semi-finals and one feels that given how much they struggled against Belgium, they will need to seriously up the ante if they have any chance of defeating this tougher opposition.Published 10 Jan 2020, 20:07 IST