Davis Cup - Goodall defeat sees Britain miss out
Josh Goodall failed to produce the heroics required to keep Great Britain in their Davis Cup Europe/Africa Zone Group I tie against Belgium as David Goffin produced a measured display to win 6-4 6-4 6-4 at the Braehead Arena in Glasgow.
Goodall's defeat rendered the final reverse rubber between Dan Evans and Steve Darcis redundant, but Darcis won 6-4 6-4 to give Belgium a 4-1 victory that means that Britain miss out on the chance of a play-off to enter the World Group.
Britain had big hopes of turning the tie around with the news that Olivier Rochus had been forced to withdraw from playing Goodall through injury. It meant that the lesser ranked Goffin had to play his first ever Davis Cup singles match in a hostile atmosphere but the Belgian, ranked 112 in the world, showed few signs of nerves to wrap up a deserved straight sets victory.
Goodall started nervously despite vociferous home support with Goffin settling quickly into his rhythm to break the Briton's serve in the third game with a big forehand winner that characterised his game throughout the match.
The solitary break proved enough to give the Belgian the opening set and it was a similar story in the second, Goffin's more consistent groundstrokes and unforced errors from the Briton proving the difference between the players.
The home player raised his game to trouble the Belgian in the third set and provide hope of a miracle comeback, cancelling out a break of serve in the fourth game to get back on level terms.
A mammoth fifth game in the third set saw Goffin squander no fewer than six break point chances as Goodall bravely held on. It looked like a possible momentum shift but the Belgian was not to be denied, breaking at his next opportunity with another typical forehand winner.
The result gives GB captain Leon Smith his first taste of defeat in a tie that could have been so different had it not been for the absence of Andy Murray and the late withdrawal of James Ward due to a back injury.