David Goffin didn't have too much time to rest after a great run he has had in London where he reached the ATP Finals title match, and it was uncertain will he recover in time to give his best in Davis Cup final against France at Stade Pierre Mauroy in Lille.
It is so far so good for the world number 7 judging by his performance in the opening rubber against Lucas Pouille, as he toppled the home player by 7-5 6-3 6-1 in an hour and 59 minutes to send his country in front. David did just about everything right on the court, controlling the pace with his solid groundstrokes and firing 12 aces to keep his serve intact, never facing a break point in the entire match.
This was the 20th Davis Cup singles win in 23 matches for Rocourt native and we will see how important it was, as Belgium seek its first Davis Cup title, losing the previous 2 finals they played. Lucas relied on the home crowd and the fact he won the previous 3 matches against David (all played in 2016) but he could stay in touch with his rival only in the opening 10 games, fading from the court in the rest of the match.
Frenchman served at 56% and he managed to hit just 6 aces, needing much more to at least shake off the pressure from his serve a little bit. He also made too many errors, struggling to stay in touch with his rival from the baseline and to open the court for an easy execution.
On the other hand, Goffin lost just 17 points in his games, placing the first serve marvelously and letting Pouille reach just 1 deuce on the return, which gave him the edge to attack in the return games and keep the pressure on Lucas.
He moved his player around the court with deep and precise groundstrokes, finding good angles and attacking in the right moments to outplay his rival completely. Nothing could separate the rivals in the first 10 games, they both served well and there was just 1 deuce on Goffin's serve.
Just when it seemed that the tie break was inevitable, David scored a break in game 11 to gain the lead, and he closed the set with a hold at love a few minutes later, which was a real game changer. The match was still very young but Lucas just lost his ground, facing 6 break points in his opening 2 service games of the second set, and Goffin broke him in the first game to gain the full control over the scoreboard.
Belgian served better and better as the set progressed and he clinched the second set with another break in game 9, marching towards the finish line and the first point for his country. There was only one player on the court in set number 3, David used his momentum to bring the win home in under 2 hours, breaking Lucas in games 2 and 6 for a commanding win, his 5th in singles in this year's Davis Cup campaign.
In the second rubber, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga takes upon Steve Darcis. 1st rubber result: