After losing six consecutive World Group Play-off ties, Colombia got a chance to play Davis Cup Qualifiers this year and used it with both hands, scoring a 4-0 win over Sweden in Bogota for the most significant result in their Davis Cup history.
Santiago Giraldo and Daniel Elahi Galan scored commanding wins over Elias and Mikael Ymer on Friday and it was all over when Juan-Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah defeated Markus Eriksson and Robert Lindstedt 6-3, 6-4 in today's doubles rubber to seal the deal for the host nation.
The Colombian pair played better on the second serve and they lost serve only once, securing three on the other side to bring the win home in straight sets and gain the Madrid ticket for their country. In the dead singles rubber, Alejandro Gonzalez proved to be too strong for Mikael Ymer, claiming a 6-3, 6-3 win for a final 4-0 result.
The other South American team failed to do the same in front of the home fans, with Brazil losing to 2015 and 2017 finalists Belgium 3-1 in Uberlandia. Competing without David Goffin, Steve Darcis and Ruben Bemelmans, the Belgians barely stood any chance against the solid host team but they managed to deliver their best tennis and send Belgium into the finals stage where they will fight for the title with other 17 nations at the end of November.
Kimmer Coppejans leveled the score at 1-1 on Friday and things started to look serious when Sander Gille and Joran Vliegen (they fought well against Ryan Harrison and Jack Sock against the USA last year) stunned Bruno Soares and Marcelo Melo 6-4, 7-6 to send Belgium 2-1 in front.
This was only the fifth loss in 22 Davis Cup doubles matches for Melo who also lost the match against the Belgians with Marcelo Melo back in 2016. In the battle of the coevals, Kimmer Coppejans ousted Thiago Monteiro 6-3, 6-4 in an hour and 26 minutes to deliver the pivotal point for Belgium, fending off eight out of nine break points and converting all three chances on the return for one of his most notable wins ever.
It was a slow start from both players, with six break points in the first four games and three straight breaks, two from Kimmer who opened up a lead that he kept until the end of the set with three easy holds for a 6-3.
Coppejans saved five break points in the fourth game of the second set and he earned a break in the very next game, moving 3-2 up and dropping just two points in the last three service games to seal the deal and push Belgium over the top. Saturday's results:
Colombia vs Sweden (Bogota, Indoor Clay) 4-0
Juan-Sebastian Cabal / Robert Farah vs Markus Eriksson / Robert Lindstedt 6-3 6-4
Alejsandro Gonzalez vs Elias Ymer 6-3 6-3
Brazil vs Belgium (Uberlandia, Indoor Clay) 1-3
Marcelo Melo / Bruno Soares vs Sander Gille / Joran Vliegen 4-6 6-7(4)
Thiago Monteiro vs Kimmer Coppejans 3-6 4-6