Team Moldova went down 0-3 against Belgium in their first ATP Cup tie, and they are set to face Bulgaria next. However, despite the bitter start and a clumsy national anthem gaffe at the beginning of the series, the Moldovans remain positive about the experience, much of it on behalf of their second racket, 24-year-old Alexander Cozbinov.
The World No. 818 has played his first-ever ATP Tour-level match at the inaugural team event, losing to former Top-40 Steve Darcis in three hard-fought sets. Despite the outcome of the confrontation, Cozbinov has shown that he is using the event to measure his game to that of the world’s best players—and he isn’t too far behind them.
“It’s important what he realises, what experience he takes, and just to understand that tennis is a sport that you can beat anybody,” first-ranked Moldovan Radu Albot said, as reported by ATPTour.com. “It doesn’t matter the ranking, it doesn’t matter the age, you just need to go there, work, give your best and hopefully it will work”.
Albot, current 46th best player in the ATP singles rankings, later marred Moldova’s chances of a comeback by bowing out to David Goffin 6-4, 6-1, but it didn’t stop him from expressing positivity about his teammates’ experience.
“I think it’s important to believe all the time that you could win. That was my advice at the beginning, just to keep fighting and playing because the game style of his opponent is not a killing game style and you can always create opportunities for yourself,” Albot added.
“I’m happy that he did well. He could win that match, and this would be any better. But what could you do? Tennis is like this. There were chances, chances were not taken, and that’s it”.