Belgium beats Argentina to reach Davis Cup final
BRUSSELS (AP) — Steve Darcis sent Belgium into its first Davis Cup final for more than a century by beating Federico Delbonis on Sunday in the decisive fifth match against Argentina.
Darcis, who lost his opening singles match and was defeated in doubles on Saturday as Argentina built a 2-1 lead, finally grabbed a point with a 6-4, 2-6, 7-5, 7-6 (3) win in a deafening atmosphere at the Forest National.
Earlier, Belgium’s No. 1 player David Goffin defeated Diego Schwartzman to draw Belgium level.
Belgium reached its first final since 1904 and will play Britain in the Nov. 27-29 match. Argentina, which has never won the Davis Cup, was looking for a fifth final in the team competition.
Belgium will host Britain in the final from Nov. 27-29 in a repeat of their 1904 final when the Britons won 5-0 at Wimbledon.
Darcis and his teammates celebrated their 3-2 win with a lap of honor and thanked fans for their noisy support over the weekend.
“For our small country it’s pretty good. For me, it’s really big. I fight and I fight and this time I had the win,” said Darcis. “David Goffin played great, he gave me the chance to finish the job.”
Darcis had a 5-3 lead in the fourth set but showed some nerves at a crucial moment as he struggled with his serve. He allowed Delbonis to level at 5-5 after wasting a first match point with a forehand into the net and Delbonis canceled a second with a winner.
But Darcis found his best tennis in the tiebreaker. He jumped to a 5-1 lead and earned four match points with a super lob that delighted his supporters. Delbonis saved the first match point before Darcis sealed the match with a smash and fell on his back, with his teammates rushing to him as celebrations started.
“Inside it was so hard to stay calm,” Darcis said. “I was so tight when I had the first two match points but I played an amazing tiebreak. We said before it would be a very long weekend and that was the case.”
Earlier, Goffin had put the Belgians back on track by dispatching Diego Schwartzman 6-3, 6-2, 6-1 after hitting 38 winners and breaking six times.
Schwartzman replaced Argentina’s No.1 player Leonardo Mayer, who said he was too tired after winning Saturday’s doubles with Carlos Berlocq.