Goffin, Darcis heroic for Belgians, who will visit France in Davis Cup final

Unsurprisingly, the Belgium vs. Australia Davis Cup World Group semifinal tie went down to the wire. Even less surprisingly, Steve Darcis played the role of clinching hero.

Darcis and David Goffin picked up singles victories at home in Brussels to lead their side past Australia and into the 2017 Davis Cup final. After Goffin’s amazing performance in a 6-7(4), 6-4, 6-4, 6-4 defeat of Nick Kyrgios, Darcis took down Jordan Thompson 6-4, 7-5, 6-2 in the decisive fifth rubber.

Following a split of the first two singles matches on Friday and a win for the Aussies in doubles, Goffin needed to get the best of a huge showdown against Kyrgios in order to keep the host nation alive. To say the world No. 12 delivered would be a gross understatement. In the serving performance of his life, Goffin fired 20 aces without double-faulting and he finished with 39 winners to just 24 unforced errors.

“This was probably the best match I’ve ever played in Davis Cup,” said Goffin, who is 15-1 in his last 16 Davis Cup singles rubbers. “The serve was the key today. It was probably the best match I’ve served in my career. So many aces, high first serve percentage, and to finish in the last game with two or three aces….”

“It was too good by him today,” Kyrgios admitted. “He was too good. He played better as a whole. He served unbelievably today. When he’s playing at that level, he’s one of the best in the world.”

Darcis has never been near the top of the world rankings like his more heralded countryman, but he is nothing short of a Davis Cup legend. The 33-year-old has now won 24 matches–23 in singles–during his illustrious career in this team competition (compared to only eight losses). He also won the fifth rubber in the 2015 semifinals against Argentina and in this year’s opening round he led Belgium past Germany by beating both Philipp Kohlschreiber and Alexander Zverev. Darcis, who pushed Kyrgios to five sets on Friday, had no trouble disposing of Thompson in two hours and 22 minutes for the clincher against Australia.

“It’s the final we all dream about,” the world No. 77 said of the upcoming Belgium-France battle. “We were speaking [with the French players] about this a few weeks ago and we said it would be so good if we could play against you guys, and I think they feel the same. It’s going to be amazing for us to be again in the final, hopefully this time we can take it home.”

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