GHENT, Belgium (Reuters) - David Goffin recovered from a two-set deficit for the first time in his career to give Belgium a 1-0 lead in the Davis Cup final against Britain when he beat debutant Kyle Edmund 3-6 1-6 6-2 6-1 6-0 in Ghent on Friday.
The world number 16 looked rigid with nerves in the opening two sets as 20-year-old Edmund, a surprise late choice for Britain’s second singles spot, romped in front with some destructive baseline power.
But the Belgian’s greater experience finally began to tell as Edmund’s gung-ho game started to crumble.
Goffin broke serve in the third game of the third set and the momentum quickly shifted his way.
Another two breaks helped him take the third set and with the spring back in his legs and his arms released from the straightjacket he found his rhythm and dominated thereafter.
A delay to fix the net on the claycourt at the Flanders Expo slowed his charge for a while but Edmund’s challenge wilted and it was one-way traffic in the deciding set which was over in 25 minutes.
World number two Andy Murray will look to level the tie later on Friday when he faces Ruben Bemelmans.
Belgium have never won the Davis Cup and are appearing in the final for the first time since 1904 when they lost to Britain.
Reporting by Martyn Herman; editing by Toby Davis