David Goffin of Belgium hits a forehand return throughout his males’s singles match in opposition to Radu Albot of Moldova on the ATP Cup tennis event in Sydney on January 3, 2020. William WEST / AFP
World quantity 11 David Goffin mentioned he was “very motivated” after getting his season off to a successful begin Friday on the ATP Cup in Sydney, which was marred by a nationwide anthem gaffe by organisers.
Belgium’s prime participant led his group to a win over Group C rivals Moldova on the inaugural 24-nation occasion that can also be being performed in Brisbane and Perth.
He cruised previous an error-laden Radu Albot 6-4, 6-1, hardly ever threatened by the world quantity 46 who broke new floor in 2019 by turning into his nation’s first ATP Tour title winner at Delray Beach.
“I was very good intensity, good energy, good attitude. That made the difference,” mentioned Goffin, who made two ATP Tour finals final yr at Halle and Cincinnati.
“I’m very motivated, happy to start the year with new ambitions, so maybe that’s why today was a very good match.”
“It’s never easy to start the season with the first match, first team competition, the new format, with the team on the bench. And the way I played, I’m very pleased and so it’s good for the next tie.”
The ATP Cup, which permits on-court teaching, has 24 nations break up into six teams throughout the three cities, with eight groups rising from the round-robin to compete in a knockout section in Sydney till one nation is left standing.
Under the format, the second-ranked singles gamers from every group face one another first earlier than the highest gamers take to the court docket, adopted by a doubles.
Belgium’s Steve Darcis earlier scrapped previous Alexander Cozbinov 6-4, 6-7 (4/7), 7-5 at hand his nation an ideal begin, with the match marred by the Romanian anthem being performed beforehand as a substitute of Moldova.
“We are sincerely sorry and have apologised personally to Team Moldova,” the ATP mentioned.
Cozbinov, ranked 818 and who had by no means performed an ATP Tour match earlier than, insisted it was “not a big deal”.
“But it wasn’t that hard to pick the right anthem,” he instructed AFP. “Moldova and Romania have the same flag so probably that’s why they made a mistake. Hopefully next time it’s going to be the right one.”
The Tim Henman-skippered Britain, minus the injured Andy Murray, tackle Bulgaria within the second Group C tie later Friday, with Grigor Dimitrov performing as playing-captain of his nation.