ATP Cup: 'very motivated' Goffin while Belgium makes a winning start

SYDNEY: world number 11 David Goffin He said he was very motivated after his season began successfully on Friday at the ATP Cup in Sydney, which was spoiled by a national anthem by the organizers.

The best player in Belgium led his team to a clean 3-0 sweep over rivals from Group C Moldova in the inaugural 24-nation event that is also played in Brisbane and Perth.

From Bulgaria Grigor Dimitrov He narrowly avoided being defeated by Briton Dan Evans in the same group, with the former world number three in a set to win 2-6, 6-4, 6-1.

Goffin passed a Radu Albot loaded with errors 6-4, 6-1, rarely threatened by world number 46 that opened new paths in 2019 by becoming the first winner of his country's ATP Tour title in Delray Beach.

He had very good intensity, good energy, good attitude. That made a difference, said Goffin, who reached two ATP Tour finals last year 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 game.

It is never easy to start the season with the first game, the competition of the first team, the new format, with the team on the bench. And because of the way I played, I'm very happy and it's good for the next draw.

The ATP Cup , which allows on-court coaching, has 24 nations split into six groups across the three cities, with eight teams emerging from the round-robin to compete in a knockout phase in Sydney until one country is left standing.

Depending on the format, the second individual players of each team face first before the best players arrive on the court, followed by a double.

From Belgium Steve Darcis He previously beat Alexander Cozbinov 6-4, 6-7 (4/7), 7-5 to give his country a perfect start, with the match spoiled by the Romanian anthem that was played beforehand instead of Moldova.

We are sincerely sorry and we have personally apologized to Team Moldova, said the ATP.

Cozbinov, ranked 818 and had never played an ATP Tour game before, insisted it was no big deal.

But it was not so difficult to choose the right anthem, he told AFP. Moldova and Romania have the same flag, so that's probably why they made a mistake. Hopefully next time is the right one.

Britain, led by Tim Henman, looked for a good road against Bulgaria after Cameron Norrie , who entered the top 50 last year, surpassed Dimitar Kuzmanov in three sets and then Dan Evans ran to a set lead over Dimitrov in the single seconds.

But Dimitrov, whose ranking collapsed last year while fighting with a shoulder injury, never gave up and finally found his rhythm to crush his opponent and take the hard-fought victory.