Leonardo Mayer has defeated Steve Darcis in four sets and almost four hours to draw Argentina level with Belgium at 1-1 in their Davis Cup World Group semi-final on Friday, after David Goffin had put the hosts ahead.
Goffin defeated Federico Delbonis 7-5 7-6 (7-3) 6-3 in the first singles match before Mayer used his big serve to come out on top against Darcis 7-6 (7-5) 7-6 (7-1) 4-6 6-3.
The 15th-ranked Goffin failed to convert three match points on Delbonis’ serve but sealed the match with an ace in the next game to improve his Davis Cup record to 10-3.
Goffin prevailed on key points on the indoor hard court at Forest National while Delbonis was punished for his inconsistent display, which featured 48 unforced errors.
“It was a tough one but the atmosphere is always amazing here in Brussels,” said Goffin, who made back-to-back winners from 5-3 ahead in the tiebreaker to move into a two-set lead. “Always when I was break up he was playing so good and was really aggressive … It’s just the perfect start.”
In the second match, Mayer served 24 aces to just one for Darcis.
Belgium’s last appearance in the semi-finals ended with a 4-1 loss against France in 1999. The hosts last qualified for the final as far back as 1904.
Argentina is also looking for a first victory in the competition, having finished runner-up four times.
In Saturday’s doubles, Rubens Bemelmans and Kimmer Coppejans are set to team up against Carlos Berlocq and Diego Schwartzman.
The winners will play either Great Britain or Australia, who are also tied at 1-1 after day one of their semi-final in Glasgow.