Editor's Note: This report was updated to reflect Spain's victory in the tie. Learn more about how it happened.
David Goffin handed World No. 1 Rafael Nadal his first loss of the ATP Cup on Friday night. The World No. 11 beat Nadal for only the second time in their six-match head-to-head series 6-4, 7-6(3), swinging freely and taking the ball early to stay on the attack against the Spaniard.
But Nadal returned to Ken Rosewall Arena for the deciding doubles match, partnering Pablo Carreno Busta past Belgians Sander Gille and Joran Vliegen 6-7(7), 7-5, 10-7, to send Spain to the semi-finals, where they will face Australia Saturday evening.
Highlights: Goffin Stuns Nadal
“I have to take the ball early to use the power of Rafa to play fast, to make him run a lot,” Goffin said. “Rafa today couldn't play like two or three forehand in a row and make me run. Because as soon as he has time, he dictates. Even with the forehand or backhand, I'm dead. Because if I run, I'm dead against him.”
The Belgian saved his best for the tie-break as he held serve throughout, and Nadal dropped two points on serve, including at 2/5 when he double faulted to give Goffin four match points.
It's only the second time the Spaniard has lost in singles while playing for Spain (excluding Olympics). Nadal had won 32 straight until Friday (32-2).
Nadal went 3-0 in Group B play in Perth before heading to Sydney for the Final Eight, but his wins weren't without their challenges as Japan's No. 1 singles player Yoshihito Nishioka pushed Nadal in two tight sets on Wednesday. After that, despite the tie victory being secured, Nadal opted for more match time and won his lone ATP Cup doubles match with Carreno Busta.