SYDNEY – David Goffin claimed an upset victory over world number one Rafael Nadal on Friday in Sydney to keep Belgium alive in their quarter-final clash at the inaugural ATP Cup team event.
Goffin, ranked 11 in the world, proved to be one of the few players who can handle Nadal's heavy spin, which he did with aplomb on both the return of serve and in general baseline play, to claim a 6-4 7-6 (3) victory.
The tie will now be decided by a high-stakes doubles match, after Spain claimed the opening singles early in the evening when Roberto Bautista Agut defeated Kimmer Coppejans 6-1 6-4.
The winners of the deciding doubles will play Australia in Saturday's semi-final, while Serbia, led by world number two Novak Djokovic, take on Russia.
In the day session Serbia's Novak Djokovic battled through a stirring challenge from rising Canadian star Denis Shapovalov to propel his country into the semi-finals with a 4-6 6-1 7-6 (4) victory.
It was Djokovic's fifth victory over the 20-year-old Canadian in as many clashes but by far the toughest, after Shapovalov controlled significant portions of the match played in Australia's intense summer heat.