Both of Belgium's top tennis players, David Goffin and Elise Mertens, were knocked out of the race for singles titles in the Australian Open in Melbourne over the weekend.
Elise Mertens, ranked 17 in the Women's Tennis Association (WTA) and number one in women's tennis in Belgium, lost out to Romania's Simona Halep on Saturday in straight sets.
Halep, ranked 3rd in the WTA and seeded fourth in Melbourne's grand slam, beat Mertens 6-4, 6-4 to secure herself a place in the quarter-finals of the tournament. Halep, the 2019 Wimbledon winner, will meet Estonia’s 28th-seed Anett Kontaveit in the last eight.
David Goffin, ranked 11 by the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP), lost out to Russia's Andrey Rublev in five sets, with the third and fifth sets both going to a tie break. Rublev, who remains unbeaten in 2020, comes head to head with Germany's Alexander Zverev (ATP 7) in the quarter-finals.
"I'm disappointed about the loss, but the tennis is there and I just have to keep going and continue to season in the same rhythm," Goffin said in a press conference after the defeat.
Despite her singles loss, Mertens and her doubles partner- Belarus' Aryna Sabalenka - came out on top in the third round of women's doubles, nabbing their place in the quarter-finals where they will meet Taiwanese duo, Chan Hao-ching and Latisha Chan.
In related news, the ATP Tour expressed its condolences on Sunday after learning of the tragic death of basketball legend Kobe Bryant, his daughter and the seven others who were aboard the helicopter that fatally crashed in southern California on Sunday.
We are deeply saddened to learn of the loss of Kobe Bryant, his daughter, Gianna, and others on board. On behalf of everyone at the ATP Tour, our thoughts and condolences are with the affected family and friends at this extremely difficult time.— ATP Tour (@atptour) January 26, 2020
Australia's Nick Kyrgios arrived on the court at the Rod Laver Arena to face Rafael Nadal wearing a Los Angeles Lakers jersey, in honour of the NBA legend, joining athletes around the world in paying tribute to the basketball player.
The Brussels Times