Despite being finalists last year, Belgium’s Davis Cup adventure has ended at the quarter-final stage. Doubles team Sander Gille and Joran Vliegen were defeated by Americans Ryan Harrison and Jack Sock (5-7, 7-6 (7/1), 7-6 (7/3), 6-4) on Saturday. The Belgian team, which had to be changed because of injuries, lost their three matches. “We are disappointed, but we have shown once again that we know how to play well in the Davis Cup”, says Captain Johan Van Herck.
As he was deprived of David Goffin and Steve Dracis, who were injured, Van Herck had to use an untested team. However, the Captain saw “some good playing” from those involved. Joris De Loore (ATP 319) fought well against Johan Isner, the World number 9, who won 6-3, 6-7 (4/7), 7-6, (10/8), 6-4. Ruben Bemelmans (ATP 110) missed a few opportunities against Sam Querrey (ATP 14), who won 6-1, 7-6 (7/5), 7-5.
“It’s really hard because two matches were very close”, said Captain Johan Van Herck. “There were a few possibilities to do something in the second set during Ruben’s match. We are disappointed, but we have shown once again that we know how to play well in the Davis Cup.”
It was the first time Gille and Vliegen had played in the Davis Cup. “They played a good tennis match, but we noticed there was work to do physically. We will look at that and talk to the team’s entourage to get them stronger. We can say we have two doubles team right now”, says Van Herck.
Despite the defeat, the match against the United States allowed Van Herck to have more choice and increase competition within the team. “We noticed a lot of positive aspects. Joris played well and Ruben proved himself, as did the doubles team. The points to work on are clear for everyone. It will make everyone stronger and I prefer to have more choice”, the Captain said.
With regards to his future as Captain, Van Herck said: “I want to continue so long as I have the respect and support of my staff, the Federation and the players. At the moment I still feel the Federation and the players trust me, so I want to carry on.”