Belgium’s David Goffin defeated Alexander Zverev with a 6-3 6-3 win in straight sets at the Perth Arena. The World No.7 dominated the proceedings from the word ‘go’. He needed just 35 minutes to race to the first set against world No.4 Zverev. The German secured an early break in the second set for 2-0. Goffin responded with a break of his own and claimed the next three games. David’s superior return of serve created two breaks in each set to clinch a comfortable win on debut at the Hopman Cup.
The Belgian player had a dream start in Perth and he began the new year in style. Goffin is expected to be one of the players to advance deep into the Australian Open in Melbourne later this month. He admitted that it was a pleasing start to his 2018 campaign. With this win, Belgium and Germany are now level with a win each.
Earlier in the tournament, Angelique Kerber put Germany ahead 1-0 with a straight sets win against Belgium’s Elise Mertens. She was made to sweat in both sets as they were forced into a tiebreaker on both occasions. Finally, she came away with a 7-6(6) 7-6 (1) victory in 116 minutes. The 29-year-old was delighted to emerge with a win against Mertens. Kerber said, “I think it was a really good match from both of us. We played on a really high level. It was the first match of the year and of the season so I am really happy with my performance.”
Kerber slipped down the rankings to 21st so this win will boost her confidence immensely. She had made it all the way to No.1 last year on the back of grand slam wins at the Australian Open and US Open. Kerber and Mertens had problems holding serve in the opening set and dropped their delivery twice in the first six games.
But that didn’t stop the winners from flowing from the racquets of both players. Mertens had nine to her name and Kerber six in the fourth game. Kerber’s experience held out when she closed out each set in a tiebreak. She bagged some crucial points which gave her country the perfect start to the Hopman Cup in the New Year.