The Belgian tennis men are this weekend’s turn in the Davis Cup. In Paraguay they will take on Bolivia with the stakes for a ticket for next year’s Qualifiers. “We have a team that must be able to win,” says captain Johan Van Herck, despite the absence of David Goffin and Kimmer Coppejans.
Due to the corona situation, Bolivia does not play against the Belgians for its own people, but in the Paraguayan capital Asuncion. “That is a bit special, because there is not much more than a few fields here. It is very limited. Only 200 people are allowed to be present,” Johan Van Herck tells Sporza.
Belgium enters with an unpublished team. David Goffin is getting married this weekend and is not among them, as is Kimmer Coppejans who could become a father any moment. “We’ve known that for a long time. That’s why we looked further,” said Van Herck, who selected two debutants with Zizou Bergs and Michael Geerts.
“Zizou has risen sharply in the ATP ranking in recent months and is now in the top 200. He won a number of Challenger tournaments and last year he also gave his business card in Antwerp. His talent is now finally developing.”
A psychologist travels the track with Zizou Bergs and has a very positive influence on him.
Bergs even brought a psychologist to Paraguay. “That is a private initiative of his and Tennis Vlaanderen supports him in this. The psychologist travels the circuit with him and has a huge positive influence on Zizou, for whom it is a dream to play Davis Cup.”
“I have also known Michael Geerts for a long time. He has been rising well in recent months. Michael is an all-round player, who can develop a high pace from the baseline. He still has growth margin.”
“Together with experienced boys Sander Gillé, Joran Vliegen and Ruben Bemelmans, that should still be enough to win this weekend and qualify for the World Group.”
“Think We’re Favorite”
Bolivia is counting on gravel specialist Hugo Dellien, the number 144 in the world this weekend. “Their team does indeed revolve around Dellien, he will be our toughest opponent”, Van Herck realizes.
“Dellien has already been in the top 100 and has now dropped a bit. Bolivia is certainly counting on him, both in singles and doubles. Still, I think that in doubles and in the matches against their number 2, we are the favorites. “
“That does not mean that we will take the light. In the Davis Cup you always have to pay attention. But I think we have more quality than Bolivia and we want to use that to win, so that we can play for the World Group next year.”