Dan Evans was unable to produce the magic that saw him become Britain’s Davis Cup hero two months ago against Slovakia as Olivier Rochus came back from a set down to win 3-6, 6-4, 7-6 (9-7), 6-4.
Rochus’ win extends Belgium’s lead to 2-0 in the Europe/Africa Zone Group I tie in Glasgow’s Braehead Arena after Josh Goodall lost the opening match to Steve Darcis.
Having recovered from 0-40 in the opening game of the match, Evans, ranked 285 places lower than his opponent, secured the break of serve before successfully holding serve throughout the set to take it 6-3.
Evans had the opportunity to take a 2-0 lead in the second set, however a missed forehand handed the advantage back to Rochus.
The Belgian’s higher ranking and experience shone through as he fought back to take the second set 6-4 before taking a two set lead – saving a set point in the third set tie-break.
Rochus, who was suffering from cramp in the final set, managed to prevent a late a fight-back from Evans, who broke the Belgian earlier in the set, to close out the match.
Earlier in the day Josh Goodall, Britain’s number three, slumped to a 6-7 (2-7), 6-3, 6-4, 6-4 defeat against Steve Darcis.
In the absence of Andy Murray and James Ward, Goodall, ranked 253, in the world, made his first appearance in the tournament since 2009.
Playing in only his second Davis Cup match, Goodall was ranked 185 places lower than his Belgian opponent. The vast difference however was non-existent in the opening set.
Both players held serve comfortably forcing a tie-break which Goodall claimed 7-2 with an impressive display of serving – the first time he has won a set in Davis Cup tennis.
But the gulf in rankings became apparent early in the second set as Darcis began to boss the Brit, forcing the match’s first break of serve in the eighth game before comfortably serving out the second set 6-3.
The third set began in similar fashion as Goodall was broke in the opening game with his first double fault of the match.
Goodall was broken once again in the opening game of the fourth set before Darcis served out the match.
Great Britain will now need to rely on Scot Colin Fleming and his doubles partner Ross Hutchins to keep the tie alive in the doubles match on Saturday against lower ranked Belgian’s Ruben Bemelmans and David Goffin.