Hopman Cup: David Goffin and Elise Mertens make up the Belgium team

Belgium sent out their best possible pairing for the 2018 Hopman Cup as top-ranked Belgians David Goffin and Elise Mertens will represent them in Perth.

Hopman Cup: David Goffin and Elise Mertens make up the Belgium team
Belgium will vie for their first ever title in Perth | Photos: Getty Images, Graphics: Don Han

Belgium will participate in the Hopman Cup for the first time since 2011, marking their first appearance in Perth after a six-year absence. Their last participation saw them reach the final, with Ruben Bemelmans and Kim Clijsters representing them. However, six years have passed and it is a new generation who will look to bring glory to their country.

Top Belgian players to compete

David Goffin, the third highest-ranked male player in this edition of the tournament, will represent Belgium and make his debut at this event. Goffin is currently in the top-10 of the rankings having won two ATP World Tour titles this year and also managed to seal his place at the Nitto ATP World Tour Finals. Arguably, Goffin is the most successful Belgian male tennis player in history. Furthermore, he is currently the highest-ranked player from Belgium, and he will make his first appearance in Perth having started his seasons in ATP events throughout the previous years.

David Goffin in action at Tokyo | Photo: Matt Roberts/Getty Images AsiaPac
David Goffin in action at Tokyo | Photo: Matt Roberts/Getty Images AsiaPac

Elise Mertens, the current world number 35 in the WTA, has experienced a sudden rise in the rankings having won her first career title at the Hobart International as a qualifier. Solid performances followed throughout the year, with the Belgian breaking into the top 50 for the first time in her career. She is also currently the highest-ranked Belgian WTA player on the tour and will be looking to have a perfect start to 2018 as the players are assured of playing at least three matches in the first week.

Past experiences in team events

Goffin has an incredible record at the Davis Cup, amassing an impressive 19-6 win-loss record (19-3 without counting doubles). He has played a pivotal role in sending Belgium back to the World Group back in 2012 and sent them to their first final since 1989. Goffin also played a fairly important role in bringing Belgium back into yet another final, their second final in three years. He won all four of his rubbers this year and has been clinical in bringing success and glory to his country. The players Goffin will face in his singles matches here in Perth are Alexander Zverev, Thanasi Kokkinakis, and Vasek Pospisil.

Surprisingly, Mertens has a perfect record while playing for her country. However, she only had her first nomination this year considering that she was way outside the top 100 before 2017. She helped Belgium to a stunning 3-1 upset over Romania before mounting an even bigger upset against the powerhouses Russia, winning all three of her matches against higher-ranked players like Elena Vesnina, Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova and the pairing of Vesnina/Daria Kasatkina. Arguably, it was the biggest upset in Fed Cup this year. Mertens will face Daria Gavrilova, Eugenie Bouchard, and Angelique Kerber in Perth to start off her 2018.

Elise Mertens in action at the China Open | Photo: Lintao Zhang/Getty Images AsiaPac
Elise Mertens in action at the China Open | Photo: Lintao Zhang/Getty Images AsiaPac