Great Britain lose out to Belgium
Leon Smith's unbeaten run as Great Britain Davis Cup captain has come to an end after Josh Goodall went down 6-4 6-4 6-4 to David Goffin to hand Belgium an unassailable 3-1 lead in the Europe/Africa Zone Group I tie.
Smith had overseen five straight victories since taking over from John Lloyd in 2010, but Belgium went into the match as big favourites and justified their billing at Braehead Arena in Glasgow.
February's victory over Slovakia ensured Britain's Group I status was preserved following their promotion last season, and they will not play again until next spring, while Belgium go forward to September's World Group play-offs.
Goodall had been due to play Olivier Rochus but the Belgian number one was still struggling with the thigh problems that troubled him against Dan Evans on Friday, so Goffin stepped in.
On paper it was good news for Britain, with Goffin significantly lower ranked than number 59 Rochus and playing in his first Davis Cup match.
Last week's victory in a significant Challenger tournament in Guadeloupe helped Goffin climb to 112th in the world, 141 places above Goodall, who was also a winner last week but at the lower Futures level.
The 26-year-old from Basingstoke played above himself in a four-set loss to Steve Darcis on Friday, winning his first set in Davis Cup, but the size of his task on Sunday quickly became clear.
The British player had one chance but netted a regulation backhand return, and Goffin had no trouble serving out the first set.
The second followed a similar pattern, and the writing appeared to be on the wall when, for the third time in the match, he broke in the third game, but this time Goodall hit straight back. He broke serve for the first time in seven sets when Goffin snatched at a backhand.
Goodall showed admirable spirit to save six break points in a titanic fifth game, but that effort clearly took its toll and Goffin regained the advantage two games later before sealing victory with a superb forehand winner on his first match point.