Goffin and Tsonga cancel each other out on opening day of Davis Cup final
David Goffin and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga secured straight-sets victories as the opening day of the Davis Cup final between Belgium and France ended all square.
In front of 25,000 fans at the Stade Pierre-Mauroy in Lille, Goffin got Belgium off to a winning start as he triumphed 7-5 6-3 6-1 over Lucas Pouille in the opening rubber.
But Tsonga had the home supporters rocking once more when he swiftly dispatched Steve Darcis 6-3 6-2 6-1 to level matters ahead of Saturday's doubles.
Goffin arrived at the final fresh from losing out to Grigor Dimitrov in the deciding match of the ATP Finals, but he played like a man determined not to lose a second final in as many weekends.
The opening set was decided by a late break of serve before early gains in the subsequent two paved the way for a comfortable victory - Goffin's first in four meetings with Pouille.
France are chasing their first Davis Cup win since 2001 and the enormity of the occasion was evident when Julien Benneteau and Nicolas Mahut - not even involved this weekend - shed a tear in the arena before a ball had even been struck.
So it will have come as huge relief to Benneteau, Mahut and the passionate fans who triggered their emotional response to see Tsonga make short work of Darcis in the second contest.
Tsonga had to wait until the eighth game of the opening set to make his first break, but a run of six games on the bounce in the third saw him race for the finish line to leave the match tied at 1-1.