SLOVAKIA's national tennis team was defeated 3-2 by Belgium and knocked out of the World Group of the Davis Cup on September 24 after two years in the premier division.
Belgium's number one player, Olivier Rochus (ATP ranking 31), won a decisive third point for his team in the first singles match on September 24, giving Belgium an unassailable 3-1 lead.
In a match lasting nearly two hours, Rochus beat Slovakia's number one player Dominik Hrbatý (ATP ranking 28) in three sets: 6-2, 6-3, 6-3.
"Olivier played superbly. He didn't make any errors, and I had no opportunities to turn the game around, as I didn't have any break points. I tried to change my tactics in the third set by playing more aggressively, but Olivier was able to get himself out of difficult situations," Hrbatý said for the TASR news agency.
Slovak player Lukáš Lacko (who replaced Michal Mertiňák for the match) beat Belgian veteran Dick Norman in two sets (7-6, 6-3) in the second singles match.
The Slovak team, which was a finalist in the Davis Cup last year, will now play in Group One of the Euro-African zone.