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Golubev leads Kazakhs into Davis Cup

  |   Jan. 31, 2013 at 7:41 AM
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ASTANA, Kazakhstan, Jan. 31 (UPI) -- The Kazakh Davis Cup team will turn to Andrey Golubev to key its first-round series this weekend against Austria.

The Austrian team travels to Astana, Kazakhstan, for a best-of-five series to open 2013 Davis Cup play. The matches are to be played indoors on a red clay court.

The Kazakhs would usually look to Mikhail Kukushkin, whose No. 155 world ranking isn't indicative of his 12-5 Davis Cup record. But Kukushkin is recovering from a hip operation and has been scratched from at least Friday's opening singles match.

That leaves Golubev, ranked No. 187, to meet 107th-ranked Andreas Haider-Maurer in the series opener. Austria's highest-ranked player -- No. 30 Jurgen Melzer -- is to meet No. 211 Evgeny Korolev in the second singles match.

The schedule calls for Golubev and Yuri Schukin to team for a doubles match Saturday against Austrians Julian Knowle and Alexander Peya. In Sunday's singles, Golubev is to go against Melzer before Korolev and Haider-Maurer wrap things up.

Kazakhstan is in the World Group for a third consecutive year and owns one first-round win. Austria has completed in Davis Cup since 1905 but its best result was as a semifinalist in 1990.

The winner of the Austrian-Kazakh series moves to the April 5-7 quarterfinals against either defending Davis Cup champion Czech Republic or Switzerland.

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