Golubev 5-set win has Kazakhstan up 2-0 on Belgium

Jan. 31, 2014 at 12:15 PM
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ASTANA, Kazakhstan, Jan. 31 (UPI) -- Andrey Golubev captured an extended fifth set Friday and gave Kazakhstan a 2-0 lead in a best-of-five Davis Cup series versus Belgium.

Mikhail Kukushkin claimed the first point for Kazakhstan with a 6-4, 6-7 (3-7), 6-2, 6-3 win over Ruben Bemelmans. Golubev followed with a 7-6 (11-9), 3-6, 4-6, 6-2, 12-10 victory over David Goffin in 4 hours, 38 minutes.

That put Kazakhstan on the verge of a series win. A victory in Saturday's doubles or in either of Sunday's reverse singles will advance Kazakhstan to the Davis Cup quarterfinals in April against either Serbia or Switzerland.

Golubev managed just three break points -- converting one -- over the first three sets but cashed in 2-of-4 while winning 72 percent of the points on serve in the fourth set.

Both players had six break chances in the final set, which took 1 hour, 46 minutes, but Golubev won two of his opportunities, including the last game.

Kukushkin's win was much more one-sided as he had six breaks, including the only break of the fourth set. He won more than two-thirds of the points on serve and allowed Bemelmans only four break opportunities.

Kazakhstan will try to clinch the series Saturday when Evgeny Korolev and Denis Yevseyev play doubles against Belgians Kimmer Coppejans and Olivier Rochus.

Sunday's schedule has Kukushkin taking on Goffin in the opener and Golubev playing Bemelmans in the finale.

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