Kazakhstan beats Czech Republic 3-2 in Davis Cup
OSTRAVA, Czech Republic (AP) -- Andrey Golubev and Mikhail Kukushkin won the reverse singles matches Sunday to pull off a major upset in the first round of the Davis Cup, leading Kazakhstan a 3-2 victory over the Czech Republic.
Golubev upset Tomas Berdych 7-5, 5-7, 6-4, 6-2 to level the best-of-five series and Mikhail Kukushkin beat Jan Hajek 6-4, 6-7 (4), 7-6 (8), 6-0 to complete the unlikely victory on the indoor hard court at CEZ Arena.
Kazakhstan, which is making its World Group debut, will face Argentina in the quarterfinals in July.
The Czechs, who reached the semifinals last year and the final in 2009, will go to the playoffs.
"We are so happy that we won today," Kukushkin said. "The most important thing was that I was fighting for every ball.
"I got so much support from our crowd, from our team, I think that helped me so much. I played my best game."
The No. 63rd-ranked Kukushkin broke the 101st-ranked Hajek in the 10th game to take the first set. In the second, Hajek converted on his first set point.
The Czech was 4-1 up in the third set, but Kukushkin fought back.
"The third set was key," Hajek said. "I had two set points but he played well and gave me no chance. It's a sad day."
The Kazakh cruised to the victory in the fourth set, breaking Hajek in the second, fourth game and sixth games and converting his first match point.
Earlier, the 43th-ranked Golubev beat the No. 7-ranked Berdych for the first time to extend his Davis Cup singles record to 11-1.
Golubev broke Berdych twice in the final set and served out the match, converting his second match point when Berdych's forehand went wide.
Golubev dominated the pace of the play, hitting 90 winners and 15 aces.
"He was better in everything and deserved to win," Berdych said.
Berdych, who was playing his third match in as many days, struggled for much of the day. He dropped his serve in the opening game of the first set and again in the 11th game.
Also Sunday, Czech officials said laptops, money and other personal belongings were stolen from the hotel rooms of the Kazakh team and Czech organizers during the doubles match Saturday. Police estimated the damage at $23,000.
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