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Czechs level at 2-2 with Kazakhstan in Davis Cup

Posted on March 6, 2011 at 4:52 PM

Golubev Tops Berdych

Andrey Golubev upset Tomas Berdych 7-5, 5-7, 6-4, 6-2 in the first reverse singles on Sunday to draw Kazakhstan level at 2-2 with the Czech Republic in the first round of the Davis Cup.

The best-of-five series on an indoor hard court at CEZ Arena will be decided in the final match between Czech Jan Hajek and Mikhail Kukushkin later on Sunday.

The winner will face Argentina in the quarterfinals in July. 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 fourth and 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 a total of 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, was struggling throughout. He dropped his serve in the opening game of the first set and again in the 11th game. Berdych hit just a single forehand winner in the set.

Golubev continued with his aggressive play in the second set, breaking Berdych for 3-2. But he wasted a set point in the 10th game, allowing Berdych to take the set 7-5 with his sixth set point.

In the third set, Berdych was broken in the seventh game and Golubev converted his second set point.

Golubev lost twice to Berdych in their two previous encounters at Wimbledon and the Legg Mason Classic last year.

MATCH REPORT Golubev v Berdych

Andrey Golubev kept Kazakhstan's Davis Cup by BNP Paribas World Group hopes alive as he pulled off a shock upset over Tomas Berdych, defeating the world No. 7, 75 57 64 62 in the fourth rubber of their first-round tie.

The physical strain of playing three days in a row took its toll on Berdych, who despite being ranked 36 places above his opponent, struggled to find his oomph against a much-improved Golubev. The Kazakh swung and did not miss his way through the first set, breaking from the get-go to go 3-0 ahead. Although Berdych redeemed the break, he was consistently a step behind, hitting just five winners in the set to Golubev's 20. At 5-5, the Kazkah broke again with two drop volleys, before serving out the set 75 on his second set point with another volley, albeit a net cord.

The second set told a similar tale, as Golubev again pressurised Berdych from the net. Breaking serve at 2-2, the Kazakh blistered his way through his next two service games to accelerate into a 5-3 lead. But, serving for a two-sets-to-love lead, Golubev blinked, and Berdych took advantage. Holding serve to lead 6-5, the world No. 7 saw five set points come and go before finally making the breakthrough to level the rubber at one-set all, 75.

With order seemingly restored, Berdych came out firing in the third, only to be pegged back again and again by Golubev. The Kazakh broke the world No.7's big serve for third time at 3-3, and served his way into a two-sets-to-one lead, 64.

Breaking again to open the fourth set, Golubev had wings on his feet as he darted about the Cez Arena's hard court, leaving Berdych looking increasingly disgruntled. The Kazakh broke again to lead 5-2, and served out the win on his second match point.

With the tie delicately balanced at two wins a piece, Czech Republic will be looking to Jan Hajek to overturn Mikhail Kukushkin in the deciding fifth rubber and put his nation through to the quarterfinals.

Tomas Berdych felt that Kazakh No. 1 Andrey Golubev played a "perfect" match

 as the visitors drew level at 2-2 on the final day in Ostrava.

"From my point of view and from myself I have to say that I played quite a solid game," said Berdych. "But I couldn't say one moment, one thing what he did wrong, he was just, perfect today. I saw him to play the match like this last year in Kuala Lumpur against Soderling, he beat him 62 62. That's just the way of tennis. He deserves respect for the game what he did today."

Tomas Berdych congratulates Andrey Golubev: "You were the better player today"

Golubev kept alive Kazakhstan's hopes after he beat World No. 7 Berdych of the Czech Republic 7-5, 5-7, 6-4, 6-2 to level the tie at 2-2. Golubev improved to a 3-6 lifetime record against Top 10 opponents after he hit 15 aces and a whopping 90 winners past his higher-ranked opponent for victory in three hours and 30 minutes.


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