|Posted on March 6, 2011 at 10:25 PM|
Kazakhstan 3, Czech Republic 2
In Ostrava, Czech Republic, Andrey Golubev and Mikhail Kukushkin won both reverse singles matches on Sunday to pull off a major upset in the first round of the Davis Cup and give Kazakhstan a 3-2 victory over the Czech Republic.
Golubev upset Tomas Berdych 7-5, 5-7, 6-4, 6-2 in the first reverse singles to level the score at 2-2 before Mikhail Kukushkin defeated Jan Hajek 6-4, 6-7 (4-7), 7-6 [10-8], 6-0 to clinch the best-of-five series on an indoor hard court at CEZ Arena.
The Czechs, who reached the semifinals last year and the final in 2009, will go to the playoffs to remain in the World Group.
Poor Tomas in the stands after his defeat to Golubev ... now watching Jan Hajek losing to Kukushkin
and thinking of Lucie who lost to Jelena Dokic in Kuala Lumpur final after having mp and being up 3-1 in the third set ... which adds even more misery *Sunday Bloody Sunday*
MATCH REPORT Hajek v Kukushkin
Mikhail Kukushkin sent shockwaves rippling through the Davis Cup by BNP Paribas draw, as he defeated Jan Hajek 64 67(4) 76 60 to complete a 3-2 victory over Czech Republic, and put World Group debutantes Kazakhstan into the quarterfinals.
Kukushkin had shown glimpses of his all-or-nothing attitude during his three-set loss to Tomas Berdych on Friday, which, although comprehensive, demonstrated the Kazakh's dedication to the cause. It was that energy and exuberance that handed him the first set 6-4, courtesy of just a single break.
Momentarily stunned, Hajek came back in the second set, continually pressurising the Kukushkin serve, before eventually closing out the set with a convincing 7-4 tiebreak.
The momentum firmly with the Czech No. 2, he raced into a 3-0 lead in the third set, only for Kukushkin to battle back to send the set into another tiebreak. Exchanging mini-breaks like hot potatoes, Hajek squandered a golden opportunity serving at 8-7, allowing Kukushkin to wriggle his way back in. Winning three points in a row to seal the tiebreak 10-8 the diminutive Kazakh leapt 10 feet in the air.
He didn't look back. Taking advantage of Hajek's increasingly laboured movement, the diminutive Kazakh soared into a 5-0 lead, putting Kazakhstan within a game's reach of victory. One game was all he needed. For a moment it looked as though Hajek would hang on to avoid the bagel set, but Kukushkin was too insistent, and as the Czech player's drop shot attempt hit the bottom of the net, the Kazakh No. 2 fell to the ground in disbelief.
"I was confident in my game, and today I show how I can play in this level. I and all the team, we are so happy that we won today," said Kukushkin."The most important thing was that I was fighting for every ball, I got so many support from our crowd, from our team, I think that helped me so much. I played my best game."
"It was very close, I think the turning point was in the third set, I had the set point," said Hajek. "I was fighting so much for my country, I was giving 100%. I would be happy if I get the chance next time."
Kazakhstan advance to their first Davis Cup quarterfinal in July, where they will face Argentina at home, who defeated Romania 4-1. It will be their first Davis Cup meeting. Czech Republic will play-off in September to remain in the World Group.
Did you read this?
Also Sunday, Czech officials said laptops, money and other personal belongings were stolen from the hotel rooms of the Kazakh team and Czech organizers on the previous day during the doubles. Police estimated the damage at 400,000 koruna ($23,000).