[QODLink]
Tennis

Kazakhstan fightback into Davis Cup tie

After going two points down on opening day, Yuriy Schukin and Andrey Golubev keep Kazakhstan's semi-final chances alive.

Last Modified: 06 Apr 2013 14:52
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Yuriy Schukin celebrates as Kazakhstan cut Czech Republic's lead in Davis Cup quarter-finals [AP]

Yuriy Schukin and Andrey Golubev beat Radek Stepanek and Jan Hajek 7-6 (2), 6-4, 6-3 in the doubles to cut the Czech Republic's lead against Kazakhstan in the Davis Cup quarterfinals to 2-1 on Saturday.

The defending champions Czechs took a 2-0 lead on Friday after Hajek beat Mikhail Kukushkin and Lukas Rosol downed Golubev in their opening singles matches on clay.

"The Kazakh pair played better, especially Golubev, who was the best one on the court," Czech captain Jaroslav Navratil said.

"But we are still 2-1 ahead and we have all chances to win."

"Our opponents did it better - they played much stronger and deserved the victory"

Czech player Radek Stepanek

Kazakhstan is the last team to beat the Czechs, upsetting the hosts 3-2 on debut in the first round of the World Group in 2011. Golubev downed Tomas Berdych and Kukushkin beat Hajek in the reverse singles then.

The sixth-ranked Berdych is missing this time because of a shoulder injury, while Stepanek was rested from the opening singles as he is playing his first competition since undergoing a neck operation in January.

Both team captains made changes for the doubles. Hajek substituted for Ivo Minar, while Golubev came in for Evgeny Korolev.

After rallying from a break down to win the first set, the Kazakh pair broke decisively in the ninth game of the second. They led by two sets by breaking Stepanek in the ninth game and saving four breakpoints in the next.

The hosts dominated the third set after an early break and sealed victory on their first match point, breaking Stepanek when Hajek failed to return Schukin's forehand.

"Tennis is the game where it's very important not only to create opportunities but also be capable to capitalise on them," Stepanek said.

"Our opponents did it better - they played much stronger and deserved the victory."

The reverse singles will be held on Sunday.

The winner of the best-of-five series will face either France or Argentina in September.

341

Source:
AP
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Topics in this article
People
Country
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
More than one-quarter of Gaza's population has been displaced, causing a humanitarian crisis.
Ministers and MPs caught on camera sleeping through important speeches have sparked criticism that they are not working.
Muslim charities claim discrimination after major UK banks began closing their accounts.
Italy struggles to deal with growing flood of migrants willing to risk their lives to reach the nearest European shores.
Featured
Assam officials upset that WWII-era Stillwell Road won't be used in transnational highway linking four Asian nations.
Informal health centres are treating thousands of Syrian refugees in Turkey, easing the pressure on local hospitals.
Indonesian and Malaysian authorities are keeping a close eye on local supporters of the hard-line Middle East group.
Wastewater ponds dot the landscape in US states that produce gas; environmentalists say they’re a growing threat.
China President Xi Jinping's Mongolia visit brings accords in the areas of culture, energy, mining and infrastructure.
join our mailing list