Kazakhstan leads Belgium 2-0 in Davis Cup

by: AP January 31, 2014

ASTANA, Kazakhstan (AP)—Mikhail Kukushkin and Andrey Golubev prevailed in tough singles for Kazakhstan to lead Belgium 2-0 on Friday and need one more point to reach the Davis Cup quarterfinals for a second straight year.

Kukushkin beat Ruben Bemelmans 6-4, 6-7 (3), 6-2, 6-3 then Golubev took almost 4 hours, 40 minutes to defeat David Goffin 7-6 (9), 3-6, 4-6, 6-2, 12-10.

Kazakhstan can clinch the first-round tie on Saturday in doubles, when Evgeny Korolev and debutant Denis Yevseyev play Belgium's Olivier Rochus and debutant Kimmer Coppejans.

Kukushkin rode his serve to victory on the indoor hard court. He was broken only once, when he was serving for the second set at 6-5. Bemelmans forced a tiebreaker and played smart to win it.

But Kukushkin broke twice in the third set and decisively in the eighth game of the fourth, finishing the match with his 12th ace.

Golubev barely triumphed in his first match against Goffin, maintaining a great record having lost only once at home since his 2008 cup debut.

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