ASTANA – Despite leading 2-0 the first day, the Kazakhstan national tennis team was unable to reach the Davis Cup semi-finals, losing 3-2 to host country Australia. The event was held July 17-19.
The opening match on day one saw Mikhail Kukushkin beat Thanasi Kokkinakis in straight sets, 6-4, 6-3, 6-3. Aleksandr Nedovyesov then defeated Nick Kyrgios 7-6 (7-5), 6-7 (7-2), 7-6 (7-5), 6-4.
“It is another fantastic day for us. We do understand that there is a lot of work to do ahead of us. We just – I am saying just but it means a lot, a lot – we just need one more win, but it is just one point at a time for us. We had really good preparation here in Darwin. We had a little advantage over the Aussie guys coming into Darwin a little bit earlier,” said Nedovyesov in an interview posted on the official Davis Cup website.
Australian pair Sam Groth and Lleyton Hewitt returned the straight set favour to begin the second day, besting Kazakhstan’s Andrey Golubev and Nedovyesov 6-4, 7-6 (7-4), 6-2. The Kazakh team at that point retained a 2-1 lead.
“The Australians put on a dominant display in the third set, breaking the Kazakhs three times, including for match point,” reported abc.net.au.
Groth then defeated Kukushkin, 6-4, 7-6 (8-6), 4-6, 7-6 (8-6). Nedovyesov, who was asked to play for the third day in a row, could not withstand Hewitt, 7-6 (2), 6-2, 6-3.
“Obviously it is disappointing because we were so close to making history for our country, to be in the Davis Cup semi-final, but I have to congratulate the Aussie team. They believed until the end that they could turn this match around and they stuck with their experienced players. It was a great comeback,” said Kazakh captain Dias Doskarayev.
The Davis Cup website put the win into historical perspective.
“It is first time in 76 years that Australia has come back from brink to win a tie from 0-2 down and the first time all four nominated players have played singles in live rubbers,” stated daviscup.com.
The Australian team will meet Great Britain on Sept. 18-20 in the semi-finals.