Kazakhstan wins Davis Cup doubles match after sudden player change

NUR-SULTAN – Kazakh tennis players Alexander Bublik and Mikhail Kukushkin won the first doubles match against the Netherlands at the Davis Cup in Madrid, Spain, Nov. 20, reports Olympic.kz.

L-R: Alexander Bublik and Mikhail Kukushkin. Photo credit: Olympic.kz.

“It was a great match,” said Kazakh Davis Cup Team Captain Dias Doskarayev. “This is the Davis Cup, here any athlete can show a good result, regardless of his rating. I am just glad that we won this time against tennis players of such a high calibre. I must admit that (Dutch player Robin) Haase demonstrated an incredible game against Alexander Bublik. Alexander, in turn, gave all his strength in his match. Before the doubles meeting, we were the underdogs of the tournament. This victory is very important for us, a difficult match with the United Kingdom team awaits.”

Bublik and Kukushkin beat Haase and Jean-Julien Rojer from the Netherlands 6:4, 7:6 (7:2).

The Kazakh team’s makeup was the result of a last-minute decision by Doskarayev, who replaced Alexander Nedovesov and Andrey Golubev with Kukushkin and Bublik.

“Why did Mikhail Kukushkin and Alexander Bublik replace Alexander Nedovesov and Andrey Golubev? Everything is simple. We always say that each of our tennis players, if necessary, should be ready to play in a doubles match. So, today, it just happened,” Doskarayev told informburo.kz about replacing Nedovesov and Golubev.

The Kazakh team was accompanied in Spain by its fan club from Kazakhstan, who came to express their support for the team.

“For our part, we will do everything so that their jitters quickly disappear. They definitely won’t feel like this is a regular visit by the fan club,” Alexander Oleinik, Kazakh tennis team fan club member, told imformburo.kz.

Kazakhstan’s team this tournament was Kukushkin, Bublik, Nedovesov, Golubev and Dmitry Popko.