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Kazakhs stay alive in Davis Cup with doubles win

7:37 AM, Apr 6, 2013   |    comments
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Astana, Kazakhstan (Sports Network) - Andrey Golubev and Yuriy Schukin kept Kazakhstan alive in its Davis Cup quarterfinal against the Czech Republic with a straight-set doubles win on Saturday.

Golubev and Schukin posted a 7-6 (7-2), 6-4, 6-3 victory over the Czech duo of Radek Stepanek and Jan Hajek to trim their deficit to 2-1 in the best-of-five tie.

The defending Davis Cup champion Czechs still need just one victory in Sunday's reverse singles to advance to the semifinals.

Lukas Rosol will get the first opportunity on Sunday to close it out for the Czechs when he faces Mikhail Kukushkin. Hajek and Golubev are slated to play in the fifth rubber.

The captains can make changes to the lineup Sunday. The Czechs would have Stepanek or Ivo Minar available, while Schukin or Evgeny Korolev could play for Kazakhstan.

Singles wins on Friday from Hajek and Rosol gave the Czechs a 2-0 lead. Hajek thumped Kukushkin in straight sets and Rosol battled back after dropping the first set to beat Golubev in four.

The Czechs are playing this weekend without their top star, injured world No. 6 Tomas Berdych, who is out with a shoulder problem.

Kazakhstan is playing in the World Group quarterfinals for the second time in three years after beating Austria in the first round back in February. The Kazakhs were swept by Argentina in the 2011 quarters after beating the Czechs in the first round that year to reach this stage for the first time.

The winner this weekend will meet the Argentina-France victor in the semifinals in September.

The Czechs, who beat Switzerland in the first round in February, toppled mighty Spain in last year's final in Prague.

The Sports Network

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