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Tennis | Davis Cup

Jan Hajek © Reuters

Czech Republic lead 2-0 after first day



Lukas Rosol gave defending champions the Czech Republic a commanding 2-0 lead in their Davis Cup quarterfinal match with hosts Kazakhstan on Friday, battling back from a set down to beat Andrey Golubev.

World number 63 Rosol won 4-6, 6-4, 6-2, 7-6 (8/6) in two hours 41 minutes in his first ever head-to-head clash with Golubev, who is ranked 205th in the ATP world rankings.

Earlier on Friday Jan Hajek of Czech Republic lifted his team 1-0 up by beating local favourite Mikhail Kukushkin in straight sets 6-3, 6-2, 6-4 to level their head-to-head record at 1-1.

"It wasn't easy to win today even though I did it in straight sets," Hajek said. "I played according to the plan that we worked out for this match and it paid off."

In his match, Golubev broke Rosol's serve in the fifth game and stayed ahead to take the opening set in 42 minutes.

No big serves were made in the second set until the 10th game when Rosol broke serve and went on to level at one set all after one hour 15 minutes' play.

The 27-year-old kept the momentum in the third, breaking Golubev early to edge ahead in the tie.

But Golubev fought back in the fourth set, going two games up from the start. The Czech broke back in the 10th forcing a tiebreak, which he won 8-6 to take the set and the match.

Meanwhile, in the early match Hajek and Kukushkin matched each other game-for-game until the eighth, when 29-year-old Hajek made a break and went on to take the opening set.

In the second set, Hajek, who is currently ranked 94th in the world, underlined his supremacy at the clay court of Astana Tennis Academy, breaking Kukushkin serve twice again to gain a two-set advantage.

Hajec started the third set with an immediate break for a comfortable 2-0 lead, which he kept confidently through to take the set and the match in one hour 48 minutes.

On Saturday Evgeny Korolev and Yuriy Schukin play Ivo Minar and Radel Stepanek in the doubles' rubber, while the reversed singles will complete the tie programme on Sunday.

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