The Swiss Davis Cup team was given all sorts of trouble by the inspired Kazakhs and could only obtain the semi-final ticket after winning both Sunday rubbers in Geneva. World no. 3 Stanislas Wawrinka was the first to step on the hard court of indoor arena for the hosts to face Kazakhstan’s Andrey Golubev, ranked 64th. The latter had an upper hand in the opener where he prepared three set points before seizing the tie-break. Golubev was even more confident in the second set where he broke twice to go two sets clear. The recent Australian Open title holder responded by pegging one set back, but then surrendered another breaker to allow the underdog completing a 7-6 (5), 6-2, 3-6, 7-6 (5) triumph.
Former number one Roger Federer made no mistakes in the second Friday clash as he prevailed over 56th-ranked Mikhail Kukushkin in straight sets. He averted all break point threats he had faced over the course of the encounter, whilst stealing the opponent’s serve on four occasions to get his team back on level terms with a comfortable 6-4, 6-4, 6-2 win.
However, the Swiss crowd faced a new shock on Saturday as Federer-Wawrinka pair suffered a doubles defeat against Golubev and Aleksandr Nedovyesov. The Kazakhs showed strong nerves in crucial moments as they seized both of the tie-breaks to grab their second point and restore the lead. The doubles result: 6-4, 7-6 (5), 4-6, 7-6 (5) for the away team.
Things were going from bad to worse for Switzerland on Sunday when Wawrinka fell one set behind in the meeting with Kukushkin before stamping his authority on the proceedings and turning the tide of the fourth rubber. To the relief of the home fans, Stan claimed the remaining three sets for a 6-7 (4), 6-4, 6-4, 6-4 victory.
It was up to Federer to put his team through to the semi-finals and he duly delivered. While Golubev put up a good fight in the opener where he was beaten in the tie-break, the Swiss Maestro controlled the match in the sets two and three before closing out the tie with a hold to love. He defeated the Kazakh 7-6 (0), 6-2, 6-3.
World Group, Switzerland-Kazakhstan 3-2
Switzerland will play Italy in the semis.
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