Davis Cup: Mikhail Kukushkin puts Kazakhs 1-0 against Italy
Mikhail Kukushkin put Kazakhstan 1-0 up in their Davis Cup World Group first round tie against Italy on Friday, beating Simone Bolelli in straight sets in Astana.
Almaty: Mikhail Kukushkin put Kazakhstan 1-0 up in their Davis Cup World Group first round tie against Italy on Friday, beating Simone Bolelli in straight sets in Astana.
Kukushkin won his first meeting with Bolelli 7-6 (8/6), 6-1, 6-2 on the hardcourts of the National Tennis Centre in two hours 22 minutes.
"Frankly I was geared up for much tougher match," admitted Kukushkin.
"I didn`t expect to win so easy today. But I`m pleased that I managed to conserve a lot of my strength and nerves for Sunday`s match (against Andreas Seppi) which will definitely be a much more serious affair."
Kukushkin, ranked 58 in the world, started with an immediate break but the 29-year-old Bolelli broke back to level in the eighth game, forcing a tiebreak.
Kukushkin, 27, moved up a gear in the second set breaking serve twice to take the set in 43 minutes for a comfortable 2-0 lead.
The Kazakh underlined his domination in the third, producing two more breaks to seal victory with an ace.
"I`m really upset with this defeat," Bolelli said. "Today I had serious problems with my serve, while Mikhail was so confident and focused.
"After losing the first set in a tiebreak I had chances to get back but missed them all."