Geneva: The Kazakh duo of Andrey Golubev and Oleksandr Nedovyesov stunned the Swiss team of Roger Federer and Stanislas Wawrinka 6-4, 7-6 (7-5), 4-6, 7-6 (8-6) in Davis Cup doubles action Saturday, giving their country a 2-1 lead in that quarterfinal tie.
Despite playing at home and enjoying a huge edge in big-match experience, Federer and Wawrinka were unable to stop their unheralded opponents.
The match came down to a handful of points, with the Kazakhs` better clutch play in the two tiebreakers proving to be the difference.
The underdogs did not create a single break point against the Swiss players` serves in the final two sets, but they were able to eke out the victory on the strength of their own strong serving and net play.
Their doubles win was the second shocking upset of this quarterfinal tie, which is being played at the Palexpo indoor arena in Geneva.
On Friday, the 64th-ranked Golubev pulled off what had been the biggest upset of this year`s Davis Cup by edging Wawrinka, the world No. 3 and reigning Australian Open champion, 7-6 (7-5), 6-2, 3-6, 7-6 (7-5).
"It`s a great feeling. It`s like a dream I must say because we are playing against the Swiss in Switzerland," Kazakh captain Dias Doskarayev said.
"I told the guys before the match miracles may happen but you have to believe in miracles and today we had to play fantastic. We had to play aggressive, we had to play great but of course we needed to expect mistakes from the Swiss team."
Federer said Golubev`s play had been the difference so far in the quarterfinal tie.
"(Golubev) has been the man of the match in the singles and doubles, he`s played great," Federer said. "He`s been mentally really calm, confident and serene. I`ve been very impressed by him. He made the difference in the doubles."
Wawrinka has appeared to struggle thus far with the pressure of trying to help lead Switzerland to its first-ever Davis Cup title, but he vowed to bounce back in Sunday`s reverse singles.
"It was a great atmosphere on court but it was tough to lose the doubles," Wawrinka said. "For me it was good to play a lot of tennis the last two days even if it was two difficult days but I`m going to be ready and I know what to do to win."
Despite the 2-1 deficit, the Swiss, who boast the world`s third- and fourth-ranked singles players, remain heavy favourites to advance to the semifinals of the Davis Cup.
In other Davis Cup quarterfinal results Saturday, the two-time defending champion Czech Republic finished off a 3-0 victory over Japan in Tokyo despite the absence of top singles player Tomas Berdych, France got on the board against visiting Germany with a four-set doubles victory but still trail 2-1, and Great Britain took a 2-1 lead over Italy in Naples.