Astana, Kazakhstan (SportsNetwork.com) - Host Kazakhstan recorded a pair of opening singles victories Friday to take a commanding 2-0 lead over Belgium in their best-of-five opening-round Davis Cup tie.
Mikhail Kukushkin got the hosts going with a 6-4, 6-7 (3-7), 6-2, 6-3 victory over Ruben Bemelmans and Andrey Golubev made it a Day 1 sweep with a marathon 7-6 (11-9), 3-6, 4-6, 6-2, 12-10 decision over David Goffin in 4 hours, 38 minutes on the indoor hardcourt at the National Tennis Centre. The 22-game fifth set of Golubev-Goffin lasted 1 hour, 46 minutes.
Saturday's doubles rubber currently pits a Kazakhstani duo of Evgeny Korolev and Denis Yevseyev against a Belgian tandem of Olivier Rochus and Kimmer Coppejans.
This is the first-ever Davis Cup meeting between these two nations.
The winner in Astana will take on the Serbia-Switzerland victor in the quarterfinals in April.