Kecmanovic throws away win against Kukushkin, Kazakhstan leads 1-0 against Serbia
It was a very entertaining 3-hour long match in Madrid with Mikhail Kukushkin winning it after a dramatic comeback to give his nation the 1-0 lead.
Kazakhstan and Serbia are playing for a spot in the Davis Cup Finals semifinals in Madrid and for a brief moment, it looked like it would be Kazakhstan that would go up 1-0. Then it looked like it would be Serbia only for it to be Kazakhstan after all. This rubber is a very important one in the tie as Kazakhstan needs one of the two singles to give themselves a chance for the semifinals and they go it now.
It started well enough for Kecmanovic as he was able to break Kukushkin in the first game taking a 2-0 lead. He was unable to hold it for long as Kukushkin was able to pull it back immediately and make it 2-2. From there both players played rather well as neither allowed much. The Kazakhstani player applied a lot of pressure on Kecmanovic and while he did not use his break point he played with a lot of confidence.
In the tiebreak, it was Kukushkin who played a little bit better ultimately winning it 7-5. A huge thing for Kukushkin was being able to win that sat and it reflected in the 2nd set as Kecmanovic's level dropped off a bit. Kukushkin was able to take an early 3-1 lead after a rather bad game by Kecmanvoic and after that, the Kazakhstani player mostly focused on his own serve.
It did not work out too well as Krajinovic was able to pull back the break and make it 4-4. It was a very crucial game for the Serbian who injected himself with a lot of confidence. Another crucial game came at 5-4 when Kecmanovic finally used his 5th set point on Kukushkin's serve to close it out with 6-4.
From there it was a rather easy job for Kecmanovic who was dominating the match. Kukushkin had nothing left and the Serbian was able to easily take a 3-0 lead at the start of the 3rd set. He nearly took a 4-0 lead but Kukushkin was able to make it 3-1 and that game is important to note because when Kecmanovic served for the match at 5-3 he got broken after squandering two match points.
Ultimately it was settled in the tiebreak with Kukushkin using his 5th match point to close it out 13-11. The Serbia had two of his own and 4 in total to win the match but could not do it.