Kazakhstan leads Serbia 2-1 in the first round of the Davis Cup after Andrey Golubev and Aleksandr Nedovyesov beat Novak Djokovic and Nenad Zimonjic 6-3 7-6 (7-3) 7-5 in the doubles match.
Golubev and Nedovyesov dominated, serving strongly and allowing the Serbs little space to fight back despite the presence of the world’s top-ranked player Djokovic and the home crowd.
Djokovic and Zimonjic started well, breaking early in the first set, but Golubev and Nedovyesov then won four games in a row to wrap up the set.
Djokovic and Zimonjic upped their game in the second set but their opponents didn’t flinch.
Golubev and Nedovyesov kept it up to the finish as their opponents failed to exploit a couple of break chances.
Djokovic admitted he lacked practice as a doubles player. But he added that “tomorrow is a new day and I am sure I will play better in the singles.”
“It is not the first time that we are behind, it was so in the semifinals and finals when we won the trophy” in 2010, Djokovic said. “We know how to prepare and we have many reasons to believe we can turn this around.”
Serbia coach Bogdan Obradovic said “they fought very hard but the luck factor also played a role.”
Obradovic added that “we have been in situations like this in the past, we must now concentrate on the remaining singles matches.”
Djokovic, who overcame eye infections to play, will face Mikhail Kukushkin in reverse singles on Sunday while Viktor Troicki will play against Aleksandr Nedovyesov.