Davis Cup: Kukushkin gives Kazakhstan 1-0 lead over Italy

ASTANA, Kazakhstan (AP) — Mikhail Kukushkin defeated Simone Bolelli 7-6 (6), 6-1, 6-2 to give Kazakhstan a 1-0 lead over Italy in Davis Cup on Friday.

After winning a first-set tiebreak, Kukushkin’s momentum was too strong for Bolelli, who was a surprise nomination for the singles after the higher-ranked Fabio Fognini was entered only for the doubles.

The second rubber pits Italy’s Andreas Seppi against Kazakhstan’s Andrei Golubev.

Italy and Kazakhstan lost to eventual champion Switzerland last year, with the Kazakhs beaten in the quarterfinals, and Italy in the semifinals.