ASTANA, Kazakhstan (AP) — Italy’s Fabio Fognini and Simone Bolelli defeated the Kazakh duo of Andrei Golubev and Alexander Nedovesov in doubles on Saturday to give their team a 2-1 lead in their Davis Cup first-round meeting.
Fognini and Bolelli, who was a replacement for the originally nominated Paolo Lorenzi, lost a marathon tiebreaker in the third set but recovered to close out the match 7-6 (4), 6-3, 6-7 (13), 6-4.
The Kazakhs played higher-risk tennis, edging the Italians 51-47 on winners but posting 74 unforced errors during the match, 27 more than Fognini and Bolelli.
Golubev and Nedovesov racked up 22 unforced errors in the fourth set alone, twice as many as the Italians, to all but gift their opponents the victory.
Kazakhstan must now win both of Sunday’s singles matches, which pit Kazakh No. 1 Mikhail Kukushkin against Andreas Seppi before Bolelli meets Golubev.
On Friday, Kukushkin gave Kazakhstan an early lead in its first Davis Cup meeting with Italy, defeating Bolelli 7-6 (6), 6-1, 6-2.
Seppi responded for Italy in the second singles match, beating Golubev 6-3, 6-3, 6-7 (5), 6-2 to level the tie at the National Tennis Center in Kazakhstan’s capital Astana.