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Kazakhstan Edges Closer To Historic Semi-Final Berth; France Stays Alive

World Group, Quarter-finals

Kazakhstan© Reuters/Action ImagesAndrey Golubev and Oleksandr Nedovyesov led Kazakhstan to a 2-1 lead in their Davis Cup quarter-final against Switzerland. reviews Saturday's Davis Cup quarter-final action.

Venue: Palexpo, Geneva, Switzerland (hard - indoor)

Kazakhstan has sensationally taken a 2-1 lead against Switzerland, the 1992 finalist.

Andrey Golubev and Aleksandr Nedovyesov, competing together for the first time in the Davis Cup, defeated Roger Federer and Stanislas Wawrinka 6-4, 7-6(5), 4-6, 7-6(6) on Saturday in Geneva.

"Feels special," said Nedovyesov, who is playing his first tie since 2005, when he represented Ukraine. "That was my first match for the Kazakhstan Davis Cup team and I'm pretty excited, especially to beat the Olympic champions of Federer and Wawrinka. Makes it special. I'm proud of my team and my country." 

Federer and Wawrinka held an early mini-break lead at 3-0 in the fourth set tie-break, but Golubev and Nedovyesov would not be deterred, eventually emerging victorious after two hours and 56 minutes.

Kazakhstan will seek to book a spot in the semi-finals for the first time in history, needing just one win in Sunday's reverse singles rubbers. The Kazakhs had completed a whitewash of the Swiss in their only previous meeting, in 2010.

On Sunday, Mikhail Kukushkin will lock horns with Wawrinka in a rematch of a 2010 rubber won by the World No. 56 in five sets. Federer will face Golubev to decide the tie should Wawrinka prevail.

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Venue: Palais Des Sports Jean Weille, Nancy, France (hard - indoor)

France staved off elimination behind a strong performance from Julien Benneteau and Michael Llodra in Benneteau, LlodraSaturday's doubles action.

The French veterans defeated Andre Begemann and Tobias Kamke 6-1, 7-6(5), 4-6, 7-5 in three hours and 26 minutes.

Llodra and Benneteau fired 12 aces and 83 winners, while converting on five of 21 break points, to improve to 5-3 together in Davis Cup play.

"It's never easy to have a match like this," said Llodra. "We knew we had to play a good match to win, otherwise the tie is over. We stayed focused and played our best tennis today. We are happy to stay alive."

France is looking to become just the eighth team to rally from a 0-2 deficit in Davis Cup World Group history. They will turn to Jo-Wilfried Tsonga to force a deciding fifth rubber when the 28 year old battles Kamke in Sunday's reverse singles.

Peter Gojowczyk, a quarter-finalist at the Qatar ExxonMobil Open earlier this year, is slated to meet Benneteau to conclude the tie. Gojowczyk impressively upset Tsonga 8-6 in a fifth set in Friday's singles action.

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