Geneva, Switzerland (SportsNetwork.com) - Heavy underdog Kazakhstan grabbed a stunning 1-0 lead against powerful host Switzerland, as Andrey Golubev beat Australian Open champion Stan Wawrinka in Friday's opening singles rubber in a best-of-five Davis Cup quarterfinal.
The 64th-ranked Golubev gave the Kazakhs a shocking 1-0 lead by besting the world No. 3 Wawrinka, 7-6 (7-5), 6-2, 3-6, 7-6 (7-5), on an indoor hardcourt at Geneva's Palexpo.
Wawrinka managed to stay alive by saving two match points to force a fourth- set tiebreak, but Golubev then raced out to a 6-2 lead in the breaker and ultimately converted on his sixth match point of the day by swatting a brilliant forehand volley winner after 3 hours, 14 minutes of compelling tennis.
The 29-year-old Wawrinka lost despite firing 19 aces, as Golubev tallied a pair of service breaks, compared to only one for the stunned Swiss loser.
Friday's second opening singles rubber pits 32-year-old 17-time Grand Slam king Roger Federer against Kazakhstan's Mikhail Kukushkin.
Saturday's doubles have Federer and Wawrinka taking on a Kazakhstani duo of Evgeny Korolev and Aleksandr Nedovyesov, while Sunday's reverse singles will pit the world No. 3 Wawrinka against Kukushkin and the fourth-ranked former world No. 1 Federer versus Golubev.
The Swiss are captained by Severin Luthi, while Kazakhstan is guided by Dias Doskarayev. The Kazakhs won the lone Davis Cup meeting between the two nations in Astana in 2010.
The winner in Geneva will meet the Great Britain-Italy victor in a semifinal in September.