Astana, Kazakhstan (SportsNetwork.com) - Little-known Aleksandr Nedovyesov stunned world No. 22 Fabio Fognini in the fifth and deciding rubber, as host Kazakhstan upset Italy 3-2 in their opening-round Davis Cup affair in Astana.
The favored Italians headed into Sunday's reverse singles with a 2-1 lead in the best-of-five battle, but world No. 58 Mikhail Kukushkin and the 130th- ranked Nedovyesov each posted upsets to elate the home crowd at the National Tennis Centre.
Kukushkin kept the hosts alive by surprising world No. 35 Andreas Seppi in straight sets, 7-6 (10-8), 6-0, 6-4, before the heroic Nedovyesov popped 18 aces in outlasting Fognini in five, 7-6 (7-5), 3-6, 4-6, 6-3, 7-5, in 3 hours, 41 minutes. Fognini sat out Friday's opening singles here.
Fognini and Simone Bolelli won Saturday's doubles match in four sets over Nedovyesov and Andrey Golubev to give Italy a 2-1 advantage, while Friday's opening singles were split, with wins coming from Kukushkin and Seppi.
Kazakhstan will meet Australia in July's quarterfinals.