Astana, Kazakhstan (Sports Network) - Andrey Golubev and Evgeny Korolev were opening singles winners Friday, as host Kazakhstan jumped on Austria for a 2-0 lead in their best-of-five opening-round Davis Cup tie.
Golubev got the hosts going with a 7-6 (7-2), 6-3, 7-6 (7-5) victory over Austrian Andreas Haider-Maurer, while the second rubber on Day 1 saw Korolev cut down left-hander Jurgen Melzer in straight sets, 7-6 (7-4), 6-3, 6-2, at Astana's National Tennis Centre.
The Kazakhstans can clinch here on Saturday in the doubles match on the indoor red clay, as a tandem of Golubev and Yuri Schukin takes on an Austrian pairing of Julian Knowle and Alexander Peya.
Sunday's potentially meaningless reverse singles currently call for Golubev to face Melzer and Korolev to battle Haider-Maurer.
Team Austria is captained by Clemens Trimmel, while the Kazakhstans are led by Dias Doskarayev. This is the first-ever meeting between the two nations in Davis Cup play.
The winner in Astana will move on to face either the Czech Republic or Switzerland in the quarterfinals.