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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Strong Showing for Russia on Its Davis Cup Return

APAndreyev returning the ball against Gonzalez in their match in Chile on Friday.
LA SERENA, Chile -- Nicolas Massu and Fernando Gonzalez beat Marat Safin and Igor Andreyev 7-6 (3), 6-3, 6-4 Saturday to keep Chile in its first-round Davis Cup tie against Russia.

Russia still led the best-of-five encounter 2-1 going into Sunday, with Safin having defeated Massu and Andreyev's upset victory over Gonzalez on Friday in the opening singles. Chile needed to win both of its reverse singles rubbers Sunday to win the tie.

Russia made an impressive start to the defense of its Davis Cup title Friday by taking a 2-0 lead over Chile.

Former world No. 1 Safin set the Russians on their way with a straight sets victory over Olympic champion Massu before Andreyev upset world No. 5 Fernando Gonzalez in four sets.

The Russians had made the long trip to Chile without two of their top players, and when a third, Dmitry Tursunov, withdrew with an injury Thursday, Chilean hopes were high.

But former U.S. and Australian Open champion Safin subdued a restive 10,000-strong home crowd in the Pacific beach resort with a 6-3, 6-2, 6-2 victory.

In the second tie, Gonzalez showed signs of the tremendous form which helped him beat Lleyton Hewitt, Rafael Nadal and Tommy Haas en route to last month's Australian Open final, and he took the first set 6-4.

But Andreyev, ranked 142 places below his opponent, kept his head and produced a series of elegant ground strokes to break serve three times in the second set and level the scores.

Playing under a blazing sun tempered by a brisk sea breeze, Andreyev raced to a 3-0 lead in the third set and Gonzalez's challenge wilted.

When the Russian saved five break points in the second game of the final set it was evident it was not Gonzalez's day and Andreyev quickly wrapped up an unexpected but deserved 4-6, 6-4, 6-3, 6-2 victory.