The Portuguese national team has now been sidelined by the Davis Cup World Group after João Sousa’s defeat by Mikhail Kukushkin in their third qualifying round tie against Kazakhstan in Astana.
The 29-year-old from the world rankings was beaten by Kukushkin, the highest-ranked player on the ATP circuit, in two sets by 4-6 and 1-6, in an hour and 15 minutes, at the National Tennis Center.
With the 29-year-old minhoto, Portugal, who had reduced their handicap by winning in pairs, was dismissed from the Davis Cup finals, which will be played in Madrid between November 18 and 24, and will return to play. Group I of the Europe / Africa zone in September.
Kazakhstan ensured their presence in the World Group by winning the tie, decided to the best of five, joining today’s triumph to those won on Friday by Alexander Bublik and Kukushkin, against João Sousa and Pedro Sousa, respectively.
Today, João Sousa and Gastão Elias still had hope in the Portuguese recovery, when they won the match in pairs, against Timur Khabibulin and Alekxandr Nedovyesov.