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Golubev ends nightmare streak


 

Originally published on: 17/08/11 10:15

Like transport in suburban Britain, some things are a long time coming and, indeed, some things just don’t come at all.

The wait for a US male Grand Slam champion, for instance, has rumbled on since a baby faced Andy Roddick won at Flushing Meadows in 2003, while World No.1 Caroline Wozniacki has also settled in for the long run, seemingly avoiding the absence of a Grand Slam crown in her trophy cabinet by turning her attentions to golf, ahem, for the time being.

But Kazakhstan’s Andrey Golubev will be relieved – if we are to continue the analogy –  that his bus has finally turned up after winning a match on the ATP World Tour for the first time in nearly six months.

Not since Indian Wells, in March, had the 24-year-old Kazak won a match on the professional tour and it is somewhat ironic that Novak Djokovic, the master of the positive streak this year, sparked Golubev’s poor run, inflicting the first of 17 straight defeats on the Italy-based right-hander.

In recent months, the Bra resident has plummeted down to No.101 in the rankings after failing to defend his Hamburg title and clocking up 22 losses to just four wins in 2011.

Yesterday in Cincinnati, Golubev finally turned the tide, eliminating 16th-ranked Stanislas Wawrinka 3-6 6-4 6-1 to reach the second round of an ATP tournament for just the second time in 2011.

“It was very important,” said the 24-year-old, who had narrowly lost 7-5 7-6(6) to Thomaz Bellucci last week in Toronto. “I lost a few matches when I was one or two points away from victory. It’s really tough to digest.”

Happily for Golubev, the streak is over. But should he ride a second win – over Radek Stepanek – into the third round, he’ll likely earn the chance to test his mettle against one of the big guns again. Er, Novak Djokovic…

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