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Roger Federer restores parity

Geneva: Roger Federer eased to victory over Mikhail Kukushkin on Friday, bringing Switzerland level at 1-1 with Kazakhstan in the Davis Cup quarter finals.

Federer’s 6-4, 6-4, 6-2 win in less than two hours restored order for the 15,000 Swiss fans who saw Australian Open champion Stanislas Wawrinka lose the opening singles match.

Wawrinka, ranked No. 3 after his first Grand Slam title, lost 6-7 (5), 2-6, 6-3, 6-7 (5) to 64th-ranked Andrey Golubev. Federer and Wawrinka, doubles champions at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, are scheduled to team up Saturday against Kazakh doubles pair Aleksandr Nedovyesov and Evgeny Korolev.

“The weekend is not finished,” Federer said in a courtside interview after beating the 56th-ranked Kukushkin. “I served well and played a solid match.” The winner will face Britain or Italy in the semi-finals in September.

Switzerland are aiming to reach their first semi-final since 2003 in pursuit of a first Davis Cup title. Wawrinka received a huge ovation stepping on court at the Palexpo indoor arena for his first match in Switzerland since becoming a Grand Slam champion in January.