After his enthralling victory against Miomir Kecmanovic (SRB) on Wednesday, 33-year-old Mikhail Kukushkin (KAZ) revealed that it was exactly those moments that make him want to keep playing tennis
Kukushkin is no stranger to outperforming his ranking when his country comes calling and the world No. 182 was on the winning side of an extraordinary encounter with 22-year-old Kecmanovic in front of a packed crowd at the Madrid Arena on Wednesday.
During his post-match press conference, the Kazakh revealed that Davis Cup, which is always his top priority, is the reason that he wants to continue as a tennis professional.
“For sure, these kind of matches I will remember forever,” he said with a big smile. “That's why we play tennis, you know, for this kind of match.”
And the Kazkakh, who has scored wonderful wins in his career in this competition against the likes of Stan Wawrinka, Juan Carlos Ferrero, Viktor Troicki and Diego Schwartzman, went on to say that his love affair with Davis Cup runs deep.
“It's special,” he said. “For us it's always special. I’ve played in Davis Cup already 14 years. For us to play for our country, it's a big honour. That's why we give everything we can. We always fight till the very last point. Davis Cup matches are always No.1 priority.
“For sure, these kind of matches I will remember forever. That's why we play tennis, you know, for this kind of match.”
“These kind of matches in Davis Cup motivate me to keep playing tennis. We play not for prize money or ranking points. Playing these kind of matches, to be on the big stage, big crowd, TV. It's such drama on the court. That's what motivates me to keep playing tennis.”
Kukushkin is also hopeful that his country’s achievements on the court will be reflected by the growth of the sport off it.
“I really hope that our good results in Davis Cup will inspire the next generation in Kazakhstan,” he added. “That's what we are working for.”