Australia, Argentina win at World Team Cup

Associated Press

Duesseldorf, May 18:

Former world No 1 Lleyton Hewitt and Mark Philippoussis both survived tough matches on Monday as Australia edged the United States 2-1 at the World Team Cup. Philippoussis erased a 5-2 deficit and a match point in the third set to beat Scottsdale winner Vincent Spadea 6-7, 6-3, 7-6. Hewitt edged Robby Ginepri 7-5, 6-7, 6-4. In the doubles match, Bob and Mike Bryan earned the US a point by beating Wayne Arthurs and Paul Hanley 6-2, 6-4. Argentina also won both singles matches to defeat the Netherlands 3-0. Gaston Gaudio edged Martin Verkerk 4-6, 6-2, 6-4 and Juan Ignacio Chela came through a marathon battle with Sjeng Schalken to win 6-3, 5-7, 7-5.

In the doubles, Lucas Arnold and Mariano Zabaleta made it a clean sweep by defeating John van Lottum and Verkerk 3-6, 6-3, 6-3. Spadea was favored against Philippoussis, who had lost eight consecutive matches since reaching the fourth round of the Australian Open in January. But the Australian played well at the net and refused to buckle in a contest that lasted almost three hours. Hewitt, a semi-finalist in Hamburg last week, was stronger from the baseline and although Ginepri impressed with his stylish backhand, Hewitt’s greater experience in tough matches pulled him through. The World Team Cup is a round-robin tournament contested by eight teams split into two groups. Each team plays three matches, two singles and a doubles and the winners of each group advance to Saturday’s final. The Red Group contains Germany, Spain, Chile and the Czech Republic. The Blue Group consists of the United States, Argentina, Australia and the Netherlands.

Strasbourg Open

STRASBOURG: Marion Bartoli struggled through her first round match at the Strasbourg Open on Monday but did enough to ensure a clash with three-time Grand Slam winner Lindsay Davenport. Frenchwoman Bartoli overcame Austrian Barbara Schett 6-3, 2-6, 6-4 and meets American Davenport in the second round of the $170,000 clay-court tournament. Davenport has 40 career WTA Tour singles titles, including three Grand Slam wins. Meanwhile, in other play on Monday, Severine Beltrame of France upset No 7 Maria Sanchez Lorenzo of Spain 6-7, 6-4, 6-1 while American Laura Granville advanced with a 6-1, 7-6 success over Kristina Brandi of Puerto Rico.

GP Hassan II

CASABLANCA: Antony Dupuis reached the second round of the Grand Prix Hassan II tournament with a 7-6, 6-4 win over French countryman Arnaud Di Pasquale on Monday.

Dupuis, seeded third and Milan Indoors winner in February, next faces Spaniard Albert Portas, the 2001 Hamburg Masters winner. Spaniard Portas beat Frenchman Olivier Mutis 6-2, 7-5. Both Dupuis and Portas have just one career singles titles. In other matches on Monday at $447,000 clay-court tournament, there were wins for No 8 seed Oscar Hernandez and Swiss Davis Cup player Ivo Heuberger. Hernandez of Spain beat Morocco’s Mounir El Aarej 6-4, 6-4, with Heuberger triumphing 6-4, 6-2 over Dutchman Dennis van Scheppingen, the No 6.