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Tennis: First Day of Play Completed in Davis Cup Quarterfinals


Australia has taken a 2-0 lead over visiting Belarus, Croatia is tied with Argentina, 1-1, while Russia leads France, 2-0, and Chile leads the United States 1-0, on the first day of the Davis Cup tennis quarterfinals.

In Melbourne, rookie Chris Guccione and veteran Lleyton Hewitt took contrasting routes Friday in the best-of-five match series. Guccione survived a five sets marathon in beating top Belarus player Max Mirnyi in nearly four hours, 7-6, 3-6, 7-5, 3-6, 6-4.

Hewitt, playing for the first time at the Kooyong Club, former home of the Australian Open, beat Vladimir Voltchkov in straight sets, 6-2, 6-1, 6-2.

Meanwhile indoors on carpet in Pau, France, Marat Safin gave Russia a 1-0 lead when he scored a five-set win over Richard Gasquet, (7-6, 4-6, 6-3, 6-7, 6-1). In the second singles match, Russia's Nikolay Davydenko beat Arnaud Clement in four sets (3-6, 6-2, 6-4, 7-6).

In Zagreb, Ivan Ljubicic overcame a two-set deficit to give defending champion Croatia a 1-0 lead over Argentina by scoring a five-set win over Agustin Calleri (6-7, 5-7, 7-6, 6-1, 6-2). Argentina's David Nalbandian evened the best of five series with a straight-set win over 17-year-old Marin Cilic (6-1, 6-1, 6-2). Cilic replaced the injured Mario Ancic.

At the Mission Hills Country Club in Rancho Mirage, California, Chile's Fernando Gonzalez was down two sets to none to come back to beat American James Blake in five sets, (6-7, 0-6, 7-6, 6-4, and 10-8). The second singles has Andy Roddick taking on Nicolas Massu.

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