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Flying start for Aussies

Sydney: Lleyton Hewitt and Mark Philippoussis scored comfortable victories to give Australia a 2-0 lead in their Davis Cup first-round tie against Britain on Friday.

Philippoussis beat Alan Mackin 6-3, 6-3, 6-3, before world No. 1 Hewitt, who had trailed 2-4 in the first set, swept past teenager Alex Bogdanovic 7-5, 6-1, 6-2.

Hewitt, 21, admitted he had to adjust to the drop-in clay court after playing on a hard surface during last month’s Australian Open and was expecting a long, drawn-out tussle.

Philippoussis, returning to Davis Cup action after a three-year break, overpowered Mackin with a battery of 13 aces and hefty returns.

US, Croatia 1-1

In Zagreb, James Blake survived a fit of nerves to beat Mario Ancic 6-1, 6-2, 7-6 (7-5) and haul the US level 1-1 with Croatia. Earlier, Ivan Ljubicic beat Mardy Fish 7-5, 6-3, 6-4.

RESULTS

n In Sydney: Australia 2 Britain 0 (Lleyton Hewitt bt Alex Bogdanovic 7-5, 6-1, 6-2; Mark Philippoussis bt Alan Mackin 6-3, 6-3, 6-3).

n In Zagreb: Croatia 1 US 1 (James Blake bt Mario Ancic 6-1 6-2 7-6 (7-5); Ivan Ljubicic bt Mardy Fish 7-5 6-3 6-4 ).

n In Seville: Spain 2 Belgium 0 (Carlos Moya bt Xavier Malisse 7-6 (7-2, 6-1, 7-6 (7-5); Juan Carlos Ferrero bt Christophe Rochus 6-3, 6-2, 7-5).

n In Bucharest: France 2 Romania 0 (Nicolas Escude bt Andrei Pavel 7-6 (7-2), 6-2, 7-6 (7-5); Sebastien Grosjean bt Adrian Voinea 6-2, 6-3, 7-6 (12-10)).

n In Arnheim: Netherlands 1 Switzerland 1 (Sjeng Schalken bt Michel Kratochvil 6-3, 7-5, 1-6, 4-6, 6-4; Roger Federer bt Raemon Sluiter 6-2 6-1 6-3).

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