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Hewitt, Philippoussis give Aussies 2-0 lead

Malmo (Sweden): World No. 1 Lleyton Hewitt eased Australia into a 2-0 lead over Sweden in their Davis Cup quarter final on Friday, seeing off Thomas Enqvist 6-4, 6-2, 5-7, 6-4.

Earlier Mark Philippoussis gave the visitors a flying start by beating doubles specialist Jonas Bjorkman 6-4, 6-3, 6-3 in the opening singles match.

The opening results are gloomy for the Swedes ahead of the doubles on Saturday, where Enqvist and Bjorkman team up for their first ever Davis Cup doubles match against Wayne Arthurs and Todd Woodbridge.

Philippoussis played flawlessly to outclass Bjorkman, who struggled throughout most of the match to hold his service.

The hard-hitting Australian hit a total of 14 aces but also displayed a very solid overall game, producing spectacular winners and backhand passing shots.

Spain in command

Meanwhile, Juan Carlos Ferrero and Carlos Moya scored crushing singles wins over Croatia’s top two in another quarter final in Valencia.

Ferrero put a nervous start behind him to set Spain on their way with a 6-4, 6-2, 7-6 success over teenager Mario Ancic on the red clay.

Moya then won a spectacular tussle with Ivan Ljubicic to make it 2-0.

Ljubicic served immensely well throughout the match but Moya held on to claim a 6-7, 6-1, 6-4, 6-4 victory in two hours 57 minutes — his first win in four meetings with the Croatian No. 1.

Ljubicic is due back on court on Saturday to partner Lovro Zovko in the doubles against Albert Costa and Alex Corretja.

Swiss fight back

Roger Federer humbled local hero Nicolas Escude to draw Switzerland level 1-1 in their quarter final against France in Toulouse.

The Swiss No. 1 dismissed the French No. 2 6-4, 7-5, 6-4 in just two hours.

Sebastien Grosjean earlier secured the first point of the tie by beating George Bastl in four sets 6-3, 6-4, 3-6, 6-4.

World No. 3 last season and winner in Marseille and Dubai this year, Federer did everything a little better than Escude in their one-sided encounter, never letting the Frenchman into the match. Federer gave an impressive performance and is expected to provide a tough obstacle for Grosjean in Sunday’s singles.

Argentina 1-0 up

In the fourth quarter final at Buenos Aires, David Nalbandian brushed aside Nikolay Davydenko in straight sets to give Argentina the lead against defending champions Russia.

Nalbandian, beaten Wimbledon finalist last year, won 6-2, 6-2, 7-5 in two hours and 22 minutes despite suffering a hiccup after a rain interruption in the third set. (Reuters)

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