Hewitt, Guccione win to end Taiwan Davis Cup hopes

By Tony Phillips  /  Staff reporter, with AFP, TOKYO and NEW DELHI

Sun, Feb 03, 2013 - Page 20

Lleyton Hewitt and Chris Guccione earned a 7-6 (8/6), 6-4, 6-2 Davis Cup win over Taiwan’s Lee Hsin-han and Peng Hsien-yin in Kaohsiung yesterday to give Australia an insurmountable 3-0 lead in the Asia/Oceania Group 1 tie.

The Taiwanese duo’s doubles defeat followed losses in the singles by Yang Tsung-hua and Chen Ti on Friday, to Hewitt and Matthew Ebden respectively.

The reverse singles are today.

Yesterday’s win maintained Hewitt and Guccione’s unbeaten record as a team in the Davis Cup and secured Australia’s fourth win out of four Davis Cup ties against Taiwan.

Australia’s next face Uzbekistan from April 5 to April 7, with the winners going into September’s World Group play-offs, while Taiwan face a first round play-off against China on the same dates.

The Uzbeks earned the right to face the Australians after taking a 3-0 lead against China in their Asia/Oceania Group 1 clash yesterday. Denis Istomin and Farrukh Dustov clinched the tie for the hosts by beating Gong Maoxin and Zhang Ze 6-3, 7-6 (7/4), 6-3 at the Sport Complex Pahlavon in Namangan.

China and Taiwan will now have to battle it out to avoid a relegation play-off in September.

Elsewhere Yasutaka Uchiyama made a winning national team debut, teaming up with Tatsuma Ito to give Japan a winning 3-0 lead over Indonesia.

Uchiyama and Ito earned a berth for Japan in the second round after beating Christopher Rungkat and Elbert Sie 6-4, 5-7, 2-6, 7-5, 6-2 in the doubles.

On Friday, Ito and Go Soeda gave Japan a 2-0 lead in the opening-day singles without their ace Kei Nishikori, who was sidelined due to a left knee problem.

Japanese No. 3 Ito thrashed Indonesia’s No. 1 Rungkat 6-2, 6-2, 6-4, while Soeda, fresh from winning the Maui Challenger in Hawaii two weeks ago, overwhelmed Wisnu Adi Nugroho 6-0, 6-0, 6-1.

Meanwhile, Veteran Leander Paes teamed up with debutant Purav Raja to win the doubles and keep India afloat against South Korea in New Delhi.

Paes and Raja beat Lim Yong-kyu and Nam Ji-sung 6-4, 7-6 (7/5), 6-2 to pull one back for the badly depleted home team which had lost both the opening singles on Friday.

“Winning a Davis Cup tie still excites me,” said 39-year-old Paes, who made his debut in the tournament in 1990. “And nothing better than winning in front of your home crowd.”

India went into the tie with Paes as the only first-choice player after 11 teammates refused to play following a dispute with the All-India Tennis Association.