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Tennis-Guccione fells "The Beast" to put Australia ahead

Written by: Staff
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SYDNEY, Apr 7 (Reuters) Chris Guccione felled Max Mirnyi 7-6 3-6 7-5 3-6 6-4 to give Australia a shock 1-0 lead over Belarus in their Davis Cup quarter-final in Melbourne today.

''It's the biggest win of my career,'' Guccione told Australian television. ''In front of my home crowd there's no better feeling. I was very nervous but I relaxed into the match.'' The 20-year-old Guccione broke Mirnyi's serve in the last game of the opening singles match which lasted three hours 41 minutes, clinching victory when the Belarussian netted a simple forehand volley.

The left-hander from Melbourne, who won the deciding rubber against Switzerland in the last round, is ranked 168th in the world, 117 places below Mirnyi, nicknamed The Beast for his intimidating stature and power.

Australian Lleyton Hewitt plays Vladimir Voltchkov in the second singles later today.

REUTERS DH SP1113

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