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Australia complete 5-0 rout of Belarus

Written by: Staff
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SYDNEY, Apr 9 (Reuters) Australia completed a 5-0 whitewash of Belarus in their Davis Cup quarter-final by winning today's two dead singles matches in straight sets at Kooyong in Melbourne.

Wayne Arthurs defeated Sergui Tarasevitch 7-6 6-2 and Chris Guccione completed the rout with a crushing 6-1 6-3 win over Belarussian Davis Cup rookie Alexandr Zotov.

Australia will play defending champions Croatia or Argentina in September's semi-finals. Argentina led Croatia 2-1 after Saturday's doubles in Zagreb.

Australia had already wrapped up their first ever tie with Belarus by winning Friday's opening singles matches and Saturday's doubles.

Lleyton Hewitt was originally due to play Max Mirnyi in the first reverse singles but both teams agreed to substitute their number one players in the shortened best-of-three sets matches.

Arthurs, who teamed up with Paul Hanley to win an epic five-set doubles match, held his nerve to win the opening set against Tarasevitch in a tiebreak, then rode his booming serve to race through the second and seal victory in 80 minutes.

Guccione was even more impressive, needing just 45 minutes to continue his meteoric rise in Australian tennis.

He shot to fame by winning the deciding rubber in Australia's first-round win over Switzerland last month after Hewitt had declared himself unavailable.

The towering left-hander proved he was no one-hit wonder with a stirring five-set victory over the higher-ranked Mirnyi on Friday followed by his crushing win over Zotov.

REUTERS PM HT094

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