Bjorkman defeats Philippoussis for clincher

Updated: February 8, 2004, 3:53 AM ET
ESPN.com news services

ADELAIDE, Australia -- Jonas Bjorkman knocked defending champion Australia out of the Davis Cup on Sunday, beating Mark Philippoussis 7-5, 6-2, 6-2 to give Sweden an unbeatable 3-1 lead.

In the final match of the tie, Sweden's Thomas Enqvist defeated Australia's Wayne Arthurs 7-6 (8), 3-6, 6-4 for a 4-1 victory.

Sweden advanced to a quarterfinal against the United States, which had a 3-0 lead over Austria after winning both opening singles and the doubles.

"It just worked out perfect today," Swedish captain Mats Wilander said. "Everything went our way for the first three days."

Philippoussis, the hero of Australia's victory over Spain in the 2003 final in Melbourne two months ago, lost both his singles matches at Memorial Drive.

"It's three days I want to put behind me. One day you're the hero, the next day everyone jumps on you," Philippoussis said. "That's how it is here unfortunately. It's a tough time now."

Bjorkman, who spent 4½ hours on court Saturday with Joachim Johansson in a five-set doubles victory over Todd Woodbridge and Wayne Arthurs, overwhelmed Philippoussis with an array of shots.

"Sometimes it helps me after a long match, to get more energy and play this good," Bjorkman said. "When I play this tennis, I can beat a lot of guys out there."

The 31-year-old Swede disarmed Philippoussis' big serve with powerful returns, whipped cross court backhands past the Wimbledon finalist and was 11-0 on his trips to the net.

Australia became the seventh defending champion to be eliminated in the first round since the final round was introduced in 1972. Spain was the last, in 2001 against Netherlands.

Last year, Australia beat Sweden 5-0 in Malmo, Sweden, in the quarterfinals.

Argentina finishes Morocco
AGADIR, Morocco -- Argentina reached the Davis Cup quarterfinals, beating Morocco in doubles Saturday to clinch the first-round series.

Lucas Arnold and Agustin Calleri defeated Mounir El Aarej and Mehdi Tahiri 6-1, 6-4, 6-2 on the indoor courts to give the Argentines a 3-0 lead in the best-of-five series in the World Group.

Morocco was without its top two players -- Younes El Aynaoui and Hicham Arazi are both injured. El Aarej is ranked 404th and Tahiri is 611th.

Arazi quit Friday's match against David Nalbandian in the fourth set because of a leg strain. Guillermo Coria, ranked No. 4 and making his Davis Cup debut, gave Argentina a winning start by routing El Aarej 6-1, 6-1, 6-4.

Swiss take 2-1 lead on Romania
BUCHAREST, Romania-- Top-ranked Roger Federer and Yves Allegro struggled through five sets Saturday, winning doubles against Andrei Pavel and Gabriel Trifu and giving Switzerland a 2-1 lead over Romania in the Davis Cup.

The Swiss pair won 6-4, 1-6, 6-3, 3-6, 10-8. Federer, the Wimbledon and Australian Open champion, was the driving force for Switzerland in a first-round match lasting 3 hours, 45 minutes.

In Sunday's deciding singles in the best-of-five series, Pavel will meet Federer, and Hanescu will face Kratochvil. On Friday, Federer downed Victor Hanescu, and Pavel defeated Michel Kratochvil.

France goes up 2-1
METZ, France -- Nicolas Escude and Mickael Llodra beat Croatia's Mario Ancic and Ivo Karlovic in doubles Saturday, winning 6-1, 7-6 (5), 6-3 to give France a 2-1 lead in the first round of the Davis Cup.

France, a nine-time Davis Cup champion, leads 2-1 entering Sunday's final two matches in the World Group series on clay. France's Arnaud Clement faces Croatia's Ivan Ljubicic, and France's Thierry Ascione plays Ancic.

On Friday, Ljubicic tied it 1-1 with a victory over Ascione. Clement beat Ancic in straight sets.

Czech Republic takes lead
BRNO, Czech Republic -- Jiri Novak and Radek Stepanek won their doubles match Saturday, sending the Czech Republic to a 2-1 lead over Spain in the first round of the Davis Cup.

They edged Rafael Nadal and Tommy Robredo 6-4, 7-6 (6), 6-3 on the indoor carpet chosen especially for Novak.

Spain, the 2003 Davis Cup runner-up, needs to win both singles Sunday to avoid elimination. The Spaniards are without two injured stars for the best-of-five World Group series -- French Open champion Juan Carlos Ferrero and Carlos Moya.

On Sunday, Novak plays Robredo, followed by Stepanek against Nadal. Nadal, 17, is the youngest man to play Davis Cup for Spain.

On Friday, Novak defeated Nadal in the opening singles. Robredo then downed Stepanek in four sets.

Canada stays alive
MAASTRICHT, Netherlands -- The Netherlands conceded its Davis Cup doubles match with Canada on Saturday when Paul Haarhuis quit with a shoulder injury.

Canada, behind Daniel Nestor and Frederic Niemeyer, won 7-6 (10), 1-0 to remain alive in the first round of the World Group. The Dutch will take a 2-1 lead in Sunday's singles.

Haarhuis, who turns 38 this month, had an operation last year but said his surgeon cleared him to play.

Verkerk will open Sunday's singles against Frank Dancevic, followed by Sjeng Schalken against Simon Larose. Verkerk and Schalken are ranked in the top 20. Neither Canadian is ranked above 200.

Russia gains edge
MINSK, Belarus -- Marat Safin and Mikhail Youzhny of Russia scored a 6-4, 7-5, 7-6 (4) victory over Belarus' Max Mirnyi and Alexander Shvec for a 2-1 lead. Safin and Youzhny were teaming in Davis Cup doubles for the first time. On Sunday, Mirnyi is to play Igor Andreev, while Safin is to face Vladimir Voltchkov. Voltchkov sprained his right ankle Friday.

Information from The Associated Press and Reuters was used in this report.

In other first-round series, it's: France 2, Croatia 1; Russia 2, Belarus 1; Switzerland 2, Romania 1; and Netherlands 2, Canada 1.

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