Australia takes a 2-0 lead

Updated: September 24, 2004, 11:00 AM ET
Associated Press

PERTH, Australia -- Lleyton Hewitt set an Australian Davis Cup record Friday as he claimed his 25th singles victory against Morocco's Mehdi Tahiri in a World Group qualifier.

Hewitt, the U.S. Open runner-up, beat Tahiri 6-0, 6-2, 6-2 on the grass at Royal Kings Park, and Wayne Arthurs defeated Mounir El Aarej 7-6 (6), 6-4, 6-3 as Australia took a 2-0 lead.

Hewitt, who has played in the Davis Cup just six years, eclipsed the previous mark of 24 wins, established by Adrian Quist over a 16-year period from 1933-48. Hewitt has won his last eight Davis Cup singles matches, 14 of his last 15 and is 25-5 overall.

"All the talk was on that, but I wasn't really concentrating on it," Hewitt said of the record. "I'm only 23 so, hopefully, I can build a little bit of a gap on the next guy."

Hewitt said team competition brings out his best play.

"Davis Cup is one thing I'd like to play for a long time," he said. "I really enjoy being around the guys and we don't get to have that team atmosphere for the rest of the year."

Morocco's two best players, Hicham Arazi and Younes El Aynaoui, are out because of injuries. The Australians are without Mark Philippoussis, their No. 2-ranked player, who has a hip injury.


Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press