Hewitt wins first match since losing Aussie Open

Updated: March 4, 2005, 1:40 AM ET
Associated Press

SYDNEY, Australia -- Lleyton Hewitt and Wayne Arthurs won in straight sets Friday, giving Australia a 2-0 lead over Austria in a Davis Cup World Group match at the Sydney International Tennis Center.

Hewitt, playing for the first time since losing the Australian Open final to Marat Safin on Jan. 30, beat Austria's Alexander Peya 6-2, 6-3, 6-4.

Arthurs, who won his first career singles title in Scottsdale, Ariz., last weekend, beat Austrian No. 1 Jurgen Melzer 7-6 (5), 6-2, 6-4 on a grass court at the 2000 Olympic site.

Arthurs and Todd Woodbridge can clinch the first-rounder for Australia on Saturday when they play Julian Knowle and Peya in the doubles. The reverse singles are scheduled for Sunday.

The of the Australia-Austria match faces the winner of the Czech Republic-Argentina match in the next round.

Hewitt, Australia's most successful Davis Cup player, won for the 26th time in 31 singles matches.

Hewitt won the Medibank International tournament in Sydney before the Australian Open and has lost just once at the Sydney International center -- in the first round of the 2000 Olympics.

"It was never easy coming out and playing a Davis Cup match first-up," Hewitt, 24, said. "I knew I wanted to get an early win and take some of the pressure off Wayne in the second match."


Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press