SYDNEY -- Australia completed a 5-0
whitewash of Belarus in their Davis Cup quarterfinal by
winning Sunday's two dead singles matches in straight sets at
Kooyong in Melbourne.
Wayne Arthurs defeated Sergui Tarasevitch 7-6 (6), 6-2 and Chris
Guccione completed the rout with a crushing 6-1, 6-3 win over
Belarussian rookie Alexandr Zotov.
"I'm so proud of these young kids," Australia's non-playing
captain John Fitzgerald told a news conference.
"It's a good effort, a very good effort. A lot of people
might think in retrospect that we were heavy favorites here,
but they were a tough opposition."
Australia had already wrapped up its first ever tie with
Belarus and booked its fifth semifinal appearance in eight
years by winning Friday's opening singles matches and
Lleyton Hewitt was originally due to play Max Mirnyi in the
first reverse singles but both teams agreed to substitute their
No. 1 players in the shortened best-of-three sets matches.
Australia will now play Argentina in September's semifinals.
Australia will face the daunting prospect of traveling to South America with
"I know Lleyton's a pretty wanted man over in Argentina and
I think they'll be throwing more than the kitchen sink at him," Arthurs said.
Hewitt, who has been involved in a series of verbal rows
with several Argentine players in recent years, said he was
unconcerned about Australia's next opponents.
"When it comes to the semifinals, we'll be all ready to
go," he said. "We've just got to take care of our own team and
get everyone fit and healthy."
Arthurs teamed up with Paul Hanley to win an epic five-set
doubles match and 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 match 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.
"I've just got to draw from this and try to play this well
when I'm playing tournament after tournament, week after week
out on the tour by myself," Guccione said.