Italy on course for shock victory: Tennis

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Italy surprisingly built a 2-0 lead over Spain in their Davis Cup World Group quarter-final in Pesaro as Omar Camporese beat Carlos Moya and Renzo Furlan delighted the home fans by beating Albert Costa.

Both matches were tense five-set marathons which kept the 5,000-strong crowd enthralled for nearly eight hours. Camporese, a 28-year-old from Bologna who nearly retired in 1993 because of an elbow injury, needed three hours and 41 minutes to overcome the 20-year-old Spaniard on indoor green set carpet. He rallied from a two-set deficit to defeat Moya, 6- 7, 6-7, 6-1, 6-3, 6-3 in the first match. Then Furlan overcame Costa, 4-6, 6-3, 4-6, 6-4, 6-1 in a few minutes over three hours.

The winner of the tie will play either South Africa or Sweden in the semi-finals in September. They were tied at 1-1 in Vaxjo after Wayne Ferreira, nicknamed the "Swede killer" by the local Swedish media, beat Jonas Bjorkman, 6-3, 6-4, 2-6, 7-6. The home side had taken a 1-0 lead with Thomas Enqvist's victory over Grant Stafford, 7-5, 2-6, 6-4, 6-1.

Ferreira and Bjorkman were meeting for the sixth time and Ferreira, ranked 10th in the world, has won every time. In 10 meetings with the three members of the Swedish squad he has won nine, losing only to Nicklas Kulti. Hence the nickname. He has also beaten Enqvist twice and will face him again tomorrow.

Bjorkman and Kulti face David Adams and Ellis Ferreira in today's doubles.

Leg cramps forced Goran Ivanisevic to retire from his European/African zone Group One Davis Cup singles rubber yesterday, giving Austria a 1- 0 lead over Croatia. Ivanisevic retired in the fifth set after three and a half hours to hand Austria's Gilbert Schaller a 6-3, 6-4, 6-7, 2-6, 3-1 victory.