Australia take 2-0 lead over Germany

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The Independent Online

Davis Cup holders Australia were in complete control of their quarter-final clash with Germany on Friday after winning both opening day singles matches.

Australia's in-form teenager Lleyton Hewitt gave his side the early lead when he outclassed a nervous Michael Kohlmann 6-1 6-1 6-2.

Wayne Arthurs then gave the defending champions a commanding 2-0 advantage when he overcame David Prinosil 7-6 3-6 7-6 6-7 11-9.

Australia's victories left them needing to win just one of the three remaining matches against an understrength German team to secure a home semifinal against either Brazil or Slovakia in July.

Hewitt, ranked 11th in the world, overwhelmed his older opponent to run away with the opening match in just 80 minutes at Adelaide's Memorial Drive grass courts.

"I played unbelievably out there today." Hewitt said.

"Apart from where he aced me on the first point, everything went to plan and went very smoothly."

"I couldn't have played better." he said.

Kohlmann came to Australia only expecting to be a hitting partner for his team mates but was thrust into the action when Rainer Schuettler withdrew with an injury on Thursday.

The 26-year-old made a confident start to his Davis Cup debut, delivering two aces as he held his opening service, but mistakes then started creeping into his game.

"It was the biggest thing ever for me that I played here today." a deflated Kohlmann said.

"But I couldn't play my best tennis and that was pretty sad for me. I tried everything, but it didn't work."

While Hewitt enjoyed a relatively easy day, Arthurs was pushed all the way by Prinosil, who is ranked nine places ahead of him at 93 in the world.

Arthurs, who was called up to replace the injured Mark Philippoussis, won the first and third sets in tiebreakers then held match point in the fourth.

But Prinosil, who is also scheduled to play in Saturday's doubles as well as Sunday's reverse singles, survived and went on to win the tiebreaker to force the match into a deciding fifth set.

The German saved another two match points in the 14th and 16th games of the fifth set before Arthurs finally broke him in the 20th game for the first and only time in the match to seal victory after four and a quarter hours.