Last year's losing Davis Cup finalists, Australia, suffered a surprising 3-0 rout against Argentina in Buenos Aires at the weekend.
Guillermo Canas beat Scott Draper and Gaston Gaudio dispatched Andrew Ilie in the first day's singles. Then Canas teamed up with Lucas Arnold to beat Todd Woodbridge and Wayne Arthurs in a titanic five-set doubles match on Saturday. Canas and Arnold won 3-6, 6-3, 6-4, 1-6, 10-8.
Australia, beaten 3-2 in the final by France in December, were without the world No 1, Lleyton Hewitt, who is still recovering from chicken-pox.
In Zagreb, Goran Ivanisevic led Croatia into the World Group quarter-finals, beating Rainer Schuttler in straight sets yesterday. The Wimbledon champion, a winner of his opening singles match against Nicolas Kiefer and partner of Ivan Ljubicic in Saturday's doubles win, won 6-4, 7-6, 7-6.
In Moscow, the Australian Open runner-up, Marat Safin, defeated Michel Kratochvil in the second reverse singles match yesterday to give Russia a 3-2 victory over Switzerland in their World Group first-round match. Safin won 6-1, 7-6, 6-4 on a clay court at the Olympic indoor stadium in Moscow.Reuse content