Hewitt, Nalbandian to face off - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Hewitt, Nalbandian to face off

By Darren Walton 16/07/2005 06:04:11 PM Comments (0)

Tensions have been simmering for six months and now the stage is set for one of the most explosive matches in Australian Davis Cup history when Lleyton Hewitt confronts Argentine arch rival David Nalbandian on Sunday.

The stakes couldn't be higher, with Hewitt needing to maintain his unbeaten record over Nalbandian to keep Australia in the 2005 competition.

Nalbandian pushed the South Americans to the threshold of a famous victory over Australia with back-to-back triumphs on Saturday on a grass court grown and laid especially to give the home team an edge in the blockbuster quarter-final tie in Sydney.

The world No.10 completed a 6-3 7-6 (10-8) 5-7 6-2 win over Wayne Arthurs in the second singles match and then teamed with French Open runner-up Mariano Puerta to conjure a fabulous 7-6 (8-6) 6-4 6-3 victory over Arthurs and Lleyton Hewitt in the doubles.

The twin successes gave Argentina, which has never won a Davis Cup, a 2-1 advantage over 28-time champion Australia.

"It's amazing. Two points in one day is perfect for the team," Nalbandian beamed.

"In the doubles, we played almost perfect. We were very confident, very motivated so it was an incredible match."

Nalbandian's history with Hewitt is long and well-documented and the Argentine further fuelled their bitter rivalry when he accused Australia's world No.2 of causing their run-in at the Australian Open in January.

Nalbandian, who lost to Hewitt on grass in the 2002 Wimbledon final, brushed shoulders with the South Australian during a changeover in his epic five-set quarter-final loss at Melbourne Park.

Hewitt on Friday laid the blame squarely on Nalbandian, who on Saturday countered that it was the South Australian's fault.

Brought to you by AAP AAP © 2020 AAP

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