Moya takes one back for Spain - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Moya takes one back for Spain

By Mike Hedge 28/11/2003 07:07:28 PM Comments (0)

A heroic Lleyton Hewitt gave life to Australia's Davis Cup final hopes on a day when tennis officials and teammate Mark Philippoussis both got it wrong in Melbourne.

As he did in the semi-final against Switzerland two months ago, Hewitt again seemed destined for defeat in his opening singles match.

But with a dose of determination similar to that which pulled the semi out of the fire, the 22-year-old dragged himself off the floor against Spanish No.1 Juan Carlos Ferrero to win 3-6 6-3 3-6 7-5 (7-0) 6-2.

As inspirational as Hewitt's effort seemed, it failed to get Philippoussis over the line against Carlos Moya who levelled the tie with his 6-4 6-4 4-6 7-6 (7-4) victory.

Hewitt's effort followed one of the more embarrassing blunders ever seen at a major sports event when Australian tennis officials arranged for an incorrect Spanish national anthem to be played at the Cup's opening ceremony.

The officials had sent a CD of world anthems to Sydney several weeks ago for celebrated trumpeter James Morrison to learn the anthem and play it at the ceremony.

Morrison gave a perfect rendition, but it was the wrong tune.

Irate Spanish dignitaries, including Ambassador Jose Ramon Baranano Fernandez and Spain's Sports Minister Juan Antonio Gomez-Angulo stormed out of the grandstand in disgust, later demanding a formal apology from the Australian government.

For Hewitt, though, there was no apologising.

Playing his first competitive match since his miraculous five-set win over Roger Federer in the semi-final eight weeks ago, Hewitt dragged himself off the floor against a player who has been among the world's top three for the past 18 months.

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