BANGKOK, Feb 8: Thailand wrapped up a trouncing 5-0 victory over Pakistan on Sunday by winning its two last rubbers against the South Asian side in their Davis Cup Asia-Oceania Zone Group 1 first-round clash.

The win, which was secured on Saturday when Thailand took a 3-0 lead over Pakistan, books Thailand a place in the second round to take on Uzbekistan. With its victory already in hand, Thailand rested its star Paradorn Srichaphan and instead sent Sonchat Ratiyawatana to take on Pakistani number one Aqeel Khan in the fourth rubber.

With confident, effective serves and net play Sonchat beat Aqeel 6-4, 6-4 in a 93-minute match cheered on by a large home crowd who had been hoping to see Paradorn in action at Muang Thong Thani Stadium on Bangkok's outskirts.

Thailand's number two Danai Udomchoke was replaced by Sanchai Ratiyawatana, Sonchat's twin, who took on Pakistani number two Nomi Qamar in the final rubber. Plagued by a series of unforced errors, Nomi was easily defeated by Sanchai 6-2, 6-0 in an hour-long game.

Thai captain Chanachai Srichaphan said he was satisfied with his team's performance and hoped the Thai players would have a chance to gain more experience before the next round of the cup in April to be played in Bangkok.

"I am very satisfied with the team's performance. They played well," Chanachai told reporters. "I hope that over the next nearly two months our four players will have more tournament experience and we can win over Uzbekistan," he added.


ADELAIDE: Sweden dumped defending Davis Cup champions Australia out in the first round after Jonas Bjorkman drubbed out-of-sorts Mark Philippoussis in straight sets in the fourth rubber on Sunday.

The 31-year-old doubles specialist, called in for youngster Robin Soderling after being on court for almost four and a half hours playing doubles the previous day, chopped down Australia's top-ranked player 7-5, 6-2, 6-2 in 1hr 44min for Sweden to claim the tie 4-1.

Australia became the seventh defending champions to be knocked out in the opening round of the following year since the introduction of the current format in 1972.

It was sweet revenge for the Swedes, who were humiliated by the Australians 5-0 in the quarterfinals last season in Malmo and it was Sweden's first Davis Cup victory in Australia in four attempts.

Philippoussis had to win to keep the champions alive to a fifth and deciding rubber where Lleyton Hewitt was to play Thomas Enqvist, but he was nowhere up to the task and dropped his second singles match in straight sets in the Adelaide tie.

Sweden's triumph was a tribute to the canny strategy and selections of skipper Mats Wilander, who went into the tie saying he had the players to upset the champions.

Sweden will now play the United States away in the quarterfinals in April 9-11. Enqvist won Sweden their fourth point of the tie when he downed Wayne Arthurs, a replacement for Lleyton Hewitt, 7-6 (10/8), 3-6, 6-4 in the dead fifth rubber.

Australia, just two months after their euphoric final victory over Spain, will have to play off on Sept 24-26 to stay in the elite World Group against the other seven World Group first round losers and the eight zonal group one winners.


Asia-Oceania Zone Group I first round:

In Bangkok: Thailand bt Pakistan 5-0

On Sunday: Sonchat Ratiwatana bt Aqeel Khan 6-4, 6-4; Sanchai Ratiwatana bt Nomi Qamar 6-2, 6-0.

On Saturday: Sanchai Ratiwatana/Sonchat Ratiwatana bt Aqeel/Jaleel Khan 6-1, 7-6 (7-3), 6-2.

On Friday: Paradorn Srichaphan bt Nomi 6-2, 6-1, 6-0; Danai Udomchoke bt Aqeel 6-1, 6-1, 6-2.

In Invercargill (New Zealand): India bt New Zealand 3-2

On Sunday: Mark Nielsen (NZL) bt Vishal Punna (IND) 6-4, 6-3, 6-1; Leander Paes (IND) bt Simon Rea (NZL) 3-6, 7-5, 6-3, 6-2.

On Saturday: Paes/Mahesh Bhupathi (IND) bt Nielsen/Matt Prentice (NZL) 6-3, 6-4, 7-6 (7-2).

On Friday: Simon Rea (NZL) bt Harsh Mankad (IND) 6-4, 6-1, 7-6 (7-2); Paes (IND) bt Nielsen (NZL) 6-2, 6-3, 7-6 (7-2)

In Jakarta: Japan beat Indonesia 3-2

On Sunday: Goichi Motomura bt Prima Simpatiaji 5-7, 2-6, 6-4, 6-2, 6-3; Takahiro Terachi lost to Febi Widhiyanto 7-5, 3-4 - retired.

On Saturday doubles: Thomas Shimada/Takahiro Terachi bt Suwandi/Hendri Susilo Pramono 6-4, 7-6, 6-1.

On Friday: Takao Suzuki bt Prima Simpatiaji 6-4, 6-3, 4-6, 6-4; Goichi Motomura lost to Febi Widhiyanto 6-4, 3-6, 2-6, 6-3, 5-7.

World Group first round:

In Adelaide: Sweden bt Australia 4-1

On Sunday: Jonas Bjorkman bt Mark Philippoussis 7-5, 6-2, 6-2; Thomas Enqvist bt Wayne Arthurs 7-6 (10-8), 3-6, 6-4

On Saturday: Bjorkman-Joachim Johansson bt Todd Woodbridge/Arthurs (AUS) 7-6 (7-5), 6-4, 2-6, 6-7 (4-7), 7-5.

On Friday: Enqvist bt Philippoussis 6-3, 6-4, 6-2; Robin Soderling lost to Lleyton Hewitt 4-6, 3-6, 1-6.

In Bucharest: Switzerland bt Romania 3-1

On Sunday: Roger Federer bt Andrei Pavel 6-3, 6-2, 7-5.

On Saturday: Federer/Yves Allegro bt Pavel/Gabriel Trifu 6-4, 1-6, 6-3, 3-6, 10-8.

On Friday: Michel Kratochvil lost to Pavel 4-6, 3-6, 7-5, 4-6; Federer bt Victor Hanescu 7-6 (7-4), 6-3, 6-1.

In Minsk: Belarus level with Russia 2-2.

On Sunday: Max Mirnyi bt Igor Andreyev 6-3, 6-4, 6-4.

On Saturday: Mirnyi/Alexander Shvec lost to Marat Safin/Mikhail Youzhny 4-6, 5-7, 6-7 (4-7).

On Friday: Mirnyi bt Safin 7-6 (7-3), 7-6 (7-5), 1-6, 4-6, 11-9; Vladimir Voltchkov lost to Andreyev 7-6 (7-3), 6-7 (4-7), 7-5, 4-4 - retired.

In Metz (France): France bt Croatia 3-1

On Sunday: Arnaud Climent bt Ivan Ljubicic 6-2, 3-6, 7-6 (7-3), 6-4.

On Saturday: Nicolas Escude/Michael Llodra bt Mario Ancic/Ivo Karlovic 6-1, 7-6 (7-5), 6-3

On Friday: Clement bt Mario Ancic 6-4, 6-3, 6-3; Thierry Ascione lost to Ljubicic 5-7, 4-6, 4-6.

Asia-Oceania Zone Group II first round:

In Kuala Lumpur: South Korea beat Malaysia 5-0

On Sunday: Im-Kyu Bai bt Adam Jaya 7-5, 6-4; Nam-Hwung Woo bt Mohamad Noor Nordin 6-3, 6-1.

On Saturday: Hyung-Taik Lee/Hee-Seok Chung bt Yew-Ming Si/Adam Jaya 6-7, 6-2, 6-4, 6-3.

On Friday: Hyung-Taik Lee bt Dannio Yahya 6-1, 6-0, 6-0; Hee-Seok Chung bt Yew-Ming Si 6-3, 7-5, 6-4.

In Kaohsiung: Uzbekistan beat Taiwan 4-1

On Sunday: Murad Inoyatov lost to Chen Ti 4-6, 6-4, 2-6; Sarvar Ikramov bt Liu Tai-wei 6-3, 6-1.

On Saturday doubles: Murad Inoyatov/ Vadim Kutsenko bt Cheng Wei-jen/Hsieh Wang-cheng 6-2, 3-6, 6-3, 6-3.

On Friday: Vadim Kutsenko bt Liu Tai-wei 6-0, 6-1, 6-1; Dmitriy Mazur bt Chen Ti 6-2, 6-4, 6-4. -AFP



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