Austria at Australia Davis Cup Preview

Posted on March 1, 2005

Austria at Australia
Sydney International Tennis Centre, Sydney, Australia
Surface: Grass outdoors
Ball: Slazenger Championship Grasscourt

The Aussies put the underwhelming Austrian squad of Jurgen Melzer, Julian Knowle and Alexander Peya on the grass in Sydney for the slaughter against former Wimbledon champ Lleyton Hewitt and serving machine Wayne Arthurs, who is coming off his first singles win at Scottsdale.

Also on the Aussie squad are Scott Draper and doubles kingpin Todd Woodbridge.

Austrian captain Thomas Muster will be hard-pressed to find a win over the weekend without Stefan Koubek, who is currently serving a drug suspension. Melzer is a combined 0-4 in singles against Hewitt and Arthurs, and Knowle a combined 0-2.

On Monday Lleyton Hewitt looked relaxed at Australia's first practice session, having a knock-around with Todd Reid and kissing fiancee and actress Bec Cartwright courtside.

"(Arthurs) usually lifts his games for Davis Cup level more than as an individual," Aussie captain John Fitzgerald said of his likely pick for the No. 2 singles. "He is in the mix for singles and doubles but it depends on a number of factors and about how he feels this week. He should get three good nights of sleep behind him and, on paper, he is favorite for the singles, particularly when he's got that confidence."

Also on the Austrian squad is unknown 22-year-old Marco Mirnegg, who Muster is high on.

Advance Australia to the quarterfinal round with a 5-0 romp, where they will face the Argentina-Czech winner.