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Sunday, 9 February, 2003, 17:59 GMT
Ljubicic ends American hopes
Ivan Ljubicic
Ljubicic overcame Blake after dropping the second set
World Group

Croatia clinched a place in the last eight when Ivan Ljubicic beat James Blake of the United States 6-3 6-7 6-4 6-3.

His victory gave Croatia a winning 3-1 lead in the first-round tie, and they now meet Spain away in the quarter-finals.

Ljubicic used his huge serve to come from a break down in the third set to claim a famous victory in two hours 47 minutes.

Blake, who won the second-set tiebreak 7/5, buckled under in the third and lost his serve twice to hand the Croatian the advantage.

In a tight fourth set, Ljubicic maintained his composure and broke in the sixth game after Blake put out a simple forehand.

Fought back

Ljubicic held on to the advantage to seal Croatia's passage.

Reigning champions Russia were taken to the final rubber before seeing off the Czech Republic 3-2.

Jiri Novak brought the Czech team level by beating Yevgeny Kafelnikov in straight sets in Sunday's first game.

But Nikolai Davydenko ensured the Russians were victorious by edging out Radek Stepanek in five sets.

Roger Federer
Federer led the Swiss fightback in Arnhem
Davydenko was outplayed in the first set but fought back for a 1-6 7-6 (7/4) 6-2 3-6 6-0 win.

Nicolas Escude beat Gabriel Trifu 7-6 4-6 6-4 to seal a 4-1 win for France over Romania in Bucharest.

Fabrice Santoro lost 6-1 6-4 to Victor Hanescu in the first reverse singles, but the 2002 runners-up had a 3-0 lead from Saturday.

Switzerland fought back from 2-1 down after Saturday's doubles to beat the Netherlands 3-2 in Arnhem.

Roger Federer overcame Sjeng Schalken 7-6 (7/2) 6-4 7-5 to bring the Swiss level, then Michel Kratochvil beat Martin Verkerk 1-6 7-6 (7/5) 7-6 (8/6) 6-1 to clinch victory.

Sweden also staged a memorable comeback against Brazil after starting the final day 2-1 down in Helsingborg.

Jonas Bjorkman won a tough five-set battle against former world number one Gustavo Kuerten 6-4 6-4 4-6 4-6 6-1, then Andreas Vinciguerra beat Flavio Saretta 6-1 7-5 6-3.

Spain completed a whitewash of Belgium in Madrid to ease into the next round.

Juan Carlos Ferrero beat Kristof Vliegen 6-1 6-4, then Carlos Moya made short work of Olivier Rochus in a 6-2 6-2 win.

Argentina completed a 5-0 victory over Germany, with routine wins for Juan Ignacio Chela and Gaston Gaudio.

Chela overcame David Prinosil 6-4 6-1, while Gaudio saw off Lars Bursgmuller 6-3 6-1.

Giovanni Lapentti beat Hermes Gamonal in Sunday's final match as Ecuador beat Chile 3-2 in the first round of the American Zone Davis Cup tie.

Lapentti, who overcame a leg injury that caused him some trouble in the third set, beat Gamonal 7-6 6-4 6-7 6-3.

Earlier, Marcelo Rios beat Nicolas Lapentti 3-6 6-4 7-6 7-6 in a hotly disputed match that lasted more than three hours.

Latest results and scores:

World Group:
Spain 5-0 Belgium
Romania 1-4 France
Croatia 3-1 US
Sweden 3-2 Brazil
Holland 2-3 Switzerland
Czech Republic 2-3 Russia
Argentina 5-0 Germany

Asia-Oceania zone:
Taiwan 4-1 Kazakhstan
Thailand 4-1 South Korea
India 4-1 Japan
Hong Kong 4-1 Tajikistan
New Zealand 5-0 Pakistan
Indonesia 2-3 Uzbekistan

Euro-African zone:
Norway 0-5 Austria
Belarus 3-2 Israel

American zone:
Ecuador 3-2 Chile
Peru 2-0 Bahamas
Mexico 2-0 Netherlands Antilles
Paraguay 5-0 Haiti
Cuba 2-0 Colombia
Uruguay 0-2 Dominican Republic

Australia 4-1 GB

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