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Last Updated: Friday, 28 November, 2003, 04:03 GMT
Spain level Davis Cup final
DAVIS CUP RESULTS/SCHEDULE
Carlos Moya and Mark Philippoussis
Friday 28 November
Hewitt bt Ferrero
3-6 6-3 3-6 7-6 6-2
Moya bt Philippoussis
6-4 6-4 4-6 7-6
Saturday 29 November
Arthurs/Woodbridge v Corretja/Lopez (0300 GMT)
Sunday 30 November
Philippoussis v Ferrero (0000 GMT)
Hewitt v Moya
Carlos Moya belied his underdog status to defeat Mark Philippoussis and draw Spain level in the Davis Cup final.

Moya's 6-4 6-4 4-6 7-6 victory makes the tie 1-1 after Lleyton Hewitt had earlier given Australia the lead.

Former world number one Hewitt twice came from a set behind for a stunning five-set win over Juan Carlos Ferrero.

Hewitt, who has dropped to 16th in the rankings, said: "It was tough. Ferrero is one of the best in the world. I gave everything I had in the tank."

Moya, a clay-court specialist, last played on grass at Wimbledon in 2000 but he successfully adopted a serve and volley approach to overcome Australia's number one.

"It's a good win for me, I was fighting a lot and was very focused," said Moya.

Hewitt, who had not played a competitive match for two months, struggled with his form in the early part of a topsy-turvy contest.

And his array of unforced errors seemingly paved the way for a comfortable victory for Ferrero, who moved two sets to one clear.

Carlos Moya serves in the Davis Cup match against Mark Philippoussis
Moya adapted well to the specially-laid grass court
But the Spaniard, who had bounced back from a break down in the fourth set, lost his nerve in the tie-break and Hewitt seized his chance, winning it to love.

From there, Ferrero's challenge faltered as a pumped-up Hewitt played up to the crowd with an inspired selection of ground strokes after four hours of play.

Hewitt added: "I played a flawless tie-break and then my best tennis of the match in the fifth set."

World number three Ferrero, best known as a clay-court player, said he had found it difficult to get used to the specially-laid grass court.

"The ball was bouncing in a funny way. There were holes or uneven levels on the surface and it was rather dry," he said.

"You can't come up with as many winners because on the hard ground the ball bounces faster and so on and it's a different game."

Ferrero initially looked the more at ease on the grass surface laid for the final in Melbourne as he won the first set 6-3 in 39 minutes.

Although Hewitt had yet to find his range, he managed to level the scores in the second set, having broken Ferrero's serve in the eighth game.

Spain's Juan Carlos Ferrero
Ferrero had dominated the game early on

But a brief lapse of concentration allowed Ferrero to pull clear once more, breaking Hewitt to go 4-2 clear and shortly afterwards wrap up the set.

As Hewitt lifted the tempo of his game, his Spanish opponent struggled to keep in the contest, just managing to take the fourth set to a tie-break.

But after losing his opening two serves, he was never in contention as the remainder of the fourth and subsequently fifth sets became increasingly one-sided.

The build-up to the opening rubber was marred when the Republican anthem "Himno de Riego" was played rather than the Spanish national anthem.

Initially Spanish secretary of sport Juan Antonio-Angulo refused to let the Spanish players start the final until an apology was made, which was eventually given by Australian captain John Fitzgerald.

On Saturday, Todd Woodbridge and Wayne Arthurs will team up for the doubles against Feliciano Lopez and Alex Corretja.



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