DUESSELDORF, Germany, 23 May 2004 — Chile successfully defended their World Team Cup crown on yesterday when they beat three-time winners Australia in the final.
Fernando Gonzalez beat former world No.1 Lleyton Hewitt 7-5 6-2 to put Chile ahead in the tie and Nicolas Massu defeated Mark Philippoussis 6-3, 6-1 to seal victory for the South Americans. Australia restored some pride when Wayne Arthurs and Paul Hanley beat Adrian Garcia and Massu 6-4, 6-4 in the dead doubles rubber.
Chile are the first team since the United States in 1984 and 1985 to have won the World Team Cup title in consecutive years.
“We came here with the intention of getting to the final and winning again and to do so is very special,” said Gonzalez, who won all four of his singles matches to stretch his unbeaten run in the tournament to 13 matches since his debut in 2003. “I don’t know why I always seem to win my matches here. I have got better as the week has gone on but I am just very happy for my team and my country.” Gonzalez broke Hewitt’s otherwise solid serve at 5-6 with the first set of the match looking destined to go to a tiebreak. The Chilean then broke Hewitt in the sixth and eighth games of the second set to run away with victory.
Volandri Clinches St. Polten Title
Italian eighth seed Filippo Volandri won the first title of his career yesterday with a 6-1, 6-4 victory over Belgium’s Xavier Malisse in the final of the $375,750 clay court tournament here.
“It is the greatest day of my career,” said the 22-year-old who now looks forward to the French Open in Paris, which gets underway tomorrow, and where he has been drawn to face Frenchman Olivier Patience in the first round.
Volandri eased through the first set on Saturday before Malisse mounted a challenge in the second set to recover from 4-0 down to reach 4-4. But the Italian won the next two games to take the match.
Volandri and Malisse had been helped in their passage to the final by the first round elimination of top seed Andre Agassi who was beaten by Serbian outsider Nenad Zimonjic 6-2, 7-6 (8-6) on Monday.
Schaul Shocks Davenport to Lift First WTA Title
In Strasbourg, France, top seed Lindsay Davenport’s French Open warm-up took a bashing yesterday when the world No. 4 fell in the final of the $170,000 WTA event here to unseeded Claudine Schaul of Luxembourg.
World 60th-ranked Schaul, 20, rallied from a set down to lift her first WTA title 2-6, 6-0, 6-3 in her maiden final.
The loss is a blow to three-time Grand Slam winner Davenport, 27, who is seeded fifth going into the Roland Garros tournament, the second Grand Slam event of the season.
Smashnova-Pistolesi Wins 2nd Vienna Grand Prix
Second-seeded Anna Smashnova-Pistolesi of Israel triumphed in yesterday’s final of the $170,000 Wien Energie Grand Prix, defeating No. 6 Alicia Molik of Australia in three sets.
Smashnova-Pistolesi beat Molik in a tight match, 6-2, 3-6, 6-3, to win her second Vienna title in three years and her ninth WTA career title. The 28-year-old won the event in 2002.
Smashnova-Pistolesi, the favorite, broke Molik’s serve twice and closed the opening set 6-2 in only 28 minutes.
Pursuing her second career title after Hobart 2003, Molik started the clash nervously and produced a large number of unforced errors.
Top seeds Martina Navratilova and Lisa Raymond of the United States met expectations and defeated Cara Black, Zimbabwe/Rennae Stubbs, Australia (2) 6-2, 7-5, to win the doubles event. “This is a very special win for me as it’s my first one this year,” Navratilova said as she celebrated her 174th WTA title.