Australia and India advance

The two sides have booked their spots in the Davis Cup World Group 2009.

    Lleyton Hewitt of Australia puts his country
    into the next stage [GALLO/GETTY]

    Australia and India booked places in the playoffs for Davis Cup World Group 2009 by taking unbeatable 3-0 leads Saturday in their Asia/Oceania Group One second round ties.

    Australia, 23 times Davis Cup champion, swept past Thailand while India shut out Japan in a more closely fought series.

    Both nations progress to September's playoffs for places in next year's elite 16-nation World Group.

    Their yet-to-be-determined opponents will come from the losers of this year's first-round World Group ties.

    Former world's No. 1 Lleyton Hewitt teamed up with doubles specialist Paul Hanley for Australia, easily beating Thailand's second-string pairing of Weerapat Doakmaiklee and Kirati Siributwong 6-3, 6-1, 6-0.

    Thailand fielded a weakened team for the tie. Paradorn Srichaphan was unavailable as he continues his comeback from long-term injury while its top doubles pair Sanchai and Sonchat Ratiwatana were concentrating on keeping their ATP ranking high and qualifying for the Olympics.

    Ranked 10th in the world, Australia is guaranteed a seeding, possibly No. 1, for the World Group playoffs.

    India's experienced pair Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi, formerly the world's best doubles team, defeated Japan's Takao Suzuki and Satoshi Iwabuchi 7-6 (2), 3-6, 6-3, 6-4.

    Their win came after Rohan Bopanna and Prakash Amritraj prevailed in dramatic five-setters in Friday's singles.

    Paes and Bhupathi no longer play as a pair on the ATP Tour, but team up for the doubles when representing India.

    India, a four-time runner-up in the Davis Cup, has not been in the World Group since 1988.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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