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Hewitt Pulls Out of Davis Cup

January 26, 2006

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) _ Lleyton Hewitt has pulled out of Australia’s Davis Cup competition next month with an ankle injury.

Hewitt was injured during a second-round loss at the Australian Open.

Australia is scheduled to play the Swiss team Feb. 10-12 on indoor clay at Geneva, Switzerland, and Hewitt was expected to face Roger Federer in the first round.

Hewitt’s manager, Rob Aivatoglou, said Hewitt had not recovered sufficiently to prepare for the Davis Cup.

``Doctors have advised Lleyton that he risks further damaging the joint should he attempt to play in the short term,″ Aivatoglou said.

Hewitt lost his Australian Open match in four sets to Juan Ignacio Chela of Argentina. The Australian has lost his last nine matches against Federer, who has an 11-7 career lead.

Hewitt’s last win over the top-ranked Swiss star was in the Davis Cup semifinals at Melbourne in 2003, when he beat him in five sets.

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THIRD TIME A CHARM?: The world’s top-ranked doubles team, American twin brothers Bob and Mike Bryan, are in the Australian Open doubles final. Again.

For the third year in a row, the Bryan brothers advanced to the final, beating Paul Hanley of Australia and Kevin Ullyett of Zimbabwe 6-3, 6-4.

They’ll face Martin Damm of the Czech Republic and Leander Paes of India in Saturday’s championship after Damm and Paes beat Poland’s Mariusz Fyrstenberg and Marcin Matkowski 6-2, 6-4 in the other semi.

The Bryans will be hoping to reverse the last two finals results here, having lost in 2004 to France’s Michael Llodra and Fabrice Santoro and last year to Ullyett and Wayne Black of Zimbabwe.

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LAVER BACK IN TOWN: A year after he had to pull out due to an illness in his family, tennis great Rod Laver has traveled to Australia and will present the trophy to the winner of the men’s singles title at the Australian Open on Sunday.

Laver arrived in Melbourne on Thursday from his home in California. He was originally scheduled to present the Norman Brookes Challenge Cup to winner of the men’s singles at the 100th anniversary tournament in 2005.

The 67-year-old Laver is the only player to win the Grand Slam twice. He won all four majors in 1962 and in 1969. He won the Australian Open singles title three times among a career total of 20 Grand Slam championships _ 11 singles, six doubles and three mixed.

The center-court ceremony Sunday will take place in the auditorium that bears his name _ Rod Laver Arena.

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AND THE WINNER IS: If they awarded trophies for fines at the Australian Open, Nicolas Kiefer would take home the silverware.

The often volatile German has been hit with fines totaling $6,000 in three different matches, including $3,000 in his third-round match. They cover verbal abuse and audible and visible obscenities. He wasn’t fined for his racket-throwing incident in his quarterfinal win over Sebastien Grosjean on Wednesday. Kiefer takes on Roger Federer in a semifinal on Friday.