NONTHABURI, Thailand: Australia took a grip on their Asia-Oceania zone group one Davis Cup clash with Thailand Saturday, winning the doubles rubber to grab a 2-1 lead.
Lleyton Hewitt wasn't called on by captain John Fitzgerald despite the Australians losing one of the singles matches Friday which left the tie finely poised.
Instead, untried left-handers Chris Guccione and Carsten Ball were handed responsibility and they repaid Fitzgerald's faith with a gutsy 7-6 (7-3) 6-4 6-4 win over Thai twins Sanchai and Sonchat Ratiwatana.
"Our guys both served very well, they both have left-hand serves, their techniques and their rhythm is so good they can serve like that for a long time," Fitzgerald told reporters.
"So you only get a very small number of chances against their serve. That's what I hoped would happen and it did."
On the opening day, Thai star Danai Udomchoke upset Australian rookie Brydan Klein after Hewitt had earlier made short work of Kittipong Wachiramanowong.
In the reverse singles Sunday, Hewitt will take on Danai with Klein, or possibly the higher-ranked Guccione, starting against the 890-ranked Kittipong.
Whoever wins the best-of-five tie will face a clash in May with either India or Taiwan for the right to contest a playoff in September to return to the prestigious World Group.