Saturday, January 21, 2012

Hewitt through to third round

Updated January 20, 2012 09:39:17

Lleyton Hewitt's Australian Open run continued as Andy Roddick retired injured when two sets to one down in their second round clash at the Australian Open.

Hewitt wowed the partisan crowd at the Rod Laver Arena by recovering from losing the first set to lead 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 before the 15th seed retired with an injury to his right hamstring.

The former Wimbledon and US Open champion will now face Canadian Milos Raonic in the third round. A win in this match and Hewitt is likely to meet defending champion Novak Djokovic.

Roddick felt the injury as he stretched for a ball when 3-0 down in the second set.

The American revealed afterwards that it was a recurrence of a hamstring injury he originally suffered in training in December.

"I could probably jog and play, but [the problem] was extension," Roddick said.

"Getting it above 60 to 70 per cent was not happening right now.

"I wanted to see if I could play... it's a miserable, terrible thing being out there when that happens. It really sucks.

"I was really just hanging on, and I don't think it would have been really smart to do that for two more sets."

In contrast, Hewitt was thrilled he felt no ill effects from his tough four-set, first-round win on Tuesday in a match against old foe Roddick that still lasted two hours and 10 minutes.

"Physically I was very happy with how my body pulled up today after playing four hours the other day, especially since I haven't played too much tennis [lately]," Hewitt said.

He said the disruption of his opponent having treatment from this point onwards stunted his own rhythm but admitted to using the injury to his advantage.

"It's a nightmare for both of us," Hewitt said. "He stretched something higher in his leg and it was hard for me to concentrate at the other end.

"You know Andy is hurting and you try to block it out of your mind and it's hard to do.

"Without sounding too mean, you try to run him around a lot more because we're out there competing, but I just thank God that I got through that third set.

"In the last four years I've had five surgeries, and last year I played just two grand slams and two Davis Cup ties," Hewitt said.

"I came in here with nothing to lose, I'll play with my heart on my sleeve and see where it gets me."

Earlier on Thursday, Australia's James Duckworth and Matthew Ebden both put up brave fights before going out.

Janko Tipsarevic beat Duckworth 3-6, 6-2, 7-6 (7-5), 6-4 to progress to the third round where he will meet Richard Gasquet of France.

Ebden was two sets up against 24 seed Kei Nishikori but the world number 94 ended up losing 3-6, 1-6, 6-4, 6-1, 6-1.

Nishikori, the highest-ranked Japanese men's player ever, at 24, won just four games in the first two sets but dug deep to turn the match around and dropped just two games in the final two sets to run out a winner against the home favourite.

In the first evening match on Rod Laver Arena, Jelena Dokic was comfortably beaten by ninth seed Marion Bartoli 6-3, 6-2.

Duckworth, 19, earlier wowed Margaret Court Arena taking the ninth-seeded Serb all the way, mixing powerful forehands with deft drop shots throughout.

A big upset was on the cards when Duckworth raced away to claim the first set 6-3 as Tipsarevic looked unable to cope with the young upstart's booming ground strokes.

But the more experienced player picked himself up to assert some dominance and win the second set 6-2.

Duckworth then showed tremendous grit to break Tipsarevic and recover from 5-3 down to level the match at 5-5, before taking the set to a tie-break, only for Tipsarevic to show his experience and edge it 7-5.

Tipsarevic then broke early in the fourth set, capping off a rally with a retreating forehand down the line to take a 4-2 lead with the shot of the match.

After looking nervy in the third set, Tipsarevic used that moment of skill as a confidence booster see out the final set 6-4.

Tipsarevic was full of praise for his young opponent.

"I was impressed when there was important moments in the match that he stepped up, he didn't wait for my mistake, he didn't choke," Tipsarevic said.

"I really had to outplay him and play better.

"I believe he can be way better than top 100, but I cannot predict it will happen this year."


Tags: sport, australian-open, tennis, melbourne-3000, vic, australia

First posted January 19, 2012 16:10:08

View the original article here

No comments:

Post a Comment