Olympics 2012

Djokovic rallies past Hewitt

2012-08-01 17:22
Novak Djokovic (AP)

Wimbledon - Novak Djokovic had to dig deep to avoid a shock Olympic exit as the world No 2 fought back to defeat Australia's Lleyton Hewitt 4-6, 7-5, 6-1 in the third round on Wednesday.

Djokovic was pushed to the brink in a gruelling clash on Centre Court before finally overpowering the gritty Hewitt in one hour and 56 minutes.

The 25-year-old will play either French fifth seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga or Spain's Feliciano Lopez in the quarter-finals.

Djokovic had been magnificent against three-time Wimbledon finalist Andy Roddick in the second round, but the reigning Australian and US Open champion found it much harder to dominate against Hewitt.

Hewitt's world ranking has sunk to 158 after several years of injury problems and the 2002 Wimbledon champion needed a wild card to make it into the Games.

But the 31-year-old has been determined to improve on a miserable Olympic record and although his last chance of a singles medal might have gone, at least he can say he went down fighting.

The match wasn't even two games old before rain forced a delay that lasted 30 minutes and it was Djokovic who seemed more affected by the early interruption.

Hewitt has been playing like a man with a point to prove all week after he and partner Chris Guccione were snubbed for a wild card into the men's doubles and Djokovic was the latest to feel the Australian's wrath.

A tight first set swung Hewitt's way when he broke for a 5-4 advantage and then held serve to move ahead.

Hewitt was just as obdurate in the second set and a lesser player might have crumbled in the face of his aggressive baseline play.

But Djokovic is made of sterner stuff. He took the fight back to Hewitt and broke at 6-5 to clinch the second set.

Djokovic was back in the groove now and he shattered Hewitt's stubborn resistance in the final set, breaking twice to move into the last eight.

Read more on:    olympics 2012  |  novak djokovic  |  tennis
NEXT ON SPORT24X

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
Live Video Streaming
  • Blitz
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @00:00
  • SS1
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @01:00
  • SS2
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @02:00
  • SS3
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @03:00
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

 
 
/Sport
Men
Women
Love 2 Meet
Featured

Take a photographical trip down memory lane and remind yourself of how the Springboks fared in their five previous Rugby World Cup campaigns. In addition, pick your all-time Springbok Rugby World Cup Dream Team and you could win R3 000!

Latest blogs
 

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

iPhone Latest Sport24 news on your iPhone

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

 
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.