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Hewitt wins four-hour thriller

2012-01-17 14:55

Melbourne - Australia's Lleyton Hewitt found deep reserves of his famous fighting spirit to win a gripping four-set tussle with German Cedrik-Marcel Stebe in the Australian Open's first round on Tuesday.

Hewitt, playing as a wild card after his ranking slipped to 181 following a injury-plagued year, fought back in the fourth set to knock out the 83rd-ranked Stebe, 7-5, 6-4, 3-6, 7-5 in almost four hours.

The former world number one looked headed to a fifth set when he trailed 1-5 in the fourth, but he fought back courageously to deny left-hander Stebe before a partisan home crowd on Rod Laver Arena.

Hewitt will now take on American 15th seed Andy Roddick, who leads 7-6 in their meetings, with big-server Roddick winning the last six encounters.

"He got a little tight trying to serve out the fourth set," Hewitt said of Stebe. "I tried to make a lot of returns, put pressure on his second serve and turn it around.

"In the first couple of sets it could have gone either way but I served well when I needed to."

Hewitt broke Stebe's serve six times and made more errors than winners, but his never-say-die attitude proved the difference.

The Australian has been battling a toe injury and was noticeably limping in the latter stages of the epic. He collapsed to the deck in ecstatic celebration after the hard-earned win.

Hewitt, a runner-up in 2005, is playing in his 16th straight Australian Open and holds the all-time record for most consecutive appearances in his national Open, overtaking Jack Crawford and Harry Hopman.

The two-time grand slam champion's Australian Open match record now stands at 28-15.

Results on Tuesday at the Australian Open on outdoor hardcourts at Melbourne Park (number in parentheses denotes seeding):

Singles

Men

First Round

Philipp Petzschner, Germany, def. Lukas Rosol, Czech Republic, 6-0, 6-0, 6-2.
David Ferrer (5), Spain, def. Rui Machado, Portugal, 6-1, 6-4, 6-2.
Santiago Giraldo, Colombia, def. Matteo Viola, Italy, 6-4, 6-2, 6-1.
Kei Nishikori (24), Japan, def. Stephane Robert, France, 6-1, 7-6 (7), 6-0.
Alex Bogomolov Jr. (32), Russia, def. Daniel Gimeno-Traver, Spain, 6-3, 6-2, 6-4.
Richard Gasquet (17), France, def. Andreas Seppi, Italy, 6-3, 3-6, 6-3, 6-1.
Novak Djokovic (1), Serbia, def. Paolo Lorenzi, Italy, 6-2, 6-0, 6-0.
Edouard Roger-Vasselin, France, def. Xavier Malisse, Belgium, 7-6 (6), retired.
Milos Raonic (23), Canada, def. Filippo Volandri, Italy, 6-4, 6-0, 6-2.
James Duckworth, Australia, def. Jurgen Zopp, Estonia, 6-3, 6-4, 6-4.
Michael Llodra, France, def. Ernests Gulbis, Latvia, 2-6, 6-1, 6-2, 6-2.
Tatsuma Ito, Japan, def. Potito Starace, Italy, 6-3, 4-6, 6-3, 6-4.
Ryan Sweeting, United States, def. Matthias Bachinger, Germany, 6-4, 6-4, 6-2.
Gael Monfils (14), France, def. Marinko Matosevic, Australia, 7-6 (5), 6-3, 6-3.
Juan Ignacio Chela (27), Argentina, def. Michael Russell, United States, 7-6 (3), 6-3, 6-4.
Andrey Golubev, Kazakhstan, def. Mikhail Youzhny, Russia, 7-5, 6-7 (4), 6-4, 4-6, 6-3.
Janko Tipsarevic (9), Serbia, def. Dmitry Tursunov, Russia, 5-7, 7-6 (12), 6-3, 6-4.
Pablo Andujar, Spain, def. Igor Kunitsyn, Russia, 6-1, 7-6 (12), 6-0.
Andy Murray (4), Britain, def. Ryan Harrison, United States, 4-6, 6-3, 6-4, 6-2.
Ricardo Mello, Brazil, def. Roberto Bautista-Agut, Spain, 6-4, 6-4, 7-5.
Marcel Granollers (26), Spain, def. Jesse Levine, United States, 6-0, 7-6 (4), 5-7, 5-7, 6-3.
Thomaz Bellucci, Brazil, def. Dudi Sela, Israel, 7-6 (5), 6-4, 6-3.
Matthew Ebden, Australia, def. Joao Souza, Brazil, 6-3, 7-6 (1), 6-2.
Andy Roddick (15), United States, def. Robin Haase, Netherlands, 6-3, 6-4, 6-1.
Frederico Gil, Portugal, def. Ivan Dodig, Croatia, 2-6, 6-1, 6-1, 4-1 retired.
Nicolas Mahut, France, def. Radek Stepanek (29), Czech Republic, 7-5, 7-5, 6-3.
Mikhail Kukushkin, Kazakhstan, def. Guillermo Garcia-Lopez, Spain, 6-4, 6-3, 6-0.
Gilles Simon (12), France, def. Danai Udomchoke, Thailand, 6-1, 3-6, 6-7 (5), 6-3, 6-2.
Julien Benneteau, France, def. Karol Beck, Slovakia, 6-4, 6-2, 7-5.
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (6), France, def. Denis Istomin, Uzbekistan, 6-4, 3-6, 6-2, 7-5.
Viktor Troicki (19), Serbia, def. Juan Carlos Ferrero, Spain, 4-6, 6-7 (3), 6-2, 7-6 (3), 6-2.
Lleyton Hewitt, Australia, def. Cedrik-Marcel Stebe, Germany, 7-5, 6-4, 3-6, 7-5.

Women

First Round

Petra Kvitova (2), Czech Republic, def. Vera Dushevina, Russia, 6-2, 6-0.
Maria Kirilenko (27), Russia, def. Jarmila Gajdosova, Australia, 6-4, 6-2.
Shahar Peer, Israel, def. Isabella Holland, Australia, 6-2, 6-0.
Aleksandra Wozniak, Canada, def. Zhang Shuai, China, 6-3, 6-3.
Lucie Hradecka, Czech Republic, def. Evgeniya Rodina, Russia, 6-3, 6-1.
Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (15), Russia, def. Klara Zakopalova, Czech Republic, 7-6 (5), 6-1.
Vania King, United States, def. Kateryna Bondarenko, Ukraine, 7-6 (3), 6-3.
Carla Suarez Navarro, Spain, def. Irina-Camelia Begu, Romania, 6-1, 7-5.
Sabine Lisicki (14), Germany, def. Stefanie Voegele, Switzerland, 6-2, 4-6, 6-4.
Jelena Dokic, Australia, def. Anna Chakvetadze, Russia, 6-2, 6-1.
Dominika Cibulkova (17), Slovakia, def. Magdalena Rybarikova, Slovakia, 6-3, 6-1.
Greta Arn, Hungary, def. Rebecca Marino, Canada, 6-4, 6-2.
Maria Sharapova (4), Russia, def. Gisela Dulko, Argentina, 6-1, 6-0.
Jamie Hampton, United States, def. Mandy Minella, Luxembourg, 6-1, 6-1.
Kaia Kanepi (25), Estonia, def. Johanna Larsson, Sweden, 6-2, 6-4.
Sorana Cirstea, Romania, def. Sam Stosur (6), Australia, 7-6 (2), 6-3.
Sloane Stephens, United States, def. Silvia Soler-Espinosa, Spain, 6-4, 6-2.
Roberta Vinci (23), Italy, def. Alexandra Cadantu, Romania, 6-0, 6-1.
Sara Errani, Italy, def. Valeria Savinykh, Russia, 6-2, 6-1.
Marion Bartoli (9), France, def. Virginie Razzano, France, 7-5, 6-0.
Stephanie Dubois, Canada, def. Elena Vesnina, Russia, 6-4, 1-6, 6-4.
Michaella Krajicek, Netherlands, def. Kristina Barrois, Germany, 6-3 7-6 (13).
Ekaterina Makarova, Russia, def. Tamarine Tanasugarn, Thailand, 6-0, 2-6, 6-0.
Vera Zvonareva (7), Russia, def. Alexandra Dulgheru, Romania, 7-6 (4), 6-7 (5), 6-3.
Urszula Radwanska, Poland, def. Alison Riske, United States, 6-4, 1-6, 6-2.
Svetlana Kuznetsova (18), Russia, def. Chanelle Scheepers, South Africa, 6-3, 3-6, 6-0.
Nadia Petrova (29), Russia, def. Andrea Hlavackova, Czech Republic, 6-3, 3-6, 6-0.
Angelique Kerber (30), Germany, def. Bojana Bobusic, Australia, 6-1, 6-3.
Barbora Zahlavova Strycova, Czech Republic, def. Iryna Bremond, France, 6-0, 6-4.
Zheng Jie, China, def. Madison Keys, United States, 6-2, 6-1.
Ana Ivanovic (21), Serbia, def. Lourdes Dominguez Lino, Spain, 6-0, 6-3.
Serena Williams (12), United States, def. Taimira Paszek, Austria, 6-3, 6-2.

AFP

Comments
  • BettingTennis - 2012-01-18 00:32

    Glad for this clash,like in good old days,hope Isner can break Nalby also

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