Australian Open

Seppi ends Hewitt's hopes

2014-01-14 11:23
Lleyton Hewitt (AFP)

Melbourne - Italy's Andreas Seppi endured a more than four-hour epic in sizzling heat before finally overcoming a stubborn Lleyton Hewitt and a partisan Australian Open crowd on Tuesday.

GALLERY: Hotties of the Australian Open

The five-set thriller was played in temperatures that touched 42 degrees Celsius (107.6 Fahrenheit) with 24th seed Seppi emerging a 7-6 (7/4), 6-3, 5-7, 5-7, 7-5 winner in a draining four hours and 18 minutes.

It ended a typical Hewitt fightback and shattered his dream after a build-up that saw him beat Roger Federer in the Brisbane International final and Andy Murray in an exhibition.

"It was a really tough match. I struggled at the beginning of the third set with cramp in my hand," said Seppi who overcame the heat as players on other courts wilted.

"I don't know how I played five sets but you have to keep going against Lleyton because he is such a fighter. I just tried to focus on my game."

Hewitt looked dead and buried after going two sets down, but buoyed by a vocal crowd on Rod Laver Arena he battled back to take the next two to set up a pulsating decider.

The veteran Australian even had a match point at 4-5 in the fifth but Seppi fired an ace to stay alive and gained the decisive final service break when Hewitt pushed a forehand wide.

There was no way back for the 32-year-old as the Italian held his nerve to close out victory.

"Every Grand Slam loss is tough, there's no easy ones," said Hewitt, in his 18th consecutive Australian Open appearance.

"Obviously if you come close to winning, even though it's a first-round match, it's still frustrating."

Despite the gruelling match, Hewitt still plans to push ahead with doubles on Wednesday when he will partner Pat Rafter, who is coming out of retirement to play.

Results from the Australian Open on Tuesday:

Men's singles:

First round:
Lu Yen-hsun (TPE) bt Jimmy Wang (TPE) 6-3, 6-2, 6-1
Michal Przysiezny (POL) bt Horacio Zeballos (ARG) 6-3, 7-6 (7/4), 7-5
Stephane Robert (FRA) bt Aljaz Bedene (SLO) 7-6 (7/3), 6-3, 6-0
Victor Hanescu (ROU) bt Peter Gojowczyk (GER) 7-6 (7/5), 7-6 (7/5), 6-3
Milos Raonic (CAN x11) bt Daniel Gimeno-Traver (ESP) 7-6 (7/2), 6-1, 4-6, 6-2
Martin Klizan (SVK) bt John Isner (USA x13) 6-2, 7-6 (8/6) ret
Grigor Dimitrov (BUL x22) bt Bradley Klahn (USA) 6-7 (7/9), 6-4, 6-4, 6-3
Dusan Lajovic (SRB) bt Lucas Pouille (FRA) 6-4, 7-6 (11/9), 4-6, 6-3
Kei Nishikori (JPN x16) bt Marinko Matosevic (AUS) 6-3, 5-7, 6-2, 4-6, 6-2
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (FRA x10) bt Filippo Volandri (ITA) 7-5, 6-3, 6-3
Roger Federer (SUI x6) bt James Duckworth (AUS) 6-4, 6-4, 6-2
Thomaz Bellucci (BRA) bt Julian Reister (GER) 4-6, 6-3, 7-6 (7/5) ret
Benoit Paire (FRA x27) bt Frank Dancevic (CAN) 7-6, (14/12), 6-3, 6-4
Blaz Kavcic (SLO) bt Radek Stepanek (CZE) 6-7 (3/7), 4-6, 6-1, 2-0 ret
Teymuraz Gabashvili (RUS) bt Sergiy Stakhovsky (UKR) 6-7 (3/7), 6-4, 6-2, 6-0
Blaz Rola (SLO) bt Federico Delbonis (ARG) 6-4, 6-2, 7-5
Nick Kyrgios (AUS) bt Benjamin Becker (GER) 6-3, 6-7 (5/7), 6-2, 7-6 (7/2)
Roberto Bautista (ESP) bt Tim Smyczek (USA) 6-2, 6-1, 6-1
Michael Berrer (GER) bt Michael Llodra (FRA) 6-4, 7-5, 6-1
Fernando Verdasco (ESP x31) bt Ze Zhang (CHN) 5-7, 6-3, 6-2, 6-3
Jack Sock (USA) bt Tobias Kamke (GER) 7-6 (7/5), 5-7, 6-2, 6-4
Andreas Seppi (ITA x24) bt Lleyton Hewitt (AUS) 7-6 (7/4), 6-3, 5-7, 5-7, 7-5
Donald Young (USA) bt Robin Haase (NED) 6-7 (4/7), 7-6 (7/2), 6-2, 1-0 ret
Juan Martin Del Potro (ARG x5) bt Rhyne Williams (USA) 6-7 (1/7), 6-3, 6-4, 6-4
Andy Murray (GBR x4) bt Go Soeda (JPN) 6-1, 6-1, 6-3
Vincent Millot (FRA) bt Wayne Odesnik (USA) 7-5, 4-6, 6-7 (4/7), 6-1, 6-3
Feliciano Lopez (ESP x26) bt Somdev Devvarman (IND) 6-4, 6-4, 7-6 (7/2)
Rafael Nadal (ESP x1) bt Bernard Tomic (AUS) 6-4 ret
Thanasi Kokkinakis (AUS) bt Igor Sijsling (NED) 7-6 (7/4), 0-6, 7-6 (7/3), 6-2
Gael Monfils (FRA x25) bt Ryan Harrison (USA) 6-4, 6-4, 6-4
Stephane Robert (FRA) bt Aljaz Bedene (SLO) 7-6 (7/3), 6-3, 6-0
Thomaz Belluci (BRA) bt Julian Reister (GER) 4-6, 6-3, 7-6 (7/5) ret

Women's singles:

First round:
Alize Cornet (FRA x25) bt Polona Hercog (SLO) 1-0 ret
Simona Halep (ROU x11) bt Katarzyna Piter (POL) 6-0, 6-1
Caroline Wozniacki (DEN x10) bt Lourdes Dominguez Lino (ESP) 6-0, 6-2
Carla Suarez Navarro (ESP x16) bt Vania King (USA) 6-3, 6-2
Christina McHale (USA) bt Chan Yung-jan (TPE) 7-5, 6-4
Barbora Zahlavova Strycova (CZE) bt Hsieh Su-wei (TPE) 6-1, 4-6, 6-1
Victoria Azarenka (BLR x2) bt Johanna Larsson (SWE) 7-6 (7/2), 6-2
Galina Voskoboeva (KAZ) bt Irina-Camelia Begu (ROU) 7-5, 4-6, 7-5
Dominika Cibulkova (SVK x20) bt Francesca Schiavone (ITA)
Zarina Diyas (KAZ) bt Katerina Siniakov (CZE) 6-2, 6-4,
Camila Giorgi (ITA) bt Storm Sanders (AUS) 4-6, 6-1, 6-4
Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (RUS x29) bt Teliana Pereira (BRA) 7-6 (9/7), 6-4
Varvara Lepchenko (USA) bt Lesia Tsurenko (UKR) 2-6, 6-3, 6-4
Jelena Jankovic (SRB x8) bt Misaki Doi (JPN) 6-1, 6-2
Mandy Minella (LUX) bt Carina Witthoft (GER) 6-1, 6-4
Stefanie Vogele (SUI) bt Kristina Mladenovic (FRA) 7-5, 7-5
Kurumi Nara (JPN) bt Peng Shuai (CHN) 7-5, 4-6, 6-3
Agnieszka Radwanska (POL x5) bt Yulia Putintseva (KAZ) 6-0, 5-7, 6-2
Olga Govortsova (BLR) bt Duan Ying-Ying (CHN) 6-0, 7-6 (8/6)
Garbine Muguruza (ESP) bt Kaia Kanepi (EST x24) 6-2, 2-6, 6-2
Olivia Rogowska (AUS) bt Mariana Duque (COL) 6-3, 6-3
Ayumi Morita (JPN) bt Nadiya Kichenok (UKR) 6-2, 7-6 (7/5)
Magdalena Rybarikova (SVK x32) bt Andrea Petkovic (GER) 6-2, 6-3
Marina Erakovic (NZL) bt Sorana Cirstea (ROM x21) 6-4, 7-6 (8/6)
Karin Knapp (ITA) bt Paula Ormaechea (ARG) 6-4, 6-2
Anna Schmiedlova (SVK) bt Timea Babos (HUN) 4-6, 6-4, 7-5
Sloane Stephens (USA x13) bt Yaroslava Shvedova (KAZ) 7-6 (7/1), 6-3
Ajla Tomljanovic (CRO) bt Tadeja Majeric (SLO) 3-6, 7-6 (7/1), 6-4
Maria Sharapova (RUS x3) bt Bethanie Mattek-Sands (USA) 6-3, 6-4
Yvonne Meusburger (AUT) bt Chanelle Scheepers (RSA) 7-6 (7/3), 6-4
Bojana Jovanovski (SRB x33) bt Jana Cepelova (SVK) 6-7 (1/7), 6-1, 6-3
Elina Svitolina (UKR) bt Svetlana Kuznetsova (RUS x19) 6-3, 6-3

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