New York - Australia's Lleyton Hewitt has at least one more match to play on
the US Open hard-courts where he became a Grand Slam champion.
The 34-year-old, who will retire after January's Australian Open, advanced
to the second round on Tuesday at Flushing Meadows with a 6-0, 7-6 (7/2), 1-0
victory when Kazakh rival Aleksandr Nedovyesov retired after receiving right
That will put Hewitt against 24th-seeded countryman Bernard Tomic or Damir
Dzumhur of Bosnia and Herzegovina on Thursday in his penultimate Grand Slam
Hewitt, who has fallen to 355th in the world rankings, won the 2001 US Open
final over Pete Sampras and took the 2002 Wimbledon championship, downing David
Nalbandian in the trophy match.
"It's hard to separate obviously the US Open and Wimbledon. US Open was
my first Slam. But for me there was always something really special about
Wimbledon," Hewitt said.
Wearing a shirt with the logo "NYC'mon One Last Time New York"
embracing his famed on-court cry and his New York farewell, Hewitt also cited
the joy of winning the 2003 Davis Cup at home in Melbourne and his becoming the
youngest world number one at age 20 in 2001 at the year-end ATP Masters Cup in
This year, he helped pull the Aussies, steeped in tradition from the days of
Tony Roche and John Newcombe, from the brink of defeat and into a semi-final
Davis Cup tie against Andy Murray-led Great Britain later this month at
"I was fortunate to come up at a time with Newk and Roche. They let me
know what Davis Cup is about, especially playing for Australia," Hewitt
said. "I've just tried to lead by example.
"Davis Cup for me has been a massive passion. It's the reason that I
still played this year, because I feel like we had a good opportunity to do
well and I could still add something to the Davis Cup team as a player this
It was a main reason he took a wildcard into the US Open this year.
"Could have gone to another Aussie but I felt like to give myself the
best opportunity for the Davis Cup tie, it was the right decision," Hewitt
Hewitt named Andre Agassi, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal as the players who
really pushed him during his career, but said his best US Open memory was his
final win over Sampras.
"Beating the greatest at the time, in the final, in his home Grand Slam
- the semi-final and final I felt invincible out there, didn't feel like I could
miss a ball," Hewitt said.
"Pete hadn't dropped serve for something ridiculous going into the
final. I remember sitting right here, everyone saying, You can't beat him, you
can't break his serve. I just tried and I broke him first game. That gave me a
lot of confidence."
Now Hewitt is set to call it quits just as Federer has moved to world number
two at the same age. But that hasn't prompted any second guessing by Hewitt.
"He's obviously not struggling at the age of 34 out there. He's playing
OK," Hewitt said.
"No, obviously everyone has to call 'time' at some stage. I'm very
comfortable with how it's all panning out."