London - Lleyton Hewitt admitted he was glad to put a smile back on the face
of Australian sport with an impressive 6-4, 6-3 win over Bulgarian 10th
seed Grigor Dimitrov in the second round at Queen's Club on Wednesday.
awoke to news that Australia cricketer David Warner had been dropped
for his country's Champions Trophy match against New Zealand after
reports he had made an "unprovoked physical attack" on England star Joe
Root in a Birmingham bar on Sunday.
Warner's clash with Root came
just hours after Australia were beaten by England in the Champions
Trophy, a defeat that fuelled the growing belief that the Australians
are in danger of being humiliated by their arch rivals in the
forthcoming Ashes series.
There was also bad news for Australia at
Queen's on Tuesday when young talent Bernard Tomic crashed out of the
pre-Wimbledon warm-up event in the first round.
backdrop of strife, Australia's sporting public needed a lift and Hewitt
delivered as he rolled back the years to rout world number 28 Dimitrov
and reach the last 16 in west London.
"I don't know about Warner, but obviously leading into the Ashes, so everyone's mind is hard," Hewitt said.
obviously playing a one day tournament at the moment, which is pretty
big, but in the back of England and Australia's mind is the Ashes and
wanting to perform well in that.
"I wouldn't write our boys off. I know (Australia captain) Michael Clarke) pretty well, and he will be looking forward to it."
is a four-time Queen's champion, but thoughts of a record fifth crown
were some way from the former world number one's mind when he arrived at
the start of the week.
The 32-year-old is well into the twilight
of his career and his lowly 82nd position in the world rankings reflects
that diminished status.
Hewitt's first round defeat at the French
Open, when he squandered a two-set lead against Gilles Simon, was his
fourth successive loss, raising once again the possibility that he would
But the former Wimbledon champion has always thrived
on London's grass courts and, after grinding out a hard-fought first
round win over Michael Russell, he produced one of his best performances
of 2013 to brush aside Dimitrov.