AUSTRALIAN OPEN 2013
Hewitt Hopeful Of Tipsarevic Upset
by ATP Staff|
Former World No. 1 Lleyton Hewitt goes into the Australian Open in good form and hopeful of upsetting No. 9-ranked Janko Tipsarevic in a blockbuster first-round clash set for Monday night on Rod Laver Arena.
“Obviously I’m extremely happy with how I’m hitting the ball at the moment, and a lot of the pressure’s on him,” said Hewitt, who battled back from toe surgery in 2012 to finish at No. 83 in the Emirates ATP Rankings having fallen outside the Top 200. “He’s the No. 8 player in the world at the moment, so I’ll go out there and give 100 per cent and see what happens.
“It could have been easier, but I’m sure he’s not wanting to meet me in the first round either. It’s going to be a tough match.”
While Tipsarevic impressed with victory at the Aircel Chennai Open (d. Bautista-Agut) in the first week of the season, Hewitt has enjoyed confidence-boosting performances at the AAMI Classic in Kooyong this week. The 31 year old turned over World No. 15 Milos Raonic, No. 6 Tomas Berdych and No. 7 Juan Martin del Potro for the loss of just one set to win the exhibition event.
Hewitt reached the final of the Australian Open in 2005, finishing runner-up to Marat Safin. He is preparing to make his 17th appearance at Melbourne Park. Last year he knocked out Andy Roddick and Raonic to reach the fourth round, stretching eventual champion Novak Djokovic to four sets in defeat.
Speaking about the Adelaide native’s upcoming challenge, World No. 1 Djokovic commented, "He's proving everybody wrong. He's a great competitor and somebody that a lot of players have a lot of respect for. I'm sure in front of his crowd he's going to be extra motivated to do well. [It is] just a matter of the day and how well the opponent plays also."