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Hewitt Survives Challenge to Set Isner Clash

Newport, U.S.A.

Hewitt© Ben SolomonHewitt saved three of five break points against Hernych
Former World No. 1 Lleyton Hewitt set up a semi-final clash against second seed John Isner, a re-match of last year's International Tennis Hall of Fame Championships final, after surviving a 6-7(3), 6-4, 6-2 battle against Czech qualifier Jan Hernych Friday. The Australian maintained his undefeated streak against Hernych, having defeated him in all seven of their encounters.

“He obviously came out of the blocks pretty well and broke me in the first game. To his credit, he surprised me a little bit serve-volleying first and second serves today. He actually dug out a lot of good volleys and covered the net pretty well so it was actually pretty hard to pass him," Hewitt said.  “I felt if I could get that second set then things would turn my way," added the fourth seed, noting that in grass court tennis, a few loose points can decide the winner or loser of a set.

Though he boasts a FedEx ATP Head2Head record of 3-1 against Isner, Hewitt is expecting a tough match. "He's playing well this week, I just have to go out there and play my game. When I get those small opportunities, I have to try and take them but he can take them out of your hands as well. I've just got to try and bide my time, and take care of my service games," said the World No. 64.

He acknowledged that players around his age, including Roger Federer and Xavier Malisse, were continuing to deliver strong results on the ATP World Tour. "The game’s a bit more demanding now so it takes a few more years to get on the tour, and you don’t see those 17 and 18 year olds week-in, week-out at the moment."

Hewitt described Rod Laver, who is currently in Newport, as an "all-time great". "I’m privileged that he’s Australian and that I’ve spent some time with him over the years. It’s one of the reasons I’m proud to play Davis Cup for Australia, we’ve won it so many times that you look at the honour board and the guys that played before so the records that I have in Davis Cup make me even more proud."

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