US OPEN 2013
Hewitt Through To Fourth Round
New York, U.S.A.
by ATP Staff|
Former world number one Lleyton Hewitt will play Mikhail Youzhny in the US Open fourth round, a stage he hasn't reached since 2006.
The Australian defeated Russian Evgeny Donskoy 6-3, 7-6(5), 3-6, 6-1 in just under three hours, winning 75 per cent of first serve points.
"I came out aggressive at the start and I played well right at the start to get up that early break. That was sort of the telling point for that first set," said the 32-year-old Hewitt, who fired 11 aces during the match, including two on his second serve.
"Whenever I was under pressure I didn't give him too many chances to run around and take second cuts on my second serve, which was positive," said Hewitt, who won 24 of 31 points at the net. "If the right ball's there, I think I'm a good enough volleyer to back it up and play aggressive tennis out there."
The World No. 66, who practised for four hours with 17-time major winner Roger Federer on the Monday before the tournament, said he wasn't sure if he'd continue competing after undergoing foot surgery in 2011.
"I don't know another athlete that's come back from it so as confident as my surgeon and I were with everything... we didn't know until I actually tried running on it. Once I was able to come back on the tour, it took a lot longer to get any kind of confidence and play pain‑free again. There was definitely a time those first few tournaments that I came back from that last operation where if it was still hurting as much as it was then now, I wouldn't be playing still," said Hewitt.
Hewitt has a FedEx ATP Head2Head lead of 5-1 against Youzhny with their most recent meeting being last year in Cincinnati, won by the Australian 6-4, 6-4.
The Australian also weighed in on the Federer-Nadal rivalry. "I think Rafa still has to win some more Grand Slams to catch Roger in terms of greatness. Roger's been around for so many years and dominated for so long; whereas Rafa dominated on clay for so long now but he's been very good on every other surface."
"If they play here, it will be a great match," said Hewitt.
World No. 3 Andy Murray said he was pleased to see Hewitt playing so well. "It's great... I practise with him quite a lot, spent quite a bit of time with him over the grass court season," said the Scot.
"He works hard, he loves competing... he's a great player. People are quick to write guys off and not remember how good someone like Hewitt was at his peak. He finished No. 1 in the world two times at the end of the year, won a couple of Grand Slams, and has been in the finals of others. When he's fit and healthy, he can compete with everybody," said Murray.
To set the clash against Hewitt, Youzhny toppled German 12th seed Tommy Haas 6-3, 6-2, 2-6, 6-3 in two hours and 29 minutes.
"It will be a very tough match for me," Youzhny said of the impending Hewitt battle. "I lost to him last time and I think I just beat him once and we played many matches, so it will be really really tough for me. I saw his match a little bit against Donskoy and a little bit against del Potro. He’s in good shape. I practiced with him before the tournament here and so I understand for me it will be tough."