FAYEZ SAROFIM & CO. U.S. MEN'S CLAY COURT CHAMPIONSHIP 2014
Hewitt Prevails In Houston Opener
by ATP Staff|
Former champion and No. 7 seed Lleyton Hewitt began his campaign Tuesday at the Fayez Sarofim & Co. U.S. Men’s Clay Court Championship in Houston with a 6-4, 3-6, 6-4 win over Canadian qualifier Peter Polansky.
After trading breaks in the first four games of the third set, the 33-year-old Hewitt opened up a 5-2 lead. He relinquished a break as he attempted to serve out the match, but claimed the two hour, four-minute victory at the second time of asking. Hewitt and Polansky each lost serve eight times in blustery conditions.
"You’re never going to play clean tennis out there today, so it was a matter of finding a way to get through," said Hewitt. "And obviously he played three matches on these courts to get through qualifying, so he was confident as well. In the end I was just happy to get the win."
Hewitt, who won the Houston title in 2009 (d. Odesnik), will play American Sam Querrey for a place in the quarter-finals. Hewitt leads their FedEx ATP Head2Head series 3-1.
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Donald Young needed just 41 minutes to complete a 6-0, 6-1 rout of fellow American Ryan Harrison. Young, 24, lost just four points on serve and capitalised on five of his eight break point chances in his first meeting with his 21-year-old countryman.
Harrison had saved six match points in the final round of qualifying against Belgian Ruben Bemelmans on Monday. He withdrew from the doubles draw later Tuesday with a back injury.
Two other Americans, Michael Russell and Steve Johnson, also advanced. Michael Russell, 35, set a second-round meeting with returning finalist and No. 3 seed Nicolas Almagro after defeating Spaniard Daniel Gimeno-Traver 6-3, 7-6(2). Johnson, ranked a career-high No. 69 following his triumph at the Le Gosier Challenger over the weekend, beat compatriot Denis Kudla 6-3, 7-6(4).
Fifth-seeded Spaniard Feliciano Lopez completed the day's action with a 7-5, 6-2 win over 31-year-old American qualifier Robby Ginepri in one hour and 24 minutes. He converted five of his 12 break point chances.
The Bryans will look to extend their recent winning streak to 15 matches when they next meet Australians Matthew Ebden and Samuel Groth. Ebden and Groth defeated the British duo of Ken Skupski and Neal Skupski 6-4, 7-6(2).