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Hewitt Defeats Matosevic In Washington; Tomic Falls

Washington, U.S.A.

Hewitt© Getty ImagesLleyton Hewitt extends his winning streak to six matches.

A decade removed from his triumph at the Citi Open, former World No. 1 Lleyton Hewitt began his bid to reclaim the title with a 6-4, 6-3 win over fellow Australian Marinko Matosevic on Tuesday night in Washington D.C.

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The 14th-seeded Hewitt converted four of his eight break points to claim his first match win at this ATP World Tour 500 hard-court tournament since 2009. He had fallen in his opening match on his last two visits, in 2010 and ’13.

“We both know each other’s games really well,” said Hewitt. “I’ve tried to help Marinko - especially probably the last four of five years - in taking the next step, and it’s not easy playing against him.” 

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Hewitt, 33, is making his first appearance since sweeping the singles and doubles titles three weeks ago in Newport. He will face the winner between second-seeded Canadian Milos Raonic and American Jack Sock in the third round.

Bernard Tomic’s winning streak came to an end at six matches, as the recent Bogota champion fell to No. 15 seed Denis Istomin 6-4, 7-6(6). Istomin defeated the Australian for the first time in four FedEx ATP Head2Head meetings.

Ninth seed Ivo Karlovic, who finished runner-up to Hewitt and Tomic in Newport and Bogota, battled past Frenchman Benoit Paire 7-6(5), 6-7(11), 7-6(2) in two hours and 25 minutes. Both players dropped serve just once. Karlovic, who finished the match with 24 aces, won 90 per cent of his first-serve points.

Former champion Radek Stepanek, the No. 11 seed, was upset in his opening match against Malek Jaziri. The 114th-ranked Tunisian rallied from 2-4 down in the second set, prevailing 2-6, 7-6(3), 6-1 after two hours. Stepanek had won the Washington title in 2011 (d. Monfils).

Jaziri will next confront seventh-seeded South African Kevin Anderson, who bounced back from a loss in his Atlanta opener to defeat Russian Evgeny Donskoy 6-3, 6-4.

In other second-round matches, American Tim Smyczek upset No. 12 seed Jeremy Chardy 7-6(5), 3-6, 6-4, while Slovakian Lukas Lacko ousted No. 16 seed Yen-Hsun Lu 6-1, 6-4.

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