Lleyton Hewitt is beginning to find his stride at the right time. Finally back with some good form, Hewitt gave World No. 16 Andy Roddick all he could take before the American was forced to retire hurt.
Roddick started off strong by breaking Hewitt’s serve early and took the first set with two nice points- one a tricky shot at the net and the other with one of his trademark strong serves- to win 6-3.
Hewitt came back strong in the second set and stole Roddick’s serve in the second game before establishing a 3-0 advantage. Roddick appeared to tweak his ankle not long after and was noticeably slower thereafter.
Two aces on the last point sealed a 6-3 second set victory for Hewitt in 40 minutes of action.
The former World No. 1 was able to again break Roddick’s serve in the third set, leading 3-2, but he continued to fight through the injury and cut Hewitt’s lead back to 5-4. Looking to tie the game, Roddick led 40-love until Hewitt went on a tear and forced a tiebreaker. With a beautiful shot off the net Hewitt won the tiebreaker and the set 6-4.
After a brief discussion with his team, Roddick retired, sending Hewitt into the third round.
He will be joined by the only other Australian left in the tournament, Bernard Tomic, who won yesterday against American Sam Querrey 6-3 7-6 (7-4) 6-3.
Tomic advances to face Alexandr Dolgopolov, an opponent the young Australian has yet to truly figure out. The Ukrainian has won each of the pairs’ three meetings but may come into the match fatigued due to the long and hard fought route he has had to survive just to make it into the third round.
Dubbed as the Ice Man by the Australian media for his calm under pressure, Tomic has two great wins already under his belt and will have the support of the Melbourne crowd behind him when they play today.
In other round two action, World No. 1 Novak Djokovic advanced easily after defeating Santiago Giraldo (No. 56) in straight sets. Jo-Wilfred Tsonga registered a convincing win by beating Brazilian Ricardo Mello, also in straight sets.
Marcos Baghdatis provided the crowd with a bit of entertainment, but not in the customary fashion. He lost his cool a number of times and took his frustration out on some of his racquets, pounding one into the court surface seven times before handing the remains to a ball boy. He proceeded to collect another racquet and give it the same treatment. Baghdatis was fined $US800 for his efforts and no, he didn’t win.