Hewitt Set For Deep Run

Source: AFP/theaustralian.com.au
The draw at Wimbledon has opened up for Lleyton Hewitt after some first round upsets. Image courtesy of theaustralian.com.au/AFP
Thanks to his stunning three-set win over 11th seed Stanislas Wawrinka in round one, the draw has suddenly opened up for Lleyton Hewitt to the point where his best tennis could well see him through to a quarter-final date with seven-time champion Roger Federer. Belgian Steve Darcis did the Australian a massive favour by knocking out injured French Open champion Rafael Nadal in one of the biggest shocks at the All England Club in recent history.

Hewitt has now won five of his six matches on grass since hopping across the English Channel, and he has an ideal match-up in the second round against former Jamaican Dustin Brown , who now represents his birth country of Germany. Brown is more of a doubles specialist and cracked a highest singles ranking of 89 back in 2011. He played doubles last year with South Australian Paul Hanley, so if Hewitt wants any inside information, he need look no further than his fellow Croweater.

Brown has been in England for the past few weeks playing the Challenger circuit, and despite losses to Prakash Amirtraj (ranked 310) and Daniel Cox (ranked 520) in lead-up events on grass, he managed to make it through qualifying, including wins over higher-ranked opponents Jiri Vesely and Evgeny Korolev. He then backed that up with a first round victory in straight sets over Spanish claycourt specialist Guillermo Garcia-Lopez, who made it through to the semis on grass at Rosmalen in the Netherlands a couple of weeks back. Taking on a former Wimbledon champion and world No. 1 is a massive step up, though, especially considering the form Hewitt is in.

If the Australian warrior makes it through the second round, his next opponent will be the winner of the clash between big-serving John Isner and Frenchman Adrian Mannarino . The American won their only previous encounter in a tight three-setter on an indoor hardcourt in 2010. Also in the same section of the draw, Darcis can make the most of his shock win over Nadal by beating Poland’s Lukasz Kobot .

On the women’s side, there are still concerns over the fitness of Victoria Azarenka after her slip on the first day of the Championships. Her knee had to be heavily strapped in her round one win over Maria Joao Koehler, and the injury forced her to cancel her practice session yesterday. On Wednesday night she takes on dangerous Italian Flavia Pennetta . The former top-tenner is on the comeback trail after wrist surgery, but as was seen with Nadal’s exit on Monday night, it is difficult to make it through a Grand Slam event on one leg. Pennetta won the most recent clash between the pair on a hardcourt in 2011.

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