Lleyton Hewitt won this event 12 years ago. Source: AFP/theaustralian.com.au
Australian veteran Lleyton Hewitt begins his US Open campaign against Brian Baker in the early hours of Thursday morning (AEST), hoping to improve on his first round exits at the Australian and French Opens earlier this year. While the former world number one advanced to the second round at Wimbledon in June, he has fallen at the first hurdle in four of the past six grand slam events that he has contested.
The 2001 US Open champion was a first round casualty at the Citi Open in his final appearance before this event but had shown good form in America prior to his defeat against Ryan Harrison. He reached the semi-finals of the BB&T Atlanta Open before going down after taking the first set against eventual champion John Isner and was runner-up at the Hall of Fame Tennis Championships in Newport earlier in the month.
World number 185 Baker has won just three matches on the ATP Tour this season but proved what a dangerous player he can be by defeating top twenty players Gael Monfils and Philipp Kohlschreiber last year.
This pair has never faced off before, but Hewitt is a deserving favourite given his better form this season and the fact that he has traditionally fared better at the big events. The winner of this match faces a likely showdown with sixth seed and 2009 champion Juan Martin Del-Potro, who tackles Guillermo Garcia-Lopez in his first outing at Flushing Meadows.
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