Hewitt Still Australia’s No.1

Image courtesy of bbc.co.uk
Lleyton Hewitt is heading back to where it all began. Image courtesy of bbc.co.uk

Aussie Lleyton Hewitt  won the US Open 13 years ago and hopes to make another charge in 2014 when he faces World No.7 Tomas Berdych first up in New York.

Interestingly, these two have only met twice before, with the Czech having won both times. In 2009, Berdych was successful 4-6, 6-3, 7-6 on clay in Munch. Three years earlier, he overcame the Aussie in straight sets 7-5, 6-3 at the Indian Wells Masters, a tournament played on hard court, similar to Flushing Meadow. 

After a long battle with injury, 2014 started sensationally for Hewitt. The 33 year-old-old kicked off his campaign as an unseeded entrant at the Brisbane International. After wins against Thanasi Kokkinakis (6-3, 7-5), Feliciano Lopez (7-5, 6-3), Marius Copil (6-4, 6-2) and Kei Nishikori (5-7, 6-4, 6-3), he faced seventeen-time Grand Slam winner Roger Federer in the final. Ever the fighter, Hewitt won 6-1, 4-6, 6-3 to claim his 29th career title. But the veteran has struggled at Grand Slam level, having lost his opening matches at the Australian and French Opens, before making it to the second round of Wimbledon.

While Hewitt continues to be competitive on the circuit winning two more titles this year to take the tally to 30, his last slam success was at Wimbledon back in 2002. His best result at the elite level since then is a finals appearance at the 2005 Australian Open, when beaten by Marat Safin.

28 year-old Berdych has made the semis at all four slams, with a best result being a straight sets loss to Rafael Nadal in the 2010 Wimbledon final. He was a semi-finalist at the Australian Open earlier this year and at Flushing Meadow in 2012.

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