Lleyton Hewitt Goes The Distance At The Australian Open
By Ken Miller, Lawn Tennis Correspondent, Posted: Saturday, January 19, 2008 1:55pm CST USA
Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images
Melbourne--(lawntennismag.com) 2005 Australian Open finalist and 19th seed Lleyton Hewitt of Australia began his third
round match versus 15th seed Marcos Baghdatis of Cyprus late Saturday night Melbourne time thanks in part to a
match in which top seeded Roger Federer of Switzerland defeated Janko Tipsarevic of Serbia 10-8 in the fifth set.
Then Hewitt himself was pushed to the limit before he won a marathon match of his own, defeating Baghdatis
4-6, 7-5, 7-5, 6-7(4-7), 6-3 in a match which ended at 4:33am Sunday Melbourne time.
"I should have closed it out in the fourth set," Hewitt said. "To come back and beat him in five sets, I'm pretty proud."
A far cry from his first round match in which Hewitt only lost three games, Saturday Hewitt labored on the court for
nearly five hours. Ahead 5-1 in set four, the Australian dropped the next four games before holding serve at 6-5
with aggressive play before making several groundstroke errors to drop the tiebreaker.
The two players stayed even in set five until Hewitt opened up a substantial lead by breaking Baghdatis' serve for
a 3-2 lead before holding his own serve to go ahead 4-2.
After hitting a crosscourt forehand volley winner to get to 5-3, Hewitt yelled one of his many "come on"'s with a
fist pump. Baghdatis saved several matchpoints early in his final service game with steady play only to face another
final matchpoint as a Hewitt topspin lob sailed over his head for a winner.
Hewitt's forehand inside out return winner sealed the match after four hours and fourty-five minutes. And as
Hewitt began to celebrate one of his greatest wins ever, Baghdatis' fatigue set in as his trademark smile was gone
and he left the court in tears.
After setting a record for the latest finish for a match at a grand slam, Hewitt advances to meet third seeded
Novak Djokovic of Serbia in the fourth round.