Hewitt makes bright start at Queen’s
Posted on 01/24/19 6:22 PM
Effortlessly slipping back onto his favourite surface, Lleyton Hewitt has kicked off his Wimbledon build-up with a clinical first-round win at Queen’s Club.
The 33-year-old, a four-time champion at the prestigious grass court event in London, needed little more than an hour to dispatch Spaniard Daniel Gimeno-Traver 6-3 6-3 on Monday.
He joined compatriots Bernard Tomic and James Duckworth in the second round as all three Australians involved on day one had wins.
Tomic claimed his first ATP main draw win in almost five months by beating American Tim Smyczek 6-4 3-6 7-5, while qualifier Duckworth defeated Israeli Dudi Sela 0-6 7-6 (7-5) 6-4.
World No.43 Hewitt reached the semi-finals at Queen’s last year and his latest bid to go deep in the draw began brightly against 99th-ranked Gimeno-Traver.
“I just felt pretty sharp out there,” said Hewitt, who lost in the first round of the French Open.
“I have been hitting the ball really well in practice and it didn’t take me long at all to get straight on the grass and feel comfortable, which is good.
“I really love coming back to this tournament and playing well.”
Hewitt raced to a 2-0 lead and came from 0-40 down to hold serve in the third game, always controlling the set from there.
He broke in the first and last games of the second set to line up a second-round meeting with either 10th seed Feliciano Lopez or Serbian Dusan Lajovic on Wednesday.
Lopez was one set up against Lajovic when rain suspended their first-round match.
Hewitt has not won back-to-back matches since claiming the Brisbane ATP title in January but he’s eyeing a chance to build some crucial momentum ahead of Wimbledon.
“The majors are still what I play for,” Hewitt said.
“In a couple weeks’ time is one of the big ones for me.”
Earlier, Tomic secured a much-needed win but it was hardly the confidence-boosting performance he was looking for.
Smyczek, ranked 106th, served for the match up 5-4 in the third set, only to tighten up as Tomic won 12 of the next 13 points to escape with victory.
“I should have lost that,” said Tomic, who has struggled for form since double hip surgery in February.
“Tennis, you can play like crap for the whole two sets and then you can find three, four points and you can win the match. It’s just strange.”
Tomic will next meet either Czech 15th seed Radek Stepanek or Kazakhstan’s Mikhail Kukushkin, while Qualifier Duckworth faces second seed Tomas Berdych in round two.
Marinko Matosevic and Matt Ebden play in first-round matches on Tuesday.