Hewitt rolls past Safin - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Hewitt rolls past Safin

07/08/2004 05:41:47 AM Comments (0)

Australia's Lleyton Hewitt moved into the semi-finals of the 2.4 million-dollar ATP Masters Series hardcourt event Friday with a 6-4, 6-4 victory over 14th-seeded Marat Safin of Russia.

Hewitt, seeded 10th, has shown the style which brought him a US Open title in 2001 and the Wimbledon crown in 2002. He will skip the Olympics and play next week at Washington to better focus on the US Open, which starts August 30.

In Saturday's semi-finals, Hewitt will play either Frenchman Fabrice Santoro or Spain's Tommy Robredo. Hewitt, 2-2 against Santoro, lost to the Frenchman in the round-of-16 last week at Toronto. Robredo won his only match with Hewitt.

Hewitt has won an astonishing 37 of 38 service games played, losing only one game in a first-round match against American wildcard Alex Bogomolov. He overpowered Safin to seize a 5-4 edge in their career rivalry.

"I didn't think I served very well actually," Hewitt said. "I was a little slower there than my other matches but I was able to hold on there."

Hewitt saved both break points he faced against Safin and took advantage of two of three break points on Safin's serve to seize 2-1 leads with a service break in both sets.

"He's playing with so much power that I knew it is tough to break his serve," Hewitt said. "But, luckily, I was able to take advantage of a couple of my opportunities today."

Hewitt reached his fifth ATP semi-final of the year. He has won titles at Sydney and Rotterdam.

Hewitt's losses in this year's Grand Slam events all came to eventual champions - Roger Federer in the Australian Open fourth round and Wimbledon quarter-finals and Gaston Gaudio in the quarter-finals at the French Open.

Safin, who reached the Australian Open final in dramatic fashion in January by winning five-set marathons against Andy Roddick in the quarter-finals and Andre Agassi in the semi-finals, still seeks his first ATP crown of the year.

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