Hewitt winning streak continues - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Hewitt winning streak continues

04/09/2004 05:48:06 AM Comments (0)

Lleyton Hewitt extended his winning run to 12 matches to reach the third round of the US Open tennis tournament at Flushing Meadows.

The fourth-seeded Australian overcame a first-set scare to wear down dangerous Moroccan Hicham Arazi 7-6 (9-7) 6-1 6-2 to book a meeting on Sunday with either 30th-seeded Spaniard Feliciano Lopez or German qualifier Philipp Kohlschreiber.

Hewitt, 23, had to draw on all his famed fighting qualities to pull out the first set after trailing the flashy left-hander throughout.

Hewitt made a tentative start inside Arthur Ashe Stadium, lost his serve in the seventh game, broke back to level at 5-5 only to fall behind again in the tiebreaker.

The 2001 champion was forced to save two set points, including one on Arazi's serve, before roaring with a mixture of relief and pleasure after striking a forehand winner to finally take the set.

It was a vital set to win against an opponent who'd beaten him in straight sets in their only previous encounter, also on a north American hardcourt.

Arazi had survived a tough five-setter in the first round to confirm a date with Hewitt and it was clear his energy and confidence had been sapped after losing the tense first set.

Australia's world No.5 ran away with the second set after twice breaking Arazi for a 4-0 lead and eventually finished off the job in one hour and 55 minutes.

It was an impressive performance from Hewitt, who would have been well aware Arazi had haunted his Australian countrymen in the past.

Arazi, 30, led Patrick Rafter two sets to love on the very same court in the first round of the 1998 US Open before the defending champion fought back to win in five and then go on to claim his second title at Flushing Meadows.

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