Hewitt heads Aussie fourth day charge - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Hewitt heads Aussie fourth day charge

By Guy Hand 18/01/2007 05:56:26 AM Comments (0)

Comeback king Lleyton Hewitt leads a clutch of Australians bidding to join compatriot Wayne Arthurs in the Australian Open third round.

Hewitt pulled off a remarkable fightback from two sets down for an epic five-set win over American Michael Russell on Tuesday.

He will return to Rod Laver Arena against Canadian Frank Dancevic, the world No.87 who rose more than 100 spots up the rankings last year.

Hewitt admits he knows little about Dancevic, who is playing in only his second grand slam tournament after debuting at Wimbledon last year.

"He's a little bit of an unknown," Hewitt said.

"From what I've seen in the past, he's a pretty complete player ... an all-court kind of player with a nice forehand, nice single-handed backhand, nice first serve.

"I'll find out a bit more. I'll be ready."

Australians Samantha Stosur, Alicia Molik and Robert Smeets are also scheduled to play second round matches.

Stosur, the women's 24th seed, takes on Croatian Jelena Kostanic Tosic in tonight's opening match on Rod Laver Arena as the Gold Coaster attempts to better her fourth round effort at last year's Open.

Molik, on the comeback trail after a long layoff due to illness, plays Estonian Kaia Kanepi on Vodafone Arena.

And little-known Smeets, who won a wildcard in last week's playoffs, plays the biggest match of his career to date on Margaret Court Arena against 13th seeded Czech Tomas Berdych.

Arthurs, who is soon to retire from tennis, became the first Australian into the third round on Wednesday.

He delayed his Australian Open swansong with a four-set victory over American qualifier Zack Fleishman to book a clash with American Mardy Fish on Friday.

Current world No.1 Maria Sharapova and former world No.1s Kim Clijsters and Martina Hingis are all in singles action.

Sharapova plays fellow Russian Anastassia Rodionova, fourth seed Clijsters opens proceedings on Rod Laver Arena against Japan's Akiko Morigami, while Hingis plays Russian Alla Kudryatseva.

Other leading players in second round action include men's second seed Rafael Nadal against German Philipp Kohlschreiber and popular American fifth seed James Blake against countryman Alex Kuznetsov.

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