Hewitt promises to keep roll going - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Hewitt promises to keep roll going

By Darren Walton 14/01/2004 10:27:08 PM Comments (0)

Lleyton Hewitt boldly declared he could better his career-best 17-match winning streak and end his Australian Open drought after storming into the quarter-finals of the adidas International.

Sydney teenage wildcard Todd Reid and Davis Cup teammate Mark Philippoussis followed suit to join Hewitt in the last eight with equally impressive second-round victories.

Later, Victorian teenager Chris Guccione, the shock first-round conquerer of world No.3 Juan Carlos Ferrero, lost out 7-6 (7-4) 7-5 to the experienced Wayne Ferreira, but his narrow defeat failed to detract from a memorable day for Australian tennis.

"It's awesome. It shows that everyone's still riding that wave of Davis Cup," Philippoussis said after the host country stitched up three quarter-final berths at the tournament for the first time in six years.

But it was the tough-talking Hewitt who raised hopes of a long overdue local winner of the season's first grand slam after continuing his great affinity with the Olympic Park centre court.

Hewitt's 6-4 6-1 disposal of Karol Kucera - his second success against the cagey Slovak in a week - improved the two-time champion's marvellous win-loss record to 15-1 at the venue.

More significantly, Hewitt is now 8-0 since the US Open last September and on a serious roll heading to Melbourne Park.

Asked if it wasn't beyond him to string together the 18 wins it would take to continue his streak and triumph in Sydney and then Melbourne, the super-confident Hewitt had no doubt he could.

"I've won that many before," he said.

Not quite that many on the ATP tour, but his 17-match winning streak in 2001 yielded his first grand slam at Flushing Meadows and he's clearly now in the same frame of mind.

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