Hewitt, Federer advance at Hamburg Masters

Top-ranked Lleyton Hewitt overcame a stiff challenge to reach the second round of the Hamburg Masters.

updated: February 25, 2007 09:48 IST
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Top-ranked Lleyton Hewitt had to overcome a stiff challenge at the start of his clay court season yesterday before reaching the second round of the Hamburg Masters with a 6-1 4-6 6-4 victory over Markus Hantschk, a big-hitting German wild card. "He threw the kitchen sink and everything he had at me," Hewitt said. "It's good to come away with a win from such a tight match." The Australian used his full range of powerful ground strokes to breeze through the first set against the German, who was playing only his second ATP tournament of the year. But Hewitt fell behind 1-3 at the start of the second and had to save two break points to avoid falling two breaks behind. The German, who is ranked 210th, squandered two more break points in the seventh game, then saved one himself in the next before serving out the set. Hantschk played with amazing confidence, going for corners just as much as the Australian. Hewitt, last year's Wimbledon champion, was punching the air after fighting off another break point in the third game of the decisive set but Hantschk showed no sign of slowing down in the compelling match. The Australian barely held serve in the seventh game, saving another break point when a net cord allowed him to smash an open volley. Hewitt blasted a return winner and let out a primal scream to set up two match points on Hantschk's serve at 5-4. But the German wasn't finished fighting and Hewitt wasted both, then netted a forehand to squander the third. (AP)