Lleyton Hewitt’s farewell Australian Open crusade will continue until at least the second round after he took care of fellow Aussie James Duckworth in straight sets.
The retiring 34-year-old legend was typically fired-up and energetic in the 7-6 (7-5) 62 6-4 victory, delighting the partisan home crowd – which included Hewitt’s past four Davis Cup captains, John Newcombe, John Fitzgerald, Pat Rafter and Wally Masure, along with cricketing greats Michael Clarke and Adam Gilchrist, and Melbourne Cup-winning jockey Michelle Payne.
Hewitt, competing in his 20th and last Australian Open, now faces a gruelling second-round assignment against 8th seed David Ferrer.
— Mark Webber (@AussieGrit) January 19, 2016
Elsewhere, big Aussie chance Bernard Tomic advanced with a 6-7 6-4 6-4 6-4 win over Uzbekistan’s Denis Istomin, while Rafael Nadal crashed out in the first round via a five-set loss at the hands of fellow Spaniard Fernando Verdasco.
The big shock in the women’s draw was the exit of 2nd seed Simona Halep, who dipped out in straight sets to Chinese qualifier Zhang Shuai.