Lleyton Hewitt managed to roll back the years when he played old foe Andy Roddick in the second round of the Australian Open. The match finished 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 after Roddick had to bow out due to injury.
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Hewitt may have passed on the mantle to Bernard Tomic as the next home contender for the Aussie Open title but the 30 year old still fancies his chances of pulling off the odd upset or two and he's got one of those late night showdowns he relishes so much against Roddick on Thursday.
"I think when we play, numbers go out the door as far as the number next to our name as far as ranking,” Roddick said. “I don't pay much attention to it when it comes to Lleyton. He knows how to win tennis matches. He's a fighter. I have as much respect for him as I do for anybody in the game, how he goes about his business, how he competes, how professional he is. We always have a bit of a war. I probably don't see it being any different. I think there's a lot of mutual respect there. For sure there is from my end.”
Hewitt and Roddick have enjoyed some real dogfights over the years with Hewitt winning 3-6, 7-6(3), 7-6(4), 6-1 to make his only Aussie Open final seven years ago. However while Roddick is still a outside contender at the majors, Hewitt's runs are largely consigned to the first week these days.
He struggled past German journeyman Cedrik-Marcel Stebe in four sets on Thursday while Roddick thumped the dangerous Robin Haase in three. Roddick has also won their last six matches on the tour.
Hewitt may start brightly but Roddick to take this in four.