Hewitt on a roll at Queen’s
Lleyton Hewitt has continued his impressive run at Queen's Club by beating American Sam Querrey to reach the quarterfinals for the first time in five years.
Lleyton Hewitt continued his impressive run at Queen’s Club by beating big-serving American Sam Querrey to reach the quarterfinals for the first time in five years.
Hewitt, a four-time champion at the grasscourt event, fought back from a set down to upset the tournament’s sixth seed 5-7 6-3 6-4 on Thursday.
The 32-year-old set up a clash on Friday with Argentine third seed Juan Martin del Potro, who thumped British wild card Daniel Evans 6-0 6-3.
Hewitt is the only Australian left in the draw after Marinko Matosevic fell 6-2 6-2 to top seed Andy Murray later on Thursday.
The 65th-ranked Matosevic proved no match for British world No.2 Murray in a match played in front of a large crowd on centre court, the second time that day Murray had appeared on the court after completing his rain-delayed second-round match against Frenchman Nicolas Mahut only hours earlier.
Murray will meet German Benjamin Becker, who eliminated Bernard Tomic, in the quarterfinals on Friday.
It is the deepest 82nd-ranked Hewitt has gone into a tournament this year and the veteran is building valuable confidence and match practice leading into Wimbledon, where he is the 2002 champion.
“I sort of pick and choose the tournaments I want to play nowadays. I don’t play week in and week out,” Hewitt said.
“So for me going into a Grand Slam, this is perfect preparation where you play quality players and you’re a break point down and fighting off big points.
“To come through a close three-setter against a quality player is good preparation.”
Hewitt was also due to play doubles but was forced to withdraw after his partner Bernard Tomic withdrew citing hamstring soreness.
Tomic suffered the injury during a first-round loss at the French Open but said he was untroubled by it during a three-set singles loss to German Benjamin Becker at Queen’s on Tuesday.
It is the first time Hewitt has reached the last eight at Queen’s since 2008 and he feels his game is in great shape heading towards his favourite major.
“The last two matches, I’ve played pretty well and at the French I played pretty well, really,” he said of an opening-round, five-set loss to Gilles Simon at Roland Garros.
“That gave me confidence in my ball striking and I feel like in practice since the French I’ve been hitting the ball great, it’s just a matter of taking that into matches.”
Following on from his impressive second round win over Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov, Hewitt started strongly against world No.19 Querrey, the 2010 Queen’s champion.
He missed a golden chance to clinch the first set at 5-4 up, wasting three set points on Querrey’s serve including missing an open forehand down the line after an epic rally.
The American capitalised, holding serve before breaking in the next game and going on to win the set.
But Hewitt broke midway through the second set and was always on top from there, though he had to dig deep at crucial moments and needed four matches points to seal the win.