Hewitt destroys arch rival, Stosur and Guccione bow out

Posted on 27/04/2020 by

Lleyton Hewitt has destroyed arch-rival Juan Ignacio Chela to set up a third-round showstopper with Roger Federer at the US Open in New York.On an otherwise disappointing day for the Australian contingent, the ever-dependable Hewitt rolled past Chela 6-3 6-3 6-4 in two hours 10 minutes to advance to the last 32 for the ninth time in 10 visits to Flushing Meadows.The crushing victory reversed Hewitt’s second-round loss to the Argentine at the 2006 Australian Open and vaulted the 2001 champion into a 23nd career meeting with the mighty Federer on Friday (AEST).The Swiss ace has won their last 13 meetings to lead 15-7 head-to-head. Hewitt hasn’t beaten the world No.1 and five-time Open champion since 2003 and has twice fallen to Federer in New York since – in the 2004 final and 2005 semi-finals.Neither player has dropped a set in reaching the third round this year, Federer on Thursday (AEST) easing past German Simon Greul 6-3 7-5 7-5.Earlier, Samantha Stosur, Australia’s great hope in the women’s singles, and Hewitt’s Davis Cup teammate Chris Guccione made disappointing exits from the final grand slam tournament of the year.Stosur, who arrived at Flushing Meadows with a career-high world No.15 ranking, crashed to a surprise 7-5 6-4 second-round loss to American wildcard Vania King.Guccione went down 6-4 7-6 (7-4) 6-0 to unheralded Uruguayan Pablo Cuevas in his first-round match, continuing his terrible record at the four grand slams.The big-serving left-hander has now suffered nine first-round defeats at the majors, and never progressed beyond round two.Stosur, though, was even more disappointing in her loss to a player ranked 99 places below her at No.114 in the world – especially considering she’d toppled the likes of Open titleholder Serena Williams and fellow top-10 stars Elena Dementieva and Svetlana Kuznetsova in recent weeks.The power-packed Queenslander boasts one of the best serves in women’s tennis, yet was broken six times and was always playing catch-up against her lowly-ranked rival.‘‘I found myself 5-2 down (in the first set). Then I got back to 5-all and I still thought I could get quite a bit better,’’ Stosur said.‘‘I was in the match at a lot of stages but every time I got back in there, I’d let it slip; I lost serve or something would happen and then I’d find myself a break down again.‘‘It’s not like I was too far away but 7-5 6-4 you lose and it’s done. It doesn’t matter what the score was before that point.’’Guccione, who received Tennis Australia’s designated wildcard into the tournament, also arrived in New York with strong form.He won a Challenger tournament in California in July and reached the last 16 at a Masters Series event for the first time last month in Cincinnati, beating world No.7 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga along the way.‘‘I was playing great coming into this week and I had high expectations and a decent draw, but he played better than me today,’’ Guccione said.‘‘The first two sets were very tight. He played very well on big points the first couple of sets and made a high percentage of first serves; I felt like it was tough to get into his service games.‘‘He got a lot of confidence after he broke me in the first game of the third and he ran away with it from there.’’ AAP
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