Milos Raonic, who won Sunday’s ATP Tour event in San Jose, crashed out in the first round of the US Indoor Championships on Wednesday losing in three sets to wild-card Jack Sock.
The 22-year-old Canadian and tournament second seed lost 6-3, 5-7, 7-5 in 2 hours, 10 minutes to the world No. 168 Sock.
Sock advances to the second round where he will face fellow American James Blake.
Sock won the battle of the hard-hitting servers, despite being out-aced 12-11 by Raonic. Sock won 83 percent of his first-serve points and saved eight of nine break points.
Former World No. 1 Lleyton Hewitt, a two-time Grand Slam champion, saved two match points on his serve in the 12th game of the second set before defeating Taiwan’s Lu Yen-hsun 2-6, 7-6 (7/3), 6-4 in their first-round match.
Hewitt is making his third appearance at the US$1.58 million hardcourt event, having lost in the 2009 semi-finals and 2011 quarter-finals, both times falling to now-retired US standout Andy Roddick.
Hewitt, who turns 32 on Sunday, is seeking his first Tour title since 2010.
“I just hung in there,” Hewitt said. “He played extremely well the first set and hit the ball extremely clean. I just tried to hang in there and hold my serve. I kept fighting.”
Hewitt’s win was the 571st of his career, tying him for 25th place in ATP Tour history with Mats Wilander. Wilander won seven Grand Slam titles in the 1980s.
Lu lost out again when No. 3 seeds Lukasz Kubot of Poland and Canada’s Daniel Nestor defeated Lu and Jaroslav Levinsky of the Czech Republic 6-4, 6-1 in the doubles.
Meanwhile, former three-time Memphis singles champ Tommy Haas defeated Russia’s Evgeny Donskoy 7-6 (8/6), 6-4 to advance to the second round where he will face Feliciano Lopez of Spain.
In the women’s tournament, New Zealand’s Marina Erakovic, who lost to Sofia Arvidsson in last year’s Memphis final, avenged that defeat by beating the defending champ 6-1, 3-6, 6-3 in a second-round match.
Also advancing to the women’s third round was Belgian top seed Kirsten Flipkens, who eliminated Ukraine’s Lesia Tsurenko 7-5, 3-6, 6-3.
British fourth seed Heather Watson defeated Czech Andrea Hlavackova 2-6, 6-0, 6-3, while German third seed Sabine Lisicki eliminated Hungary’s Melinda Czink 7-6 (7/0), 4-6, 6-2.
Additional reporting by Staff writer