Thu, Apr 10, 2014 - Page 19 News List

Australia’s Lleyton Hewitt eases past Polansky in Houston

AFP, HOUSTON, Texas

Australian veteran Lleyton Hewitt continues to turn back the clock this year by toppling Canadian Peter Polansky in three sets on Tuesday in the first round of the US Men’s Clay Court Championships.

The 33-year-old Australian No. 1 has enjoyed a resurgence this year on the ATP Tour as he defeated 17-time Grand Slam winner Roger Federer to win the Brisbane, Australia, tournament.

Hewitt, of Adelaide, beat the 25-year-old qualifier Polansky 6-4, 3-6, 6-4 despite making 12 double faults in the 2 hour, 4 minute match.

Hewitt advanced to face American Sam Querrey, who stopped Russia’s Alex Bogomolov 6-4, 7-6 (8/6) in the opening round. Hewitt fired one ace, won 62 percent of his first-serve points and saved eight-of-16 break points. He recorded his 600th career victory last month when he beat Robin Haase in the first round of the Miami Masters tournament.

Hewitt is aiming for his third career clay-court title and first in five years. Polansky was Canada’s top ranked player in the second half of 2010, before being overtaken by current No. 1 Milos Raonic.

Polansky, who is ranked 135th in the world, finished with three aces and three double faults. He won just seven of 29 points on his second serve.

German Benjamin Becker and American Donald Young also advanced to the second round with straight-set wins on Tuesday.

Becker beat Spain’s Ruben Ramirez Hidalgo 6-1, 1-6, 6-3, while Young needed just 41 minutes to rout fellow American Ryan Harrison 6-0, 6-1.

This week’s top seeds are reigning champion John Isner, Tommy Robredo and last year’s runner-up Nicolas Almagro of Spain. Isner beat Almagro in last year’s final and also reached the championship match here in 2012.

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