Hewitt says farewell to Wimbledon, Djokovic advances

Novak Djokovic made routine work a tough first-round draw, as he dismissed Philipp Kohlschreiber 6-4, 6-4, 6-4 on opening day at Wimbledon. The world No. 1 and defending champion dropped serve twice, but he fired 12 aces compared to just one double-fault and broke Kohlschreiber five times.
It would have been fitting for Lleyton Hewitt’s final match at Wimbledon to come on Centre Court against Djokovic. But perhaps it is almost as fitting for the Aussie’s finale to have come in five-set battle against another well-respected competitor.

Hewitt and Jarkko Nieminen, who will both retire before next year’s Championships (Hewitt at the 2016 Australian Open, Nieminen at the end of this season) slugged it out for exactly four hours. In the end it was the Finn who survived a back-and-forth thriller 3-6, 6-3, 4-6, 6-0, 11-9.

Hewitt diving volley:

Standing ovation:

“I was always going to leave it out there, everything I had in the tank,” Hewitt assured. “I certainly did that. On the match court today, there was a couple of times the match could have gotten away from me at certain stages and I found a way of hanging in there. In the end obviously disappointing to lose. I would have loved to have played Djokovic in the next round. But Jarkko is a tough competitor and it was never going to be easy.

“The crowd and everything, it was fantastic. I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way. I’ve always loved the tradition of the game. I’ve never hidden that. That’s something that I love being around. For me, it’s the home of tennis. I don’t get the same feeling walking into any other grounds in the world.”

On Monday, Wimbledon was the home of five-setters. Nine other matches–bring the total to 10–went the distance. Winners included Kei Nishikori, Alexander Zverev, Denis Kudla, Kenny De Schepper, Pierre-Hugues Herbert, Fernando Verdasco, Steve Johnson, Bernard Tomic, and Liam Broady.

Like Nieminen-Hewitt, three others went past 6-6 in the fifth. Zverev beat Teymuraz Gabashvili 9-7, Verdasco edged Martin Klizan 13-11, and Herbert got the best of Hyeon Chung 10-8.

Three men recovered from two sets to love deficits. Kudla stunned Pablo Cuevas, De Schepper overcame John-Patrick Smith, and Broady treated the British crowd to a defeat of Matosevic.

Briefs

* Goffin already improves on 2014 result, projected to climb to career-high 13th.

* Isner cruises, can make a return trip to the top 16 with one more win.

* Monaco trounces F. Mayer, gives himself a shot at top 30.

* Verdasco survives Klizan in five, likely back in top 40.

* Johnson also advances in five, expected to surge into top 50.

* Baghdatis bounces young, needs one more victory for chance at top 50.

* Ilhan upsets Janowicz, should move into top 80.
* Millman destroys Robredo, will likely reach top 100.

2 Comments on Hewitt says farewell to Wimbledon, Djokovic advances

  1. Day one would have been a great day to have a ticket for…lots of great 5 set action. I wish I’d been there, and my good friend, “Richard from California”, was there!

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