Hewitt beats Juan Martin Del Potro | sports | Hindustan Times
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Hewitt beats Juan Martin Del Potro

sports Updated: Jun 26, 2009 00:53 IST
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Lleyton Hewitt returned to his old stomping ground at Wimbledon's Centre Court on Thursday to score the biggest upset in the men's draw so far with a 6-3 7-5 7-5 win over fifth seed Juan Martin Del Potro.

It was business as usual in the women's draw as five-time champion Venus Williams, French Open winner Svetlana Kuznetsova and world number one Dinara Safina eased into the last 32.

Australian Hewitt, ranked 56 in the world after a series of injuries but champion here in 2002, never allowed the Argentine an inch of breathing space with superb ground coverage and made the most of his opponent's discomfort at the net.

"It's like a second home really," said Hewitt after his first career meeting with the 20-year-old. "It's great to be back in the third round."

Del Potro, a semi-finalist at Roland Garros last month, had his left knee taped up at the end of the first set after a nasty slip, and Hewitt, who won the opener in 45 minutes, rammed home his advantage.

Hewitt, roared on by a vocal section of Australian fans decked out in traditional green and yellow colours, won his only break point of the second set late on before taking it 7-5. He served for the match at 5-4 but Del Potro levelled only for Hewitt to break again, roaring his trademark "Come on!" to the excitable crowd. Hewitt made no mistake second time around when he sealed the victory on his second match point when Del Potro boomed a service return long.

He faces Philipp Petzschner or Mischa Zverev, both of Germany, in the third round.

Venus flawless

Third-seeded Venus Williams took only an hour to see off Ukraine's Kateryna Bondarenko 6-3, 6-2 while Russian fifth seed Kuznetsova spent just four minutes longer in disposing of France's Pauline Parmentier 6-1, 6-3. Williams goes on to face Spain's Carla Suarez Navarro while Kuznetsova, a three-time quarter-finalist here, meets promising German Sabine Lisicki.

Safina, still looking for a first Grand Slam debut to back-up her number one status, saw off Paraguay's Rossana De Los Rios 6-3, 7-5. Australian Samantha Stosur struggled past German qualifier Tatjana Malek 4-6, 7-6 (8/6), 6-4.