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Hewitt knocked out in Adelaide

Hewitt's preparation for Australian Open have taken a hit with a defeat at the Australian hardcourt championship

tennis Updated: Jan 05, 2006 19:14 IST

World number four Lleyton Hewitt's preparations for the Australian Open took a hit with a surprise defeat by Germany's Philipp Kohlschreiber in the second round of the Australian hardcourt championships on Thursday.

Hewitt, the top seed in his home town of Adelaide, lost 3-6 6-0 5-7 to the 22-year-old German who made the fourth round at last year's Australian Open.

Hewitt stormed through the second set in 26 minutes but crucially lost his serve at 5-5 in the decider though the Australain said the momentum had swung much earlier in the set.

"In the second set I couldn't put a foot wrong and started to get on top of him, but I just played a slack first game of the third set," Hewitt told reporters.

"I had the momentum big time at that stage, all I had to do was put some pressure on his service game, but some bad double faults and errors meant I was playing catchup in the third set."

Hewitt added he was hopeful of getting more match play at next week's Sydney International tournament.

"It's a matter of being ready to go when the bell rings straight away, in the last two matches I've given my opponents a start," he added.

"I've always played well (in Sydney) and hopefully I can get some matches under my belt there against tough opponents before going into Melbourne."

Kohlschreiber will now face Czech sixth seed Tomas Berdych in the quarter-finals after he beat rising British hope Andy Murray 7-6 4-6 6-1.

Denmark's Kenneth Carlsen outlasted Ivo Karlovic 2-6 7-6 6-4 in another second round match while second seed Dominik Hrbaty of Slovakia ended the brief revival of Mark Philippoussis when he beat the former world number eight.

Hrbaty, who won the event in 2004, came from a set down to win 3-6 6-4 6-1 in one hour 51 minutes at Memorial Drive.

Philippoussis, who has dropped to 172nd in the rankings and was given a wildcard into the tournament as well as Auckland and the Australian Open, beat Vince Spadea in the first round.

First Published: Jan 05, 2006 19:14 IST