Hewitt crushes Del Potro hopes
Originally published on: 26/02/10 12:36
The Argentinian had the ranking advantage – number five in the world compared to his opponent’s 56th position – but Hewitt has the grass-court pedigree having won the title in 2002 and reached at least the fourth round for the last five years in succession.
It was a story of missed chances in the second-round match for Del Potro, who converted just one of his eight break points, while Hewitt pounced at the right moments to seal a 6-3 7-5 7-5 victory.
Del Potro took Rafael Nadal’s place at the top of the draw following the number one seed’s withdrawal and he must have been dismayed to face such a classy opponent so early on.
He had four chances to break in the fifth game but a combination of superb serving from Hewitt and missed groundstrokes from the 20-year-old gave the Australian the game.
And he capitalised straight away by breaking in the next game after a Hawk-Eye challenge from Del Potro showed Hewitt’s shot to be well inside the line. The 28-year-old then clinched the set with ease.
Del Potro had slipped attempting to retrieve a cross-court shot midway through the opening set and had strapping applied just below his right knee at the change of ends. There was no doubt the Argentinian was trying, Del Potro hurdling the net after attempting in vain to retrieve a Hewitt drop shot that had dribbled over.
The Australian was serving particularly well, firing down 14 aces in the match and allowing Del Potro little chance to find any rhythm on his booming groundstrokes.
The former champion then found himself break point down serving for the set, but a woeful return from Del Potro summed up his frustration and Hewitt took a two-set advantage with a smash into the open court.
Hewitt clinched victory, despite a double fault on his first match point, and will fancy his chances of progressing further, with either Mischa Zverev or Philipp Petzschner awaiting in the next round.