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Tennis: Aussie Open - Hewitt holds nerve to reach Q-Finals

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posted on Jan, 24 2005 @ 02:01 PM
Lleyton Hewitt staged a brilliant fightback on Monday to keep his dreams of Australian Open glory alive. Hewitt looked down and out when Spain's Rafael Nadal raced through the third set 6-1 for a two-sets-to-one lead in their fourth-round clash in Melbourne.

The Australian third seed then received treatment on court for a hip injury and looked destined to again miss out on a quarter-final berth at his home grand slam. But the 23-year-old refused to buckle and, roared on by a capacity 16,000 crowd on Rod Laver Arena, took the fourth set in a tie-break to force a decider.

That visibly deflated Nadal, the 18-year-old clearly not relishing being dragged into only his third five-set Grand Slam match. In contrast Hewitt was into his 23rd and experience paid off as he raced into a 4-0 lead with two breaks of serve. It was Nadal's turn to receive treatment now on his left thigh but it was merely delaying the inevitable, Hewitt clinching a remarkable 7-5 3-6 1-6 7-6 6-2 victory in three hours 53 minutes.


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