Lleyton Hewitt

Lleyton Hewitt

Lleyton Hewitt showed his Aussie grit on the Rod Laver Arena again as he came through four hour marathon against Cedrik-Marcel Stebe.

Hewitt needed a wildcard to get into the first Grand Slam of the year after his 2011 season was blighted by injury problem - but he did not waste that opportunity.

The qualifier came out all gins blazing in the opening set as he threw everything at the former world number one.

But Hewitt broke through at the end of the first set to edge it 7-5. The second set was a similar affair as Stebe's head didn't drop - but once again a single break was enough for Hewitt to take an even bigger lead.

With 2-0 advantage it looked like Hewitt was heading for the second round and a clash with Andy Roddick but Stebe had other ideas.

He managed to swing the momentum in his favour in the third set as Hewitt's intensity seemed to drop a little.

Taking it 3-6 there was a possibility that it was going to be a really long night.

And when Stebe opened up a 5-1 lead in the fourth a fifth set was all but a certainty.

But Hewitt picked up the pace at the back end of the fourth set to as Stebe failed to serve out the set on two occasions.

Hewitt reeled off six games on the trot to wrap up a 7-5 6-4 3-6 7-5 win, much to the delight of a packed Rod Laver arena.

Speaking to the ATP after the match Hewitt said: "It was always going to be tough no matter who I played.

"[Stebe's] is a quality player.  He's a lot better than his ranking is at the moment. Conditions probably suited him out there."

His win sets up that mouth-watering clash with Roddick as the American saw off Robin Haase 6-3 6-4 6-1.

Sixth sees Jo Wilfied Tsonga was also in action today and he needed four sets to see off Denis Istomin.

After taking the first set 6-4 Tsonga dropped the second 3-6 before hitting back in what was a tight encounter - he came through 6-4 3-6 6-2 7-5.

He will now face Richardo Mello as he beat Roberto Bautista-Agut 6-4 6-4 7-5.

David Ferrer was also in action of the second day of the Australian Open as he had a comfortable 6-4 6-4 6-2 victory over Ryan Sweeting.

FemaleFirst Helen Earnshaw


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