Lleyton Hewitt has equalled Adrian Quist’s record of 43 Davis Cup wins to share the title of Australia’s most successful Davis Cup player.
The former Number One survived the Cairns heat and a third set scare from Belgian Ruben Bemelmans to take the game three sets to one.
Kathy Quinn reports.
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Things looked good for Hewitt in the first set, breaking Bemelman’s serve in the opening game and holding strongly in his first.
But the Belgian steadied and broke back to even things up at three-all.
As things heated up, Hewitt looked shaky and was forced to save four set points to make it to the tiebreak, where he won the mini-break and took the first set.
The tropical heat was evident as both players forced each other around the court in an effort to wear their opponent down.
Bemelmans could save only one of two set points as Hewitt raced to a two-set lead.
But he had a bad start to the third – quickly giving away a double break – and then the set.
Hewitt made a determined start to the fourth set, before play was stopped to revive a spectator who had fainted.
The delay re-energised Hewitt, who notched up two match points and capitalised on his second.
Hewitt said Bemelman’s surprise challenge is the essence of the competition..
Lleyton Hewitt, Australian Davis Cup Player: “That’s what Davis Cup’s about – everyone sort of grows an extra inch or two out there and playing for your nation
and he was obviously excited and came out here with nothing to lose today and that’s how he played.”
The play-offs continue in Cairns until Sunday.
Kathy Quinn, QUT News.