Nalbandian outlasts Hewitt in five sets at Australian Open
It took five sets and almost five hours, but David Nalbandian beat Lleyton Hewitt, 3-6, 6-4, 3-6, 7-6 (7-1), 9-7, in the first round of the Australian Open in Melbourne.
Both players were cramping in the the renewal of a latent rivalry that began when Hewitt beat Nalbandian in the 2002 Wimbledon final and escalated when the two intentionally bumped each other on a changeover in a 2005 Australian Open quarterfinal. After Hewitt's five-set victory in 2005, Nalbandian claimed Hewitt was "not a gentleman" and Hewitt said Nalbandian was "not the cleanest guy."
This time the two players had no energy for that.
"It was a very tough first round, we both know it. Every time we play it's long matches, tough ones. He's a real fighter," Nalbandian said. "He played unbelievable. It's amazing playing with him in a full stadium, here in Australia. We both had a lot of chances. I was serving for the match, it was that kind of match nobody can forget. Cramping was around all the time. He was too tired as well. I played the two match points, I play incredible, serve and volley, it was amazing, and then after that the match was for both. I can win, I can lose, the match was very close."
Earlier, Rafael Nadal beat Marcos Daniel, 6-0, 5-0, with Daniel retiring because of a knee injury. Andy Murray advanced with a 6-3, 6-1, 4-2 victory over Karol Beck, who went out with a shoulder injury.
Posted by: SMACK1 | January 18, 2011 10:57 AM | Report abuse