Tennis

Hewitt rallies past Russell in first round at Queen's

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The Canadian Press
6/10/2013 2:26:48 PM
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LONDON -- Former No. 1 Lleyton Hewitt rallied past Michael Russell of the United States 4-6, 6-1, 6-3 in the first round at the Queen's Club on Monday.

The Australian has won this Wimbledon warm-up four times as well as the 2001 U.S. Open and 2002 Wimbledon. He has now won 111 matches on grass. Roger Federer leads among current players with 112.

Hewitt sent a forehand into the net to drop the opening set. He ran away with the second set after saving six break points in the second game to lead 2-0. After an early exchange of breaks in the decider, Hewitt broke to lead 5-3.

"It's always tough, the first one obviously on grass," Hewitt said. "It's a bit slippery under foot and (you) don't probably have quite 100 per cent in your footing.

"Also, yeah, I just didn't feel like I was serving great. Nothing was sort of ... I didn't have too much rhythm at the start, and the ball was propping a little bit out there as well because it hasn't had a lot of play on it. In the end I found my rhythm a little bit better."

Hewitt will play 10th-seeded Grigor Dimitrov of Bulgaria, who rallied to beat Dudi Sela 4-6, 6-2, 7-6 (4). The Israeli served for the match at 5-4.

The only other seeded player in action was No. 9 Benoit Paire of France, who defeated British qualifier Jamie Baker 7-5, 6-2.

The top eight seeded players receive a bye into the second round.

Andy Murray, the 2009 and 2011 champion, is seeded No. 1. He is followed by Tomas Berdych, who returns to the Queen's Club for the first time since his debut in 2005, and 2009 U.S. Open winner Juan Martin del Potro. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, the 2011 runner-up, is seeded fourth. Defending champion Marin Cilic, who was awarded the title last year when David Nalbandian was defaulted for violent conduct, is No. 5.

Lleyton Hewitt (Photo: The Canadian Press)

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(Photo: The Canadian Press)
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