Hewitt, Scud into second round
ADELAIDE ? Lleyton Hewitt joined Mark Philippoussis in the second round of the Adelaide International with a battling 4-6 6-2 6-4 win over Jan Hernych last night. Top seeded Hewitt dropped his serve twice in losing the opening set before gaining momentum in the second.
He was broken by Hernych when serving for the match at 5-3 but the Czech was worn down in next service game to surrender the match.
It was a less than polished effort by the world No.4 but in keeping with his generally sluggish starts to previous Australian Open campaigns. In the corresponding match last year, Hewitt began his run to the Open final with a similar three-set win over Frenchman Arnaud Clement.
Hewitt will next face German Philipp Kohlschreiber, who beat left-hander Chris Guccione on day one. Philippoussis earlier made the first significant step of his latest comeback attempt with a 6-4 3-6 64 first-round win over American Vince Spadea. Currently ranked 171st in the world, Philippoussis started and finished well to make the best of his wildcard, the first of three he will use in Australia over the next few weeks to play in Adelaide, Auckland and the Australian Open in Melbourne.
It was Philippoussis' first singles match at Memorial Drive since his fateful Davis Cup defeats against Sweden here in early 2004, losses that started a career-cruelling 18-month slide.