Hewitt crashes out of Australian Open

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='http://www.ndtv.com/convergence/images/thumbnail/ver1/L/Lleytonhewitt.jpg' class='caption'> World No 1 Lleyton Hewitt crashes out in the first round of the Australian Open, loses to unseeded Alberto Martin of Spain.

Updated: February 25, 2007 09:27 IST
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World No 1 Lleyton Hewitt crashed out in the first round of the Australian Open today when he lost 6-1 1-6 4-6 6-7 (4/7) to unseeded Alberto Martin of Spain. The 20-year-old Australian, last year's US Open champion, was the first top seed to lose in the first round at Melbourne since the Open era began in 1968. The last time the top seed lost his first round match at any Grand Slam was at the 1990 US Open when Stefan Edberg of Sweden was beaten by Russia's Alexander Volkov. Hewitt lost two decisive break points at 4-4 in the third set when he netted a forehand to let Martin go 5-4 up and go on to take the set. Hewitt, playing his first match since contracting chicken-pox at the Hopman Cup in Perth a fortnight ago, could never win the big points, letting 13 of 19 break points go. The 23-year-old Spaniard, whose best Grand Slam result was reaching the third round at Wimbledon in 1999, closed out the match 7-4 in the fourth set tie-breaker after losing the first three points. Hewitt, the first Australian to be made top seed for 26 years, went out with a forehand into the net after Martin had taken an injury time-out before the last two points of the tie-break to have his right thigh massaged. Hewitt's departure means the top three men's seeds have all gone. Defending champion and third seed Andre Agassi of the US withdrew with a wrist injury before his first round match and second seed Gustavo Kuerten of Brazil lost to Julien Boutter of France in the first round yesterday. (PTI)

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