Hewitt outlasts Sluiter at Queens

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='http://www.ndtv.com/convergence/images/thumbnail/ver1/L/Lleytonhewitt.jpg' class='caption'> Lleyton Hewitt advanced to the third round of the Queen's Club grass-court tournament with a 7-6 (6), 3-6, 7-6 (3) win over Raemon Sluiter.

Updated: February 25, 2007 09:48 IST
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Three-time defending champion Lleyton Hewitt advanced to the third round of the Queen's Club grass-court tournament with a tougher than expected 7-6 (6), 3-6, 7-6 (3) win over Raemon Sluiter. The top-ranked Australian, working with Roger Rasheed after Jason Stoltenberg quit earlier this week as his coach, played for the first time since losing in the third round of the French Open last month. In other matches in the Wimbledon warm-up, sixth-seeded Frenchman Sebastien Grosjean beat Switzerland's Michel Kratochvil 6-3, 6-4, and hard-serving Swiss veteran Marc Rosset downed No. 9 Jarkko Nieminen of Finland 7-5, 7-5. Fifth-seeded Sjeng Schalken of the Netherlands advanced to the third round when American Todd Martin pulled out before the match with a chest injury. Hewitt stayed in Paris after his loss to support women's finalist Kim Clijsters, his girlfriend, instead of practicing on grass. The lack of match play showed. Sluiter and Hewitt, last year's Wimbledon winner, held serve in the first set, forcing the tiebreak. The 63rd-ranked Sluiter, a semifinalist last year at Queens, had a set point at 6-5 but missed an easy volley and then lost the next two points. Sluiter, a first-round loser in eight of his previous 11 tournaments, used an early break to win the second set. Hewitt, who served 15 aces, broke Sluiter in the seventh game of the third set but was broken himself as he tried to close out the match in the 10th game. Hewitt won the first six points in the tiebreak, squandered three match points, then won on a Sluiter unforced error. Tournament organizers said Martin could be out for two to four weeks, but the 1994 Queen's champion hoped to play at Wimbledon, which begins on June 23. (AP)

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