By Chris Oddo | Wednesday, August 27, 2014
Tomas Berdych overpowered Lleyton Hewitt in straight sets on Day 3, causing reporters to wonder if they'd just seen Hewitt's last US Open match.
Photo Source: Getty UK
6th-seeded Tomas Berdych opened his 2014 US Open in style with a 6-3, 6-4, 6-3 victory over former champion and world No. 1 Lleyton Hewitt on Day 3.
The 28-year-old, who was a US Open semifinalist in 2012, clocked 43 winners against only 11 for Hewitt, and won 11 of the final 14 games after falling behind 4-1 in the final set.
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The win marks Berdych’s 100th career Grand Slam victory, and the Czech joins a select group of only nine active players to have achieved the mark.
Hewitt was left with no answers to Berdych’s rock-n-roll ground strokes, and he admitted as much to reporters after the match.
“He's got very easy power,” he said. “You know, his one-two punch is exceptional. He has a massive forehand. When I was playing down the end against the breeze today it was really hard to dictate him even if I felt I had him off balance. I always felt he had that extra chance to get back in the point. I felt like I was always on the defense from that end.”
Berdych was pleased to advance past the ornery Hewitt, and he moves on to face Slovakian Martin Klizan in round two.
“The conditions were extremely tough today,” he said. “The heat, the wind, and facing Lleyton for the first round, it's nothing that what you really want to have.”
Now that he’s 33, many want to know how Hewitt felt about his game and his health at this stage of the season. Hewitt himself is not giving any hints. “At this stage I will be playing the Asian swing and I'll take it from there,” said Hewitt, when the conversation in the press room turned to his possible retirement. “Don't know. I really don't know. Just wait and see.”
“Will we see you here next year?” one reporter asked. “Don't know,” Hewitt said. “Get that asked every week.”
Meanwhile, on Twitter, many are predicting that Hewitt may never return to the US Open as a player again.
But the Aussie with the legendary fight and the ridiculously high pain threshold only wants to set his sights on his nation’s Davis Cup World Group playoff tie against Uzbekistan, to be held on grass in Perth, Australia in early September.
The only plans he has for the future are simple: “I'll be probably getting onto grass as soon as possible, I would say.”
Evidently, the retirement talk can wait.