Tennis Freaks

“1821: Nadal, I’ve noticed, has a problem with his shorts, in that they keep on getting stuck up his jacksie and he has to pull them out before every point. Not sure why he doesn’t just get a size up, he’s probably loaded.”

Djokovic v Hewitt as it happened

Australian Open, Melbourne

Men’s fourth-round result:

N Djokovic (Ser) v L Hewitt (Aus)

7-5 6-3 6-3


By Sarah Holt

Third set:

1119: “Djokovic to beat Nadal in four sets in semi final and lose to Federer in five in the final.” James via text

1117: “Easy as u like for Djorko…nice one!!”
Criv17 on 606

Djokovic 6-3 Hewitt
It’d be nice to see this game go into a fourth set don’t you think? Hewitt has got some work to do though at 15-40 down on his serve. He challenges but the point stands. And the Australian just does not have enough to save yet another match point, netting the ball to see Djokovic go through.

“A solid performance in the end from Djokovic. Hewitt had chances but once they slipped away, Djokovic was able to use his superior pace and power around the court to get the job done.”
BBC Sport’s John Lloyd

Djokovic 5-3 Hewitt
The third seed nets the ball for 0-15. A big serve from Djokovic sees him level at 15-15. A cry from the Aussie as he thwacks the ball wide for 30-15. Djokovic races into the net as another powerful forehand pays off to hand him match point. What a strike from Hewitt, who blasts Djokovic’s serve back across court for 40-30. The Serbian nets – as Hewitt saves two match points. If he’s going down; he’s going down fighting. The third seed nets to hand the Aussie advantage and then dumps the ball wide to hand Hewitt a well-deserved break.

“How can you not admire Hewitt? He’s got such incredible will.”
BBC Sport’s John Lloyd

Djokovic 5-2 Hewitt
Djokovic moves to 0-30 on the Hewitt serve and maybe Mr Tarango had a valid point indeed. The Australian again fails to dig out a decent return and he falls 15-40 behind. The Serbian pumps his fist as his superior pace confounds Hewitt again and he grabs the double break. He’s just one game away from the quarter-finals now.

Djokovic 4-2 Hewitt
More shouts from Hewitt as he battles and battles on the Djokovic serve but cannot nick more than a point from the big-serving Serbian.

“Hewitt is a little subdued.”
5 Live analyst Jeff Tarango

1058: “Hewitt is becoming the next Henman. Lot of promise, enthusiasm and support, but not exactly a match for a top 3 opponent. To his credit, he has two Grand Slams though.”
theangrez on 606

Djokovic 3-2 Hewitt
A good service game from Hewitt, who holds to 15.

“If Djokovic is just happy to serve this out, then I think that’s a mistake.”
BBC Sport’s John Lloyd

Djokovic 3-1 Hewitt
The crowd are doing their best to get behind Hewitt, who steals a point at the net for 15-15. Djokovic lashes down a half smash at 30-15, and Hewitt cannot find an answer to another one-two punch from the Serbian at 40-15. Another big serve and Djokovic pulls further away. And news just in – well probably not, but still – apparently Djokovic has asked seven-time Wimbledon champion Pete Sampras to be his mentor.

Djokovic 2-1 Hewitt
Much better from Hewitt as he produces a solid service game to stay in touch.

Djokovic 2-0 Hewitt
As it turns out, Hewitt can do very little to answer Djokovic in the next game as the third seed strides into a 2-0 lead. His little brothers Marko and Djorge (tipped to be future tennis stars) watch on with grins.

1046: “Enough for a cool lunch . . . ”
Maxxfoot on 606 (see 1031)

Djokovic 1-0 Hewitt
An acrobatic first point for Hewitt, who pirouettes at the net for 15-0. Djokovic produces some clever moves of his own though to force deuce – twice. Hewitt challenges a point but he is proved wrong and that turns out to be crucial as Djokovic breaks. What can Hewitt do to fight back?

Second set:

Djokovic 6-3 Hewitt
A huge shout from Hewitt as he goes long at 30-15. Another close call for Djokovic as he just inches the ball wide for 30-30. The Australian can’t find the return at 40-30. An immense rally yet again, one side of the court to the other they go, but Djokovic slides into the net to meet Hewitt’s drop shot and glides it past him to take the set.

“If Djokovic thinks for one minute this is over and relaxes he could be in trouble.”
BBC Sport’s John Lloyd

1031: “Djoko will finish it in a cool 3 sets. No doubt!! Else I eat the hair on the top of my head…”
Maxxfoot on 606 (how much hair do you have though Maxx?)

Djokovic 5-3 Hewitt
A straightforward game for Hewitt, who forces Djokovic to serve out for the set.

1030: “C’mon Lleyton! Give the aussie crowd something to cheer about! Would love to see him win here, especially after his heroics the other night.”
Donna via text

Djokovic 5-2 Hewitt
A couple of big zingers for Djokovic take him to 30-0. He flings down another one for 40-15 and his fans respond with a round of singing. A double fault and some staunch stuff from Hewitt at the net brings up deuce. Another double fault brings up another deuce; and some more muttering from the third seed. An exhausting rally – 31 shots – but Hewitt can’t get the pick up and Djokovic takes advantage. A two-handed forehand sees the Aussie hang on. Really exciting. But the third seed does enough to hold.

Djokovic 4-2 Hewitt
Hewitt is in trouble on his serve once again and slides to 0-30. The Aussie shouts at him “Get in!” as another errors sees him fall to 15-40. But Djokovic is just too good this time as he unleashes another passing shot to break for a second time.

1013: “The Djoker looked ill at ease during the first set, and is pretty fortunate to have taken it. Hewitt’s legendary staying power will be put to the test now- not sure if he’s got it in him.”
Zoran76 on 606

Djokovic 3-2 Hewitt
The third seed holds comfortably to move ahead.

Djokovic 2-2 Hewitt
It’s not easy consolidating a break and Djokovic leans in with a backhand to take Hewitt to deuce. The third seed nets the ball but he recovers deuce with another whipping passing shot. The Australian skids the ball wide and there’s a chance for Djokovic to break back. Lovely shot from Hewitt, who sends a forehand down the line for a third deuce. The crowd boo when the Aussie is judged to have double faulted and Hewitt nets to see his break snatched back.

“Things aren’t quite swinging for Hewitt at the moment and Djokovic is the sort of player who can make his opponent pay for that.”
5 Live’s tennis correspondent Jonathan Overend

Djokovic 1-2 Hewitt
Djokovic nets the ball for 0-30. Hmmm a double fault see the Serbian slide to 0-40 and he really isn’t happy with himself. He has to work hard for it but the Australian runs in for a smash at the net and he breaks Djokovic – and he’s now up to 23 unforced errors.

“Djokovic is breaking down a lot more in his rallies than I thought he would – and Lleyton Hewitt has got the biggest heart out there.”
BBC Sport’s John Lloyd

Djokovic 1-1 Hewitt
Djokovic lands a perfect backhand in the corner – and this time I mean right in the corner – for 15-15. A wild double fault sees Hewitt slide to 15-30. The Aussie lets rip with a huge “Come on!” at 30-30 and the crowd responds with chants of “Lleyton”. A long, long rally and Hewitt holds. He’s fired up now – and I spill my cereal over my desk. I don’t think the two are related.

Djokovic 1-0 Hewitt
Hewitt is straight onto Djokovic and takes him to 30-30 but he just can’t quite find the final shot at 40-30. A drop over the net sees the third seed hold.

First set:

Djokovic 7-5 Hewitt
Just checking through for some new 606 comment – please do send me your thoughts on the match – and next thing I know Hewitt is 0-40 down. Unforced errors from the Australian see him in trouble again and he skies the ball to hand Djokovic the break right at the last.

“I don’t think Djokovic played particularly well in that set but he still won it – and that’s worrying for Hewitt.”
BBC Sport’s John Lloyd

Djokovic 6-5 Hewitt
Djokovic nets a loose one-handed backhand at 15-15, but then delivers a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it ace for 30-15. Hewitt is really trying to make the Serb work out there and Djokovic nets for deuce. He just can’t seem to get away with an easy service game – and the crowd are loving it. Djokovic nets out a big roar as he takes advantage and, fired up, he holds.

“The problem for Hewitt is can he keep up the energy levels. If he loses this set then it will be a tremendous hill for him to climb.”
BBC Sport’s John Lloyd

Djokovic 5-5 Hewitt
Hewitt will want a steady game here and he moves to 40-0. And the 19th seed does hold.

Djokovic 5-4 Hewitt
There are some smiling Serbian fans in the crowd now as Djokovic stretches Hewitt in some more intense rallies at 30-15. But the third seed sends the ball inches wide – and nearly takes Hewitt’s head off in the process – for 30-30. The Australian challenges a Djokovic ace but the Hawk-Eye replay shows that it’s good. It is still pretty tight out there though as on we go to deuce. The Serbian nets to hand Hewitt a break chance but Djokovic’s serve is too good and a third deuce comes around. A lucky net-cord and an ace take the third seed through.

“What Djokovic is doing is forcing Hewitt to stay in the crouch position for a long time while he waits for him to serve; and I don’t think it’s fair.”
BBC 5 Live analyst Jeff Tarango on Djokovic’s ball-bouncing in between points

Djokovic 4-4 Hewitt
Djokovic seizes the momentum and takes advantage of a weak Hewitt second serve to take him to 0-40 and this time the Serbian breaks back as the Australian goes long. So we’re back on serve.

Djokovic 3-4 Hewitt
Djokovic is back under pressure himself here and some unforced errors see Hewitt in with a chance of a double break. The Serbian looks a bit unsettled but covers the net to save deuce. Hewitt has another break point after a second deuce, but he loops the high to fall back to 40-40 again. The third seed eventually holds with an ace.

5 Live tennis correspondent Jonathan Overend has more on the extended Djokovic clan on his 606 blog. Apparently, there are three brothers, and all of them are super good at tennis.

Djokovic 2-4 Hewitt
Djokovic tries to put Hewitt under pressure on his serve and scrambles his way to 40-30 but the Australian slots the ball deftly over the net to consolidate the break.

Djokovic 2-3 Hewitt
A first double fault for Djokovic takes him to 15-30. The third seed nets for 30-40 and Hewitt has his first break point. A huge “Come on” from Hewitt and whistles from the crowd as the Serbian pumps the ball wide to concede.

“Djokovic looked so much in command, but typical Lleyton Hewitt claws his way back, and Djokovic can’t underestimate the guts of the opponent he is playing.”
BBC Sport’s John Lloyd

Djokovic 2-2 Hewitt
A winner straight down the line from Djokovic for 0-15. An untimely double fault sees the Aussie slide to 0-30. Problems for Hewitt here as he nets to gift Djokovic three break points. An attempted floated drop shot from Djokovic doesn’t pay off and then he goes long to hand Hewitt a lifeline at 30-40. And the first “Come on” of the evening from the Aussie as he saves deuce. Good counter-punching from Hewitt takes him to advantage and he holds with an ace.

“A gritty service game from Hewitt.”
BBC Sport analyst Sam Smith

Djokovic 2-1 Hewitt
Some Australian A-list support for Hewitt in the crowd from actress Nicole Kidman and her husband country singer Keith Urban. They might need to clap a little bit harder though as Hewitt fails to make significant in-roads on the Djokovic serve.

Djokovic 1-1 Hewitt
Hewitt volleys at the net to take the first point on his serve. An intense rally on the next point levels the score at 15-15, and after his energy-sapping exertions against Baghdatis, Hewitt won’t want to be worked all around the court at this early stage, but he holds.

Djokovic 1-0 Hewitt
Djokovic gets the match under way and a typically big-serving start from the Serbian as he holds to love.

0843: “I think Djokovic might just win this tournament.”
Slashermcguirk on 606

0840: Quick word from the players then; first up Djokovic: “It’s been a great tournament for me and I hope to continue playing at a high level of tennis today.”

Home-boy Hewitt says: “It’s an amazing place to play tennis and hopefully we’ll put on another good show.”

0835: Just a few minutes late, but here the players come, both dressed in shades of blue, walking through the corridors of the Rod Laver Arena and out onto the court. Big cheers for Djokovic – he’ll have plenty of support from his Serbian fans. But put your fingers in your ears, as Hewitt arrives to screams and applause from his home crowd.

0827: The pair have met twice, with one win apiece, Hewitt’s coming at the US Open two years ago and Djokovic taking revenge at last year’s Wimbledon.

Djokovic is a strong favourite this time around having established himself among the leading three players in the world, while Hewitt was kept on court until 4.30am on Sunday in his five-set marathon win over Marcos Baghdatis.

0825: Here we go for the big match of the day – third seed and serious title contender Novak Djokovic against Aussie hope Lleyton Hewitt.

You can also watch the action live on BBC Interactive or listen to commentary on 5 Live Sports Extra.

Story from BBC SPORT


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