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Page last updated at 20:42 GMT, Wednesday, 25 June 2008 21:42 UK

Classy Hewitt eases past Montanes

Wimbledon: Monday 23 June to Sunday 6 July
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Lleyton Hewitt
If Hewitt reaches the fourth round he could face top seed Roger Federer

Lleyton Hewitt showed no ill effects from a recent hip injury, reaching the third round of Wimbledon with a comfortable win over Albert Montanes.

The 2002 champion was taken to five sets by Robin Haase in round one but overcame Montanes 7-6 (7-4) 6-0 6-2.

Hewitt now plays Simone Bolelli after he ousted 15th seed Fernando Gonzalez.

David Ferrer, the number five seed, and Marcos Baghdatis, seeded 10, are also through after beating Igor Andreev and Thomas Johansson respectively.

World number 37 Andreev looked set to cause an upset when he snapped up the opening set but Ferrer, who has never been past the fourth rounds at SW19, rallied to come through 3-6 6-3 6-4 6-2.

Ferrer will now play Mario Ancic after the unseeded Croat battled his way past world number 118 Philipp Petzschner.

Ancic, the last man to beat Roger Federer at Wimbledon, let slip a two-set lead but kept his nerve to scramble a 6-1 6-4 6-7 (1-7) 4-6 6-3 victory.

Baghdatis' third-round opponent is Simon Stadler, the man responsible for Ivo Karlovic's shock first-round exit and a five-set winner against Thomaz Bellucci.

"The conditions were tough but I'm pretty happy with the win," said Baghdatis, a 2007 quarter-finalist. "It's not so easy when the wind is blowing and the sun is too low but the most important thing is to win.

I've played with pain before, unless it gets to the stage where I couldn't walk out there I'll keep going

Lleyton Hewitt

"The crowd was great and I'm having fun. Every time I come here, I have fun. My objective is to do better than last year and I hope to keep up the way I'm playing and find the solutions to win."

World number 46 Bolelli, 22, has never passed the third round of a Grand Slam but will be buoyed by his 7-6 (10-8) 7-6 (9-7) 3-6 7-6 (7-4) victory over Gonzalez.

Bolelli and Gonzalez have now contested 10 sets and, remarkably, eight of them have been decided by tie-breaks.

Hewitt dismantled Montanes, a clay-court specialist, with far greater ease.

The 20th seed was made to battle in the opening set but Montanes offered little resistance thereafter as Hewitt displayed fine variety and consistency from both the baseline and net.

"It was good to get through in straight sets," said former world number one Hewitt.

"He was serving well in the first set and it was hard to get into him, but as the match went on I felt more and more comfortable.

"The hip is the same as its been in the last couple of months. I've played with pain before. It's just a case of blocking it out.

606: DEBATE
"As long as it doesn't get too much worse I can handle it. Unless it gets to the stage where I actually couldn't walk out there I'll keep going."

In the build-up to Wimbledon, Montanes opted to play tournaments on clay in the Czech Republic and Poland and his lack of practice on grass shone through.

Hewitt took a while to establish his usual rhythm and had to save two break points at 5-5 in the first set.

But after taking that on a tie-break, Hewitt increased his intensity and stormed through the second set.

Hewitt broke in the first game of the third to set up his victory and if he makes the fourth round, he could meet Roger Federer, who is the only man to win Wimbledon since the Australian six years ago.

Tomas Berdych, seeded 11, now meets Fernando Verdasco, the number 22 seed.

Berdych came back from a set down to overwhelm Victor Hanescu and, despite losing the second set on a tie-break, Olivier Rochus was a 7-6 (7-4) 6-7 (5-7) 6-1 6-1 winner against Belgium's Olivier Rochus.

A second Spaniard was sent tumbling when number 21 seed Juan Carlos Ferrero, a quarter-finalist in 2007, retired hurt against Mischa Zverev when losing 4-6 4-6 1-2. Zverev will now play the 13th seed Stanislas Wawrinka after the 23-year-old Swiss wasted little time dispatching Juan Martin Del Potro 7-6 (7-5) 6-3 7-5.

Spain's fortunes were improved by Feliciano Lopez who brushed aside the unseeded Croat Roko Karanusic, 6-3 6-3 6-4.

Andreas Seppi, the number 29 seed, beat Florent Serra to set up a third-round match against Marat Safin, who stunned the third seed Novak Djokovic.


see also
Wimbledon photos
25 Jun 08 |  Tennis
Safin stuns lacklustre Djokovic
25 Jun 08 |  Tennis
Serena through to face Mauresmo
25 Jun 08 |  Tennis


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