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  Tuesday, 15 January, 2002, 10:09 GMT
Martin ends Hewitt hopes
Lleyton Hewitt in action
Hewitt's inconsistent serve cost him dear
Alberto Martin (Spa) beat (1) Lleyton Hewitt (Aus) 1-6 6-1 6-4 7-6 (7/4)

Lleyton Hewitt became the first top seed to lose in the first round of a Grand Slam since 1990 as he slumped to defeat by Spain's Alberto Martin in the Australian Open.

Hewitt raced through the first set but could not sustain his performance, and Martin finally clinched the match on a fourth-set tie-break.

After the match a furious Hewitt, who was playing his first match since contracting chickenpox at the Hopman Cup two weeks ago, accused Martin of using unfair tactics.

The Spaniard had taken a medical break just two points from victory.

"That is not the right thing to do in the middle of the game," said Hewitt.


I didn't do anything against the rules, so I think it is fair
Hewitt's conqueror
Alberto Martin
"I think it is a shocker to do that at 5-4. You can read into it what you like because he was really struggling at 4-4 when he hit a great winner," he added sarcastically.

"It would have made my chances a lot better if he'd played fair."

Hewitt had earlier received treatment for blisters and thigh cramp from the trainer, and Martin could see no difference.

"He called the trainer and it is fair... I call the trainer and it is not fair? The rules are the rules.

"I felt cramp and I called the trainer. I didn't do anything against the rules, so I think it is fair."

Dropped serve

Hewitt had begun brightly in front of his home crowd, taking the first set 6-1, but he lost the second by the same score.

After narrowly losing the third, Hewitt's fate was sealed in the fourth set.

The world number one twice broke Martin's serve to go ahead, but both times he could not hang on to his serve and allowed the world number 39 back into the match.

Hewitt did manage to hold his serve trailing at 6-5 to force a tie-break.

But when the 20-year-old Australian served to stay in the match at 6-4 down in the tie-break, he missed his first serve.

Dog fight

He got his second serve in, but could only dump Martin's return into the net to hand the Spaniard the best victory of his career.

Despite his anger at Martin's tactics Hewitt was not too downbeat after his defeat.

"I'm not as disappointed as I might have been because I wasn't 100%," he said, referring to his recent bout of chickenpox.

"I'm not superman, I can't do much about it. It was a dog fight out there for me today."

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
BBC Sport's Tony Adamson
"Hewitt's mind was willing but the legs were weak"
Lleyton Hewitt
"What happened at 5-4 was a shocker"
Spain's Alberto Martin
"I've beaten some good players, but never the number one"
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