Hewitt Comes Out Of Retirement In Style At Wimbledon
Dodig/Melo, Bopanna/Mergea also advance on Saturday
Lleyton Hewitt came out of retirement and enjoyed a marathon victory in the doubles draw on Saturday at Wimbledon. Teaming up with Jordan Thompson, the pair saved eight match points in winning a 157-minute deciding set over Nicolas Almagro and David Marrero to move into the second round, 6-7(6), 6-4, 19-17.
“I used to watch Lleyton play at Wimbledon when I was young,” Thompson said. “To play with someone I idolised is unbelievable, and so is winning 19-17 in a deciding set. He just told me to relax and enjoy the moment. It was the only thing he said and the only thing I needed to hear.
“[Our partnership] was a last-minute thing. I am extremely honoured to play with him. I had been looking forward to it ever since we received our wild card. You can learn a lot from him. Practising with him has made me a better player.”
Hewitt and Thompson needed two minutes shy of four hours to complete the match. Hewitt recorded his first victory since reaching the third round in doubles (with Sam Groth) at this year’s Australian Open. Next up for the pair are the winner of the match between No. 8 seeds Vasek Pospisil/Jack Sock and Quentin Halys/Tristan Lamasine.
Fifth seeds Ivan Dodig and Marcelo Melo had a convincing second-round win over Santiago Gonzalez and Scott Lipsky, 6-2, 6-3. Next up for them is the winner of the match between eleventh seeds Raven Klaasen/Rajeev Ram and Konstantin Kravchuk/Denys Molchanov.
Sixth seeds Rohan Bopanna and Florian Mergea moved into the third round over Andrej Martin and Hans Podlipnik-Castillo, 7-5, 6-2. Next up for them are either tenth seeds Henri Kontinen/John Peers or Marcin Matkowski/Leander Paes.
Ninth seeds Dominic Inglot and Daniel Nestor defeated Fabio Fognini and Andreas Seppi in first-round action, 6-2, 7-6(3). They will now play Julien Benneteau and Edouard Roger-Vasselin, who prevailed over Marc Lopez and Albert Ramos-Vinolas, 6-3, 6-3.
The upset of the day went to British duo Ken Skupski and Neal Skupski, who delighted the local crowd with a first-round win over seventh seeds Lukasz Kubot and Alexander Peya, 2-6, 7-6, 11-9. Next up for them are Oliver Marach and Fabrice Martin, who defeated Sanchai Ratiwatana and Sonchat Ratiwatana, 4-6, 6-3, 6-3.
Other teams to advance through their first-round on Sunday include No. 10 seeds Henri Kontinen and John Peers, No. 11 seeds Raven Klaasen and Rajeev Ram, 15th seeds Pablo Cuevas and Marcel Granollers, and 16th seeds Mate Pavic and Michael Venus.