Aussie tennis veteran Lleyton Hewitt has bid farewell to Wimbledon after losing a five set epic to Finland’s Jarkko Nieminen in the first round.
Playing in his last grand slam at the All England Club, Hewitt was beaten 3-6 6-3 4-6 6-0 11-9, bringing down the curtain on his playing career at the prestigious grass court event.
The 2002 champion broke serve three times and fought to the end in a dramatic final set that last over 90 minutes but tellingly struggled to hold his own when serving to stay in the match.
“That pretty much sums up my career, I guess my mentality, going out there and (the) never-say-die attitude,” said Hewitt after the match.
“As I tell people, it’s not something I work at. I’m fortunate that I have a lot of self-motivation to go out there and get the most out of myself.
“I’m obviously I’m proud of myself that I went out there and left it all out there, everything I had in the tank.”
Hewitt, who was playing in his 57th singles match at Wimbledon since making his debut back in 1999, was left to rue the result with a round 2 meeting with world no.1 and top seed Novak Djokovic awaiting the winner.
“In the end (its) obviously disappointing to lose. I would have loved to have played Novak in the next round,” he said.
“But Jarkko is a tough competitor and it was never going to be easy.”
There was better news elsewhere for the Aussies on Days 1 and 2, with nine players including Nick Kyrgios, Casey Dellacqua and Ajla Tomljanovic reaching the second round.
The trio all claimed straight sets wins to join James Duckworth, Sam Groth, Bernard Tomic, John Millman, Matt Ebden and Sam Stosur in the round of 64.
Join us in the clubhouse to catch all the tennis action live from London on the big screen throughout July at Strathfield Sports Club as we cheer on the Aussie contingent!