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Sports Age
Jan 19 2012 2:24PM
 
Hewitt through on Roddick retirement
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Australian Lleyton Hewitt won through to the third round of the Australian Open after an injury retirement by his opponent Andy Roddick on Thursday.

Hewitt, who was leading 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 at the time of the retirement, will now play big-serving Canadian Milos Raonic in the third round on Saturday.

Roddick appeared to over-extend his upper right leg while trailing 3-0 in the second set, but continued until Hewitt went ahead by winning the third set.

"It's a nightmare for both of us," Hewitt said. "He stretched something higher in his leg and it was hard for me to concentrate at the other end.

"You know Andy is hurting and you try to block it out of your mind and it's hard to do.

"Without sounding too mean, you try to run him around a lot more because we're out there competing, but I just thank God that I got through that third set."

Hewitt, a runner-up in 2005, is playing in his 16th straight Australian Open and holds the all-time record for most consecutive appearances in his national Open, overtaking Jack Crawford and Harry Hopman.

The two-time grand slam champion's Australian Open match record now stands at 29-15.

He now shares seven wins each with Roddick. The American 15th seed went into the match on Rod Laver Arena as favourite after winning their previous six matches.

Hewitt, a one-time world number one, has slumped in the rankings to 181 after five significant operations over the last four years.

-AFP

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