FLUSHING MEADOWS, NY â€“Â World No. 5 David Ferrer of Spain pushed past former No. 1 Lleyton Hewitt of Australia 7-6(9), 4-6, 6-3, 6-0 to reach the round of 16 at the US Open on Sunday.
Both men played like baseline warriors. However, Hewitt committed 72 unforced errors and wasted 5 set points in the first set tiebreaker. Â The Australian has been dealing with foot and groin injuries this year.
â€œI fought hard to get back into the first set,â€ Hewitt said. â€œEarly on he wasn’t giving me any cheap points out there. It was tough to get games. His depth was exceptional right from the word go. I was fighting hard to sort of just stay in touch in the first set, and then I started putting a bit more pressure on him. Got back on level terms, and then, yeah, for most of the tiebreak I was on top obviously. Yeah, could have gone either way. Yeah, I’m not saying I was going to win, but if I’d won the first set would have made life a bit easier.â€
â€œMaybe the first set was the key, no?,â€ said Ferrer. â€œWhen I won the first set, almost one hour and a half, was very tough. In the second, he won me the second set, but I think he was more tired than me, no? So in the third and in the fourth I played with more power. I changed my forehand to forehand him, and the fourth he was really tired, no? I think he was a little bit tired.
â€œBut I think I got lucky in some moments, no? When was 6â€‘5 for him, he had one easy ball, a forehand, and he did easy mistake, no? I take my time, and, you know, the first set was very, very close. I was winning 4â€‘2 or 3â€‘1. I had a lot of break points and I didn’t make it. You know, it was really close. I think the key was in the first set.â€
Ferrer has won five titles this season.
He will go on to play Richard Gasquet who beat Steve Johnson in straight sets.