(August 30, 2013) FLUSHING MEADOWS, NY – Twelve years ago Australian Lleyton Hewitt won the US Open title. At 32-years-old the veteran and former No. 1, came back to upset sixth seed and 2009 US Open champion Juan Martin Del Poto Potro 6-4, 5-7, 3-6, 7-6 (2), 6-1 in four hours and three minutes, to move into the third round of the US Open.
“It was unbelievable atmosphere,” Hewitt said. “I just kept fighting and putting it out there. You know, I kept coming at him the whole night. Felt like I was seeing the ball well. Felt like I played a good game plan for most of the night as well.
“Yeah, through the fourth set I felt like even though I was down on the scoreboard two sets to one, I felt like I was getting in more of his service games, holding a little bit more comfortable. Possibly he was getting that half a step slower through that fourth set.”
“A couple years ago, when I had a couple foot surgeries, I didn’t know if I was going to play tennis again,” Hewitt said.
“For me to be out here competing, it’s a … lot of fun. I cherish every match I get out there. This is why I still play, to have moments like this.”
The difference in the match came in the unforced errors department. Del Potro made 70 errors with most of them coming on his backhand side.
“He’s a great champion, a great fighter, and for the second round, he’s a very difficult player to play,” Del Potro said.
”I wish all the best. I like when he’s winning and when he’s doing well, he’s healthy. He play like he has a chance to go far in this tournament.
”Of course, I wish all the best to him. I have a good relationship. He’s a very good player to play, and that’s it.”
Hewitt will play 102nd-ranked Evgeny Donskoy of Russia in the third round.
“I hit with him a couple of days ago,” Hewitt said. “First time I’d ever seen him.”
“We practiced the day before my first‑round match. Yeah, his coach just came up and asked. I didn’t really know the guy at all. It was only because we both had Wednesday starts that we hit together.
“Yeah, he’s a typical sort of Russian/Czech kind of player. Good double‑handed backhand. Very good across the baseline with both his groundstrokes. Hits the ball pretty flat. He’s kind of a Davydenko kind of player.
“He’s not going to be easy by no means. I think he beat Youzhny at the Aussie Open this year and had some decent wins.
“I’ll enjoy the win tonight, recovery tomorrow, and start focusing on that.”