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Lleyton Hewitt fights to end but can't beat Mikhail Youzhny

September 03, 2013|By Diane Pucin
  • Lleyton Hewitt had the crowd on his side, but lost in the quarterfinals.
Lleyton Hewitt had the crowd on his side, but lost in the quarterfinals. (Clive Brunskill / Getty…)

NEW YORK -- Lleyton Hewitt, a 32-year-old Australian who won the U.S. Open in 2001 and who was never a U.S. crowd favorite because he once was perceived to have made racist comments toward popular American James Blake, had the crowd on Louis Armstrong Stadium chanting his name Tuesday.

In a quarterfinal match against Mikhail Youzhny, Hewitt, who is ranked only 66th in the world and has had at least five surgeries over the last decade, retrieved a shot after he tripped and fell. His desperate attempt left blood running down his elbow,  and the ball went into the net. Not long after that, Hewitt was beaten by 21st-seeded Youzhny, a 31-year-old Russian, 6-3, 3-6, 6-7 (3), 6-4, 7-5.

Hewitt popped up after that fifth-set fall, had the elbow tended to and won the next point and then the game. Hewitt earned a service break next for a 4-2 lead. He held his own serve at love for a 5-2 lead and the chance to serve out the match.

Hewitt's first point was a double fault but his second was an emphatic overhead that made it 15-15. Hewitt put himself in another deficit when he ended a long rally with a backhand sent too long that made the game score 15-30. And a spectacular cross-court volley by Youzhny gave the Russian two break points.  Youzhny won the point to make it 5-3.

After 3 hours 40 minutes of play, Hewitt still led the final set,  5-4,  with Youzhny to serve. The Russian held at love to even the fifth set at 5-5 and then won the final two games.

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