Lleyton Hewitt Crumbles At Australian Open

Hewitt gives up a two-set lead to bow out in the second round.

Robert Whiteby Robert White

Lleyton Hewitt has exited the Australian Open in the second round after losing to fellow 33-year-old Benjamin Becker 2-6 1-6 6-3 6-4 6-2.

Hewitt looked to be on track for a straight sets demolition of the German after gathering a two-set advantage without breaking much of a sweat, but saw his third round aspirations quickly evaporate before his eyes against the determined world No.47.

The two-time Grand Slam champ came out of the gate strong, securing the first service break to establish an early 2-0 lead before using a love game to break Becker again and wrap up the set on the back of a 5 to 16 unforced error count.

The crowd favourite then cruised to a 5-0 second set lead, winning in seven games, as Becker failed to capitalise on Hewitt’s numerous slower second serves while racking up a further 10 more unforced errors.

But things went quickly downhill from there for Hewitt. Becker captured his first break point of the meeting to establish a 4-2 lead in the second set before winning the opening four games of the next and squashing a mini Hewitt revival at 6-4.

A double break saw Becker jump out to a 5-2 fifth set lead as a worn down Hewitt struggled to find any type of response for the desperate Melbourne audience. 

“I kicked the door, I yelled out. I needed to let some steam out and I came back a new player,” Becker said of his in-game transformation.

“I knew it was going to be tough against Lleyton, against the crowd. I just tried to play point for point, stay in there and give myself a chance.”

Hewitt saluted the crowd before exiting Rod Laver Arena as a player for potentially the final time.

Becker advances to face Donald Young or Milos Raonic in the third round.

Photo: Greg Wood/Getty Images.