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.