Adelaide native Lleyton Hewitt will try to advance to the third round of the 2015 Australian Open tomorrow when he faces German Benjamin Becker.
Becker, who is 33 years old and 41st in the ATP rankings, is actually a slight favorite to knock-off the wildly popular Hewitt on his home turf. The German is listed at -138 in the money line, while Hewitt is +100.
Becker advanced by beating Frenchman Julien Benneteau in four sets (7-5, 5-7, 6-2, 6-4).
Hewitt, who has fallen to 87th in the world, knocked off Ze Zhang from China, 6-3, 1-6, 6-0, 6-4. But the 33-year-old vet looked rusty at times.
“Obviously the draw can open up a little bit if you keep putting yourself in a position, you hang in there and find a way to win. I get another opportunity [against Becker]. I’ll look forward to that,” said Hewitt.
Hewitt knows Becker will pose different challenges than Zhang, however. “It’s going to be … another step up in class. … He’s obviously had a good win against Benneteau … in four sets, which going into that match, you know, [Becker] wouldn’t have been the favorite,’’ Hewitt added.
Hewitt leads the series with two wins in two matches against Becker, but they haven’t met since 2010 when he won in three sets on the grass of Halle. The only time they played on hard court was back in 2009 at the ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Cincinnati.
With the crowd behind Hewitt, expect the Aussie to pull the minor upset and send the Sydney fans home happy.
(Photo credit: Glenn Thomas [http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.5/legalcode]. Photo has been cropped.)