By Britwatch Tennis

  • WTA seed carnage continues with 18 of the original 32 seeds gone already before the end of round two.
  • Hewitt calls time on his career

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – As Andy Murray and Johanna Konta continued to fly the flag for Britain, the women’s draw continued to bleed seeds, and Lleyton Hewitt bowed out of his career – choosing to do it at the Australian Open.

Read more from Britwatch Tennis: Full Draws and Schedules

With Britain’s Konta in part responsible for one of the seeds when she dispatched Venus Williams, they have been veritably dropping like Melbourne flies by the river walk on a hot (or maybe even cold) day.

Read about Konta and Murray’s respective wins here.

Top Quarter: The casualties are Anna Karolina Schmiedlova [27], Sara Errani [9], Caroline Wozniacki [16], Svetlana Kuznetsova [23] and Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova [25]. Maria Sharapova is still on course to meet Belinda Bencic in the fourth round, but Serena Williams has all unseeded prospects until probably the quarter-finals.

Second Quarter: Sam Stosur [25], Sloane Stephens [24], Andrea Petkovic [22], Petra Kvitova [6]. There is still a tricky prospect in store for fourth seed Agnieszka Radwanska who is set to face Roberta Vinci in the fourth round – she slam-dunked Serena out of her career slam. The bottom of that quarter is there for the taking for either Carla Suárez Navarro or Kristina Mladenovic.

 

Third Quarter: Irina-Camelia Begu [29], Jelena Jankovic [19], Timea Bacsinszky [11], Elina Svitolina [18], Caroline Garcia [32] – Angelique Kerber now has a seedless route to the quarter-finals where the very dangerous Victoria Azarenka or Garbine Muguruza will most likely clash in the fourth round.

Bottom Quarter: Venus Williams [8], Sabine Liscki [30], Lesia Tsurenko [31], Simona Halep [2] – Without a doubt the world No. 2 hitting the skids was the biggest shocker of the tournament on the women’s side. Karolina Pliskova survived the ensuing cull, and will face Ekaterina Makarova as her scheduled third round opponent. Whoever comes out best between Madison Keys and Ana Ivanovic have to fancy their chances of a deep run now.

The other news of the day was all about one man. The Aussie battler had done his world farewell tour last year – the long goodbye. I was present as he spoke about his last Davis Cup as a player. We saw a little history made as he bid farewell to his career on the Rod Laver Arena to an adoring crowd.

It had the promise to be a gruelling five setter. But time finally ran out for ‘Rusty’ against someone even more gritty and determined over the net. Decisive breaks from David Ferrer set the scene for how the show would end.

There was no lack of fight from Hewitt – including a mammoth game in the second after going down another break and having a shot at seven break points on the Spaniard’s serve, but this one-man armada was resolute.

Oh but he teased. He broke back after losing his serve once more at the start of the third set, but would lose that momentum straight away and from there it really was a foregone conclusion.

Ferrer, to give him credit, made his speech all about Hewitt, speaking about how he had been an idol for him.

Hewitt, who had started to get a little ragged with a second foot-fault and a moment with umpire Pascal Maria managed to hold it together until the montage that has been doing the round. His kids came out as he addressed his farewell to the crowd, before he led them off through the innards of the cavernous Rod Laver Arena.

There, a final catch in his voice as he spoke to his youngest daughter at the sight of a door, with a picture of him and the words ‘Thanks, Mate.”

Not always a saint, but in recent years a mentor to the sometimes troubled new crop of Aussie talent, a new era will begin in Australia – and it actually is not all completely over yet for the Aussie Battler – he is still in the doubles with Sam Groth!

In a lovely touch, his kids were with him in his press conference, and Tennis Australia plied the standing-room only throng of journalists with glasses of champagne to raise a toast to Hewitt as a farewell.

 

Play continues at Australian Open at 11am (Midnight GMT).

 

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