| Lleyton Hewitt celebrates a point against Arnaud Clement in Hamburg Wednesday. Hewitt won 6-7, 6-4,7-6 but went on to lose to Fernando Gonzalez Thursday. (Reuters)
Hamburg: World No. 1 Lleyton Hewitt was beaten 1-6, 6-3, 0-6 by Fernando Gonzalez in the third round of the Hamburg Masters Thursday. The top seed had played six hours of tennis in overcoming his first two opponents, and often looked flat against the lively 15th-seeded Chilean.
Gonzalez dominated much of the match with his sharp returns and fierce forehand winners and Hewitt rarely looked capable of turning the tide.
Gustavo Kuerten also had his French Open preparations cut short when he lost 6-7, 4-6 to South African Wayne Ferreira. There was little to separate the pair throughout the match, but Ferreira was more aggressive and better at taking any opportunities that fell his way.
The 11th-seeded Brazilian had the early advantage, breaking for 2-1 and holding two break points in the fifth game after Ferreira had levelled at 2-2.
Kuerten also led 4-1 in the tie-break before surrendering the next six points, and the former French Open champion was broken at 4-4 in the second set to leave Ferreira serving for victory.
Unseeded Olivier Rochus of Belgium followed up his second-round win over reigning French Open champion Albert Costa by ending the run of Britain’s Tim Henman.
Although Henman played well on occasions, Rochus won the first eight points of the first set and the last 12 before taking a 4-0 lead in the second on the way to a 6-4, 6-3 victory.
“There were some good periods, but it’s something you have to string together a bit longer,” Henman said. “You look at the overall consistency of his performance, and it was certainly a lot better than mine, and when he had to produce something extra he hit some great passing shots and drop shots. But it has been a positive week for me, and something I can build on for Roland Garros.”
Paes, Bhupathi advance
[A Staff Reporter in Calcutta adds: Leander Paes and David Rikl finally found their feet on clay, making the quarter finals of the Hamburg meet Thursday. According to information received here, the sixth-seeded Indo-Czech pair dismissed Joshua Eagle and Jared Palmer 6-3, 6-3 after having got a first-round bye. Paes and Rikl had tripped at the first hurdle of both their previous claycourt events — the Monte Carlo Masters and Rome Masters.They will now meet Todd Woodbridge and Jonas Bjorkman.
Mahesh Bhupathi and Max Mirnyi also won their second-round match, albeit after a struggle. The second seeds saw off Czechs Tomas Cibulec and Pavel Vizner 6-4, 3-6, 7-6 (7-2).]
Conchita in quarters
Four-time champion Conchita Martinez claimed her second notable scalp of the week at the WTA Rome Masters Thursday, beating seventh seed Daniela Hantuchova 6-3, 6-3 to reach the quarter finals.
Martinez outclassed Hantuchova to set up a clash with Serena Williams or Nathalie Dechy.