Hewitt's loss fails to derail Australian Open hopes

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The Independent Online

American Taylor Dent upset Adelaide-born Lleyton Hewitt 7-6 (4), 6-3 Friday, winning the quarterfinal on his third match point at the Australian men's hardcourt tennis championships.

American Taylor Dent upset Adelaide-born Lleyton Hewitt 7-6 (4), 6-3 Friday, winning the quarterfinal on his third match point at the Australian men's hardcourt tennis championships.

The fifth-seeded Dent will play Argentina's Juan Ignacio Chela in the semifinals Saturday at Memorial Drive.

Earlier, Sweden's Joachim Johansson beat countryman Thomas Enqvist 6-3, 4-6, 6-1 to advance to the other semifinal.

Johansson will face Olivier Rochus of Belgium, who beat third-seeded Nicolas Kiefer of Germany 6-7 (4), 7-6 (6), 7-5.

Fourth-seeded Chela defeated Austrian Jurgen Melzer 7-6 (3), 5-7, 6-2 to advance against Dent.

Hewitt said the loss meant little with the Australian Open beginning Jan. 17, where he has never advanced beyond the fourth round. Hewitt's next tournament is the Sydney International beginning Monday, where he is the defending champion.

"When you've been No. 1 in the world for a couple of years and won a couple of Slams . . . you look at the big picture and what motivates you," said Hewitt. "And that's the Grand Slams and Melbourne's as big for me as any of the four."

"Even if I don't win Sydney next week it's no big deal."

Hewitt had a break point in the final game of the match, but Dent saved it during a lengthy rally that the American won with a running backhand.

"It was an unbelievable point on that break point . . . if he wins that point it's a different story out there maybe,' Dent said.

Johansson took a 4-1 lead in the deciding set and broke Enqvist in the next game before finishing off the match with an ace.

"I felt like I was striking the ball much better," Johansson said. "I broke him four times and he only broke me once. I felt that was the key to get up in the set early."

The Rochus-Kiefer match ended controversially when a bad line call went against Kiefer late in the third set. The German player exchanged angry words with the umpire and linesman, and moments later lost the match and stormed off the court.

Rochus said his opponent had been on the wrong end of a poor call.

"I think it was clearly out," Rochus said.

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