Roddick and Hewitt not giving up without a fight

 

They were occasions for the two men to savour, a chance to relish what may prove to be their last victories on one of the great stages on which they have performed for more than a decade. This US Open will be the farewell tournament of Andy Roddick's career, while speculation grows with every Grand Slam event that Lleyton Hewitt is preparing to hang up his racket. However, their second-round matches here proved that both men will go down fighting.

Hewitt, the master of the five-set marathon, beat Gilles Muller of Luxembourg 3-6 7-6 6-7 7-5 6-4 in a thriller out on Court 11 before Roddick gave a tennis lesson in Arthur Ashe Stadium to Bernard Tomic, the youngest man in the world's top 100 and Hewitt's successor as Australian No 1. Roddick, who won 6-3 6-4 6-0, will face Italy's Fabio Fognini in the third round, while Hewitt will play David Ferrer, the world No 5.

Roddick, 30, and Hewitt, 31, have much in common. Both are former US Open champions, both are former world No 1 and both have been dogged by injury in their latter years. Both have also been ferocious competitors. Roddick has made up for his technical limitations with sheer willpower and determination, while Hewitt's diehard spirit took him to the top despite the fact that he lacked the physical attributes of many of his rivals.

"Oh, man, he's probably the best competitor I played against," Roddick said after his own mauling of Tomic. "It's weird. This year we've probably become friends. At first we probably didn't like each other much, and then it came to the point where we respected each other. Then it was slowly like we kind of each give a little ground and would say: 'How you doing?' 'I'm good. How are you?' 'OK.'

"Now we'll text each other back and forth after matches and stuff. It's funny how that cycle's come full circle. I come in today and he's in the throes of a battle. Our lockers are right next to each other. He came in and he was really pumped up. It would be hard for me to respect what he's done in this game more than I do."

Hewitt, who has undergone hip and foot surgery in recent years, has had so many physical troubles of late that the greatest threat to his progress here is probably the danger of the glue holding his body together melting in the steaming heat. The world No 125, who needed a wild card because he has fallen so far down the rankings through a lack of matches, was on court for more than four and a half hours and had to send for the trainer when his toes started bleeding.

"I don't know if I'd call it an injury – it was more just the toenails were giving me some issues out there," Hewitt said. "Just filling the sock up with a bit of blood. Just needed to get them taped and a little bit of padding to relieve it a little bit. Got it sorted out."

Roddick, who had announced on Thursday that this would be his last tournament, admitted that he had felt nervous in the locker room before going out on court. "The moment kind of hit me a little bit," he said. "You start realising the finality of the situation. You think different things. I walk out for the warm-up and think: 'Is this going to be the last warm-up?' It got to me a little."

During the game Roddick made sure he took in the unique flavour of a night match in Arthur Ashe Stadium. "I had a good time," he said. "When they're doing the dancing and stuff on the switch-overs I was just watching. That was fun."

Tomic played poorly and John McEnroe, commentating on ESPN, questioned whether he had been trying. Roddick was asked for his opinion on the 19-year-old. "He'll be fine," Roddick said. "He just kind of has to keep a little bit of perspective on it. He's going to be great one day and not so good the next."

News
people'It can last and it's terrifying'
Sport
Danny Welbeck's Manchester United future is in doubt
footballGunners confirm signing from Manchester United
Sport
footballStriker has moved on loan for the remainder of the season
News
people Emma Watson addresses celebrity nude photo leak
PROMOTED VIDEO
Sport
footballFeaturing Bart Simpson
News
Katie Hopkins appearing on 'This Morning' after she purposefully put on 4 stone.
peopleKatie Hopkins breaks down in tears over weight gain challenge
Arts and Entertainment
Olivia Colman topped the list of the 30 most influential females in broadcasting
tv
News
Kelly Brook
peopleA spokesperson said the support group was 'extremely disappointed'
Life and Style
techIf those brochure kitchens look a little too perfect to be true, well, that’s probably because they are
Sport
Andy Murray celebrates a shot while playing Jo-Wilfried Tsonga
TennisWin sets up blockbuster US Open quarter-final against Djokovic
Arts and Entertainment
Hare’s a riddle: Kit Williams with the treasure linked to Masquerade
booksRiddling trilogy could net you $3m
Arts and Entertainment
Alex Kapranos of Franz Ferdinand performs live
music Pro-independence show to take place four days before vote
News
news Video - hailed as 'most original' since Benedict Cumberbatch's
News
i100
Life and Style
The longer David Sedaris had his Fitbit, the further afield his walks took him through the West Sussex countryside
lifeDavid Sedaris: What I learnt from my fitness tracker about the world
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes': US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food served at diplomatic dinners

'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes'

US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food
Radio Times female powerlist: A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

Inside the Radio Times female powerlist
Endgame: James Frey's literary treasure hunt

James Frey's literary treasure hunt

Riddling trilogy could net you $3m
Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

What David Sedaris learnt about the world from his fitness tracker
Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

Second-holiest site in Islam attracts millions of pilgrims each year
Alexander Fury: The designer names to look for at fashion week this season

The big names to look for this fashion week

This week, designers begin to show their spring 2015 collections in New York
Will Self: 'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

Will Self takes aim at Orwell's rules for writing plain English
Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Toy guns proving a popular diversion in a country flooded with the real thing
Al Pacino wows Venice

Al Pacino wows Venice

Ham among the brilliance as actor premieres two films at festival
Neil Lawson Baker interview: ‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.

Neil Lawson Baker interview

‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.
The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

Wife of President Robert Mugabe appears to have her sights set on succeeding her husband
The model of a gadget launch: Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed

The model for a gadget launch

Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed
Alice Roberts: She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

Alice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
Get well soon, Joan Rivers - an inspiration, whether she likes it or not

Get well soon, Joan Rivers

She is awful. But she's also wonderful, not in spite of but because of the fact she's forever saying appalling things, argues Ellen E Jones
Doctor Who Into the Dalek review: A classic sci-fi adventure with all the spectacle of a blockbuster

A fresh take on an old foe

Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering