Greg Rusedski survived a strong first-set challenge from Albert Montanes to reach the second round of the RCA Championships in Indianapolis yesterday.
The Spaniard pushed Rusedski all the way in the opening set before the British No 2 emerged victorious in his speciality, the tie-break.
The second set was more straightforward, a single break of serve being enough for Rusedski to advance 7-6, 6-4 and set up a meeting with the winner of the match between Feliciano Lopez and Lionel Roux.
Lleyton Hewitt believes that his back problem will not upset his preparations for the forthcoming US Open despite the fact that the injury, for which he received treatment in his semi-final at the Cincinnati Masters, was still troubling him in the final on Sunday, which he lost to Carlos Moya, 7-5, 7-6.
"I was a little bit stiff before the match," Hewitt said. "I didn't feel any twinges out there, just general stiffness. It's fine. I can play with that."
The match against Moya was delayed for two and a quarter hours by rain at the end of the first set, but Hewitt said the long wait did not cause any adverse reaction in his back.
"There was not a huge difference," the Australian added. "Once you get into the match, you always sort of like continue it on."
The 21-year-old Hewitt is scheduled to play in Indianapolis this week. He has a bye into the second round and is unlikely to play before Wednesday, giving him extra time to recover from the effects of any injury. He begins the defence of his US Open title in 13 days' time.
Hewitt did not receive any treatment during the final, but said he was given massage and deep-heat treatment before the match as a precaution.
Moya believes he knows why he seems to have the beating of the Wimbledon and US Open champion. The Spaniard's 7-5, 7-6 win on Sunday was his third win over the Australian world No 1 this year.
"I realised he struggles when he plays against a Spanish guy or a South American," he said. "After today he has lost nine matches this year and seven were against a Spanish or an Argentinian.
"I've been watching his matches and I realised that he was struggling with this kind of game. He feels better when the ball comes flat so I tried to put a lot of spin, tried to hit the ball hard, and it worked out well."
Moya is one of the few men to hold a winning record over Hewitt, having beaten him in four out of their six matches, stretching back to their first meeting in Indian Wells in March 2000.
Yet Cincinnati marked only Moya's second win over Hewitt on hard courts. His first came at the Australian Open in 2001, but Hewitt had a hamstring injury on that occasion.
Hewitt admitted that Moya is "class", but denied that he struggles against Spaniards. "Yes, I lost to a few of them this year but I don't think it gives me that much trouble," he said. "I think I've beaten them a lot as well."
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