Go Soeda from Japan was able to beat Lleyton Hewitt from Australia, 4-6, 7-6 (3), 6-3 last Monday night during the U.S. Men’s Clay Court Championship’s first round.
Hewitt, a 34-year-old former World Number 1 (2009 tournament champion), needed 2 wins to be the 7th player in today’s Open Era to achieve 100 wins on grass and clay courts. He was a serve away to get 99 wins on clay, but Soeda won the tiebreaker, and was able to keep the upper hand all throughout the 3rd set, and the match ended when Hewitt did a double fault.
Hewitt already had 367 hard court wins and 128 grass court wins. Jimmy Connors, Bors Becker, John McEnroe, Roger Federer, John Alexander, and Stan Smith have topped 100 wins previously on each surface.
Currently, Hewitt is ranked 109th, and was really a late entry, after he was given by tournament organizers a wild-card. He actually announced that he was already planning to retire next year after the Australian Open. Sam Groth, Hewitt’s Australian countryman, also advanced. Groth achieved 17 aces to win over Dominican Republic’s Victor Estrella Burgos 7-6 (3), 6-4. Meanwhile Querrey advanced when Marinko Matosevic, another Australian, retired because of an injury to his left foot, and Berankis was able to knock out Argentina’s Federico Delbonis 6-2, 7-6 (5).
Feliciano Lopez from Spain, is the North America’s top seed in the clay-court tournament for men.