Queen’s 2013: It’s been a long wait for grass-court season, admits Hewitt
Queen's 2013: Lleyton Hewitt says it has been a long wait for grass-court season after a three-set victory over Juan Martin del Potro
Lleyton Hewitt admitted he has been looking forward to Aegon championships since crashing out of the Australian Open in January after beating Juan Martin del Potro to reach the last four.
The Australian veteran was in impressive form as he edged to a 6-2 2-6 6-2 victory over the giant South American third seed on centre court at Queen’s Club on Friday.
The 32-year-old four-time winner will now face defending champion Marin Cilic, who himself caused an upset with a straight sets win against second seed Tomas Berdych.
“It’s been a long wait for me,” said Hewitt.
“Pretty much once I was out of the Australian Open, I was focused on this tournament and Wimbledon.
“Obviously there is times of the year I look forward to, especially at my age now and the stage of my career that I’m at and these four weeks are one of them.”
Hewitt, who last won the Queen’s title in 2006 courtesy of a 6-4 6-4 victory over James Blake, broke Del Potro in the sixth game to help take the first set 6-2.
The former US Open champion responded in the second has he surged to a 4-0 lead before Hewitt rallied to restrict the Argentine to a 6-2 second-set win.
And the one-time Wimbledon champion broke twice in the final set to set up a semi-final meeting with Cilic, who is seeded fifth.
Asked whether it was hard not to be distracted by the prospect of another Queen’s title, Hewitt replied: “No, it’s not hard. I keep looking just to the guys I’ve got to play.
“Cilic is going to be another tough one, very similar to my match against Querrey [on Thursday] and against Del Potro.
“In terms of that, I have had good preparation for playing him, but he’s the defending champ here.
“He’s obviously beaten Lopez in a tight one and to beat Berdych in straight sets, he’s going to have quite a bit of confidence going into Saturday’s match as well.”