Lleyton Hewitt kicked-off his Wimbledon preparation with a commanding first-round victory at Queen’s Club on Monday.
The World No. 43 eased past Spaniard Daniel Gimeno-Traver 6-3 6-3 in little over an hour to join fellow Australians Bernard Tomic and James Duckworth in round two of the esteemed grass court event in London.
Hewitt, a semi-finalist at the tournament last year, began his pursuit of a fifth Queen’s Club title in impressive style against World No. 99 Gimeno-Traver.
“I just felt pretty sharp out there,” he said.
“I have been hitting the ball really well in practice and it didn’t take me long at all to get straight on the grass and feel comfortable, which is good.
“I really love coming back to this tournament and playing well.”
The 33-year-old flew out of the blocks, racing to a 2-0 lead and fought back from 0-40 down to hold serve in the third game en route to securing the first set with relative ease.
Hewitt broke the Spaniard in the first and last games of the second set to book a round two showdown on Wednesday with either 10th seed Feliciano Lopez and Serbian Dusan Lajovic – whose match was suspended due to rain.
The 2002 Wimbledon champion, who suffered a disappointing round one exit from Roland Garros in May, won 83% of his first serve points and converted three from four break point opportunities.
Hewitt has failed to win successive matches since clinching the Brisbane ATP title in January, where he played the standard of tennis he hopes to produce in the upcoming grand slam on his favoured grass surface.
Despite his convincing triumph in Queensland, the Australian was unlucky to bundle out of the opening round of his home major after drawing Italian Andreas Seppi.
However, lacklustre grand slam results in 2014 have not deterred him from testing his limits against the elite.
“The majors are still what I play for,” Hewitt said.
“In a couple weeks’ time is one of the big ones for me.”
Tomic savoured his first ATP main draw win in nearly five months after scraping past American Tim Smyczek 6-4 3-6 7-5.
His World No. 106-ranked opponent served for the match up 5-4 in the third set before buckling under the pressure as the Australian claimed 12 of the next 13 points to snatch victory.
Still in search of his best tennis since undergoing double surgery on his troublesome back in February, the 21-year-old struggled to take many positives from his unpolished display against Symczek.
“I should have lost that,” said Tomic, who will meet either Czech veteran Radek Stepanek or Kazakhstan’s Mikhail Kukushkin in the next round.
“Tennis, you can play like crap for the whole two sets and then you can find three, four points and you can win the match. It’s just strange.”
Qualifier James Duckworth surpassed Israeli Dudi Sela 0-6 7-6 (5) 6-4 to set up a daunting second-round battle against Tomas Berdych on Wednesday.
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