Lleyton Hewitt has booked a place in the quarter-finals of the Hall of Fame Tennis Championships in Newport, Rhode Island.
Veteran Australian Hewitt secured a comfortable 6-2 6-2 victory over Croatian qualifier Ante Pavic in 65 minutes last night to secure a place in the last eight for a third consecutive year.
Quarter-final against Johnson
The World No. 43, who endured a disappointing second round exit at Wimbledon, will take on sixth-seed Steve Johnson on Thursday.
Johnson reached his fourth ATP World Tour quarter-final of the season by default after Tatsuma Ito retired during the second round with a left knee injury while the in-form American was leading 6-3 2-0.
Hewitt and Johnson have never crossed paths before, but the 33-year-old will be feeling confident of his chances following his perfectly executed win in the previous round.
"I was adjusted and ready for how the courts were playing today," he said.
"I went out there with really good tactics and played them really well."
Hewitt's Newport curse
The former Wimbledon champion has suffered back-to-back defeats in the final, going down to Nicolas Mahut in 2013 and John Isner the year before.
Should he fail to shake his Newport curse this time around, Hewitt also has a chance a of lifting the men’s doubles trophy alongside big-serving compatriot Chris Guccione.
Today the pair will today face American Donald Young and Indian Divij Sharan on centre court, with a win potentially setting up an all-Aussie quarter-final showdown against Matt Ebden and Sam Groth.
Mahut and Isner progress
Other round two singles results saw defending champion Mahut brush aside Australian Luke Saville 6-4 6-2 in just over an hour on Wednesday.
The 32-year-old Frenchman capitalised on four of his seven break points against the qualifier, but he could have more trouble returning serve against his quarter-final opponent, Australian Groth, on Friday.
Groth holds the title for the fastest serve ever recorded and he lived up to his reputation in an edgy 7-6 (7) 7-6 (3) second round win over Malek Jaziri, firing down 24 aces.
Top seed Isner also advanced with a 6-3 6-3 triumph over American qualifier Austin Krajicek, extending his record to 15-3 at the American grass-court competition.
The World No. 12 hit 11 aces and broke his compatriot on three occasions throughout the 63-minute match to confirm a last-eight clash with another fellow American, seventh-seed Jack Sock.
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