Miami, FL, United States (4E Sports) – Lleyton Hewitt became the 21st player in ATP World Tour history to reach the 600-match win plateau after beating Robin Haase, 3-6, 6-3, 6-3, Thursday in the first round of the Sony Open Tennis.
Only Roger Federer (942) and Rafael Nadal (675) have won more matches among active players.
In the next round, Hewitt will take on Nadal in their 11th encounter and first in four years.
Nadal has won their past five meetings – including three clashes at Roland Garros – to take a 6-4 lead in their head-to-head showdown.
Hewitt rallied to get back on serve at 3-all in the second set and rolled through the next three games. He went up the decisive break, 4-3 in the third set, as he hit a backhand lob winner over the Dutchman.
Hewitt clinched the victory after one hour and 57 minutes with another lob winner on break point.
Hewitt’s countryman, Bernard Tomic, did not fare as well in his first match since undergoing hip surgeries following the Australian Open.
The 21-year-old Tomic won just 13 points in a 6-0, 6-1 loss to Finland’s Jarkko Nieminen in 28 minutes and 20 seconds.
Other winners on the men’s side were Denis Istomin, Lukas Lacko, Jack Sock, Guillermo Garcia-Lopez, Aljaz Bedene, Ryan Harrison, Daniel Gimeno-Traver and Edouard Roger-Vasselin, Yen-Hsun Lu, Donald Young and Stephane Robert.
On the women’s side, top seed Serena Williams defeated Yaroslava Shvedova, 7-6 (7), 6-2, to book a spot in the third round against Caroline Garcia, who downed No. 27 Klara Zakopalova, 7-6 (3), 7-6 (3)
Angelique Kerber also advanced after beating Peng Shuai, 6-3, 1-6, 7-6(5). She will take on Tsvetana Pironkova, who shocked No. 25 Sorana Cirstea, 6-3, 6-3.
Flavia Pennetta cruised past Belarusian qualifier Olga Govortsova, 6-3, 6-3, to arrange a second-round clash with No. 12 Ana Ivanovic, who crushed Lauren Davis in 62 minutes, 6-1, 6-1.
Other winners were Petra Kvitova, Sara Errani, Sabine Lisicki, Samantha Stosur, Kirsten Flipkens, Ekaterina Makarova, Lucie Safarova and Donna Vekic.