Hewitt into Atlanta quarterfinals; Fish out

Updated: July 24, 2013


Lleyton Hewitt once again came away victorious,
reaching the quarterfinal round thanks to a Wednesday triumph, but Mardy Fish
endured an unusual first-round exit at the BB&T Atlanta Open.

Hewitt, the seventh-seeded Aussie, took down American and Monday
first-round winner Rhyne Williams in straight sets, claiming a 7-6 (8-6), 6-4
decision on the Georgia hardcourts. He’ll now take on Croatian Ivan Dodig for
a berth in the semifinals.

In the other regularly-scheduled second-round match Wednesday, Dodig outfoxed
Lithuanian challenger Ricardas Berankis 6-1, 6-7 (3-7), 6-3.

The sixth-seeded Fish saw his first-round match from Tuesday night against
countryman Michael Russell delayed by weather into Wednesday, and that might
have played into the hands of his opponent. Russell dropped the first set 4-6
and was ahead 4-2 in the second, when the last of two rain delays finally
halted play for the night.

The 35-year-old Russell picked up where he left off, however, taking the match
with set wins of 6-2 and 7-5. His reward is a second-round date with Colombian
Santiago Giraldo.

Meanwhile, a first-round encounter between Americans James Blake and Tim
Smyczek, which was wiped out due to Tuesday’s rain, went on uninterrupted. It
was won by Blake, 7-6 (7-3), 4-6, 7-6 (7-4), whose next foe will be Russian
Evgeny Donskoy, a winner over Rajeev Ram on Tuesday.

Another first-round winner on Wednesday included Christian Harrison, an
American wild-card who needed three sets to subdue Colombian Alejandro
Falla, but did so 6-1, 6-7 (7-9), 6-2. Harrison has the unenviable task of
facing top-seeded John Isner, who received a first-round bye.

A surprise in the early first-round action was Croatian Ivo Karlovic retiring
after dropping a 6-2 first set to Australian qualifier Matthew Ebden. Ebden
will take on South African second-seed Kevin Anderson.