HEWITT, TOMIC, NALBANDIAN WIN OPENERS
Indian Wells, U.S.A.
Former World No. 1 and two-time BNP Paribas Open champion Lleyton Hewitt will face 2012 runner-up John Isner in the second round after withstanding the challenge of Lukas Rosol Thursday evening in the first round. The Australian won 6-4, 3-6, 6-1 in one hour and 35 minutes, converting four of his 12 break points.
"It was tough conditions, really cold and windy," said Hewitt. "First set early on we both could have got breaks and then I had a lot more opportunities as the set went on. I played pretty well, felt like I was making him play a lot of balls and I was able to get that under my belt. Early in the second set I played a bit of a loose game and he got a lot more confident. He served well for the rest of the second set, which put me under pressure. The third set I tried to get onto his serve again at the start, I was able to do that, fought hard to go up a break. Then I got better as the match went on."
The 32-year-old Hewitt, who has dropped to No. 98 in the Emirates ATP Rankings, has not won back-to-back matches in 2013. The Adelaide native is bidding to rediscover his form at this ATP World Tour Masters 1000 tournament, where he lifted the trophy in 2002 (d. Henman) and 2003 (d. Kuerten); he also finished runner-up in 2005 (l. to Federer).
"This is one of my favorite tournaments," said Hewitt. "I love the conditions, I love everything about this tournament. It's been one of my favorite stops over the years. Last year I couldn't play because of surgery, so it's good to be back.
"It's going to be a tough match [against Isner]. I've had the better of him in the past. Then lost to him in a tight match in the final of Newport last year. He obviously played really well here last year too. I'll go out there, play my game and see what happens."