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Safina downs Mauresmo, Hewitt wins epic marathon


First published: June 30, 2009, 12:42 AM IST | Updated: June 30, 2009
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Safina downs Mauresmo, Hewitt wins epic marathon
Lleyton Hewitt fought back from two sets down to defeat Radek Stepanek.

London: Top seed Dinara Safina needed all her battling qualities to beat former champion Amelie Mauresmo 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 under the closed Centre Court roof in the fourth round at Wimbledon on Monday.

Safina, the world's top ranked player who still awaits a Grand Slam title, found it difficult to impose her all-guns blazing baseline game on the Frenchwoman but finally prevailed after two hours and nine minutes.

Mauresmo, seeded 17, trailed 3-0 in the opener before finding her form and taking it with two breaks of serve.

Safina hit back to level the match and though Mauresmo - who became the first player to hit a ball under the new roof when drizzle halted play - led 2-0 in the decider, the Russian kept her focus to hold serve for the match, clinching it when Mauresmo netted a forehand.

She will play unseeded German Sabine Lisicki for a place in the semi-finals.

Hewitt enters quarter-finals

Former Wimbledon champion Lleyton Hewitt fought back from two sets down on Monday to defeat Czech Radek Stepanek 4-6, 2-6, 6-1, 6-2, 6-2 and take his place in the quarter-finals.

It was an epic victory for the feisty Australian, firing on all cylinders once more after a hip operation that saw him tumble down the rankings.

In a "battle of the crocks," Hewitt had to call the trainer to work on his left leg after the second set while Stepanek, the 23rd seed, summoned help after the fourth set to strap up his troublesome left knee.

Hewitt, the 2002 Wimbledon champion, showed all his old spirit, cheered on by a raucous bunch of Australian fans chanting "If you want to see five sets, clap your hands."

The crowd obliged and so did Hewitt.

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