MELBOURNE, Australia — Lleyton Hewitt reached the Round of 16 in his 16th Australian Open after beating No. 23-seeded Milos Raonic 4-6, 6-3, 7-6 (5), 6-3 in a Saturday night victory that couldn’t have been much sweeter.
The former No. 1-ranked Hewitt, who hasn’t won a major since Wimbledon in 2002, entered the tournament on a wild card after slumping to a ranking in the 180s during an injury-marred 2011.
Despite his experience – he has played 50 previous Grand Slam tournaments and this Australian Open campaign beats the record of 15 held jointly by Jack Crawford and Harry Hopman – Hewitt had difficulty closing out against the Canadian.
FLASHY FRENCHMAN: Judging by how he twirled around the court, arms lifted overhead and a huge smile on his face, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga has certainly got his Melbourne groove back.
The flashy Frenchman unleashed his trademark victory jig, which never fails to entertain the crowd, after defeating Portugal’s Frederico Gil 6-2, 6-2, 6-2 to advance to the fourth round.
Tsonga is hoping he can keep dancing into the tournament’s final weekend.
After splitting with his coach in April, he’s enjoyed some of the best results of his career and ranked No. 6 again.
Tsonga broke through at the 2008 Australian Open as a 22-year-old, beating Rafael Nadal in the semifinals.
before losing to Novak Djokovic in the final.