Melbourne: Former world number one Lleyton Hewitt bowed out of tennis on Thursday when he was beaten by Spain`s David Ferrer in the second round of the Australian Open, his final tournament before retiring.
A partisan home crowd at Rod Laver Arena watched Ferrer, the Spanish eighth seed, dominate Hewitt 6-2, 6-4, 6-4 to send the two-time Grand Slam-winner into retirement.
Afterwards Hewitt, wearing a shirt decorated with the Australian flag, was joined on court by his three children while his wife, former soap opera actress Bec, looked on in tears. "I gave everything I had, like always, and left nothing in the locker room and that`s something I can always be proud of," Hewitt told the crowd. "In my whole career I`ve given 100 percent and I love coming out here and competing."
Milos Raonic beat Tommy Robredo in unusual fashion at the Australian Open on Thursday when he secured victory with the only service break of the match -- after nearly three hours of play, and in the very last game.
The big-serving Canadian finally broke Robredo`s serve at the 12th attempt and in the 36th game to win it 7-6 (8/6), 7-6 (7/5), 7-5 and reach the third round after two hours and 55 minutes. Raonic`s reward is a round of 32 meeting with Serbian 21st seed Viktor Troicki.
Andy Murray seized on a crucial psychological edge before dismantling Sam Groth, the holder of the world`s fastest serve, as he swept into the Australian Open third round on Thursday. In the locker-room before the match, the wily Scot overheard Australia`s Groth saying he was playing at Rod Laver Arena, with all the pressures of a big home crowd, for the first time.
The world number two jumped on Groth and cagily fashioned a 6-0, 6-4, 6-1 demolition job in one hour 31 minutes to set up a third-round encounter with Portugal`s Joao Sousa. "We were right next to each other in the locker room and someone asked him. He just said it was the first time he`d ever been out there," Murray recalled afterwards.
Fourth seed Stan Wawrinka was given a thorough workout before beating 37-year-old Radek Stepanek 6-2 6-3 6-4 to advance to the third round of the Australian Open on Thursday.
Renowned marathon man John Isner needed two tiebreakers before putting away Spaniard Marcel Granollers to reach the third round.
The beanpole American 10th seed, who is expected to lead the United States in their Davis Cup tie in Australia in March, won 6-3, 7-6 (8/6), 7-6 (7/2) in two hours 20 minutes on Hisense Arena.
In the women's section, world number seven Angelique Kerber booked her place in the Australian Open third round Thursday with a workmanlike 6-2, 6-4 win over Romania`s Alexandra Dulgheru.
Former world number one Ana Ivanovic eased into the third round, keeping her focus despite a 30-minute mid-match delay while medics treated an injured spectator. Despite the mid-match drama Ivanovic, seeded 20, was always comfortable against Latvian qualifier Anastasija Sevastova, cruising to a 6-3, 6-3 win on Rod Laver Arena.
"This is my favourite court in the world," said the Serb. "Every match is tough and I`m thrilled to be through."
Spanish star Garbine Muguruza laboured past Kirsten Flipkens on Thursday as she keeps her eye on a maiden Grand Slam title.
The world number three, the biggest breakout star of 2015, faced a tough first-set challenge from the dogged Belgian veteran before winning 6-4, 6-2 in 79 minutes on Rod Laver Arena. "I`m extremely happy because Kirsten is a very difficult opponent who has a unique game," said Muguruza. "Every match is very tough and I am just happy to be here."
Two time champion Victoria Azarenka kept up her scintillating early-season form.The Belarusian former world number one was again in fine touch as she hammered Montenegro`s Danka Kovinic 6-1, 6-2 on Margaret Court Arena to progress.
Australian Open results
Men`s singles 2nd
Dudi Sela (ISR) bt Fernando Verdasco (ESP) 4-6, 6-3, 6-3, 7-6 (7/4) Andrey Kuznetsov (RUS) bt Jeremy Chardy (FRA x30) 6-4, 7-6 (7/5), 7-6 (7/5)
Gael Monfils (FRA x23) bt Nicolas Mahut (FRA) 7-5, 6-4, 6-1
Stephane Robert (FRA) bt Rajeev Ram (USA) 6-1, 6-7 (6/8), 4-6, 7-5, 7-5
Milos Raonic (CAN x13) bt Tommy Robredo (ESP) 7-6 (8/6), 7-6 (7/5), 7-5
Viktor Troicki (SRB x21) bt Tim Smyczek (USA) 6-4, 7-6 (7/5), 7-6 (7/4)
Lukas Rosol (CZE) bt Jack Sock (USA x25) 7-6 (8/6), 7-6 (7/5), 6-3
Stanislas Wawrinka (SUI x4) bt Radek Stepanek (CZE) 6-2, 6-3, 6-4
David Ferrer (ESP x8) bt Lleyton Hewitt (AUS) 6-2, 6-4, 6-4
Steve Johnson (USA x31) bt Thomaz Belluci (BRA) 6-3, 6-2, 6-2
Feliciano Lopez (ESP x18) bt Guido Pella (ARG) 7-6 (7/2), 6-7 (4/7), 7-6 (7/3), 6-7 (8/10), 6-4
John Isner (USA x10) bt Marcel Granollers (ESP) 6-3, 7-6 (8/6), 7-6 (7/2)
John Millman (AUS) bt Gilles Muller (LUX) 4-6, 6-4, 6-2, 4-6, 7-5
Joao Sousa (POR x32) bt Santiago Giraldo (COL) 6-3, 7-5, 3-6, 6-1
Andy Murray (GBR x2) bt Sam Groth (AUS) 6-0, 6-4, 6-1
Angelique Kerber (GER x7) bt Alexandra Dulgheru (ROM) 6-2, 6-4
Madison Brengle (USA) bt Johanna Larsson (SWE) 7-5, 4-6, 6-1
Laura Siegemund (GER) bt Jelena Jankovic (SRB x19) 3-6, 7-6 (7/5), 6-4
Annika Beck (GER) bt Timea Bacsinszky (SUI x11) 6-2, 6-3
Victoria Azarenka (BLR x14) bt Danka Kovinic (MNE) 6-1, 6-2
Naomi Osaka (JPN) bt Elina Svitolina (UKR x18) 6-4, 6-4
Barbora Zahlavova Strycova (CZE) bt Vania King (USA) 7-6 (7/5), 6-4
Garbine Muguruza (ESP x3) bt Kirsten Flipkens (BEL) 6-4, 6-2
Johanna Konta (GBR) bt Zheng Saisai (CHN) 6-2, 6-3
Denisa Allertova (CZE) bt Sabine Lisicki (GER x30) 6-3, 2-6, 6-4
Ekaterina Makarova (RUS x21) bt Tatjana Malek (GER) 6-4, 6-2
Madison Keys (USA x15) bt Yaroslava Shvedova (KAZ) 6-7 (4/7), 6-3, 6-3
Ana Ivanovic (SRB x20) bt Anastasija Sevastova (LAT) 6-3, 6-3
Varvara Lepchenko (USA) bt Lara Arruabarrena (ESP) 7-6 (9/7), 6-4
Zhang Shuai (CHN) bt Alize Cornet (FRA) 6-3, 6-3