Match of the 1st round (Nalbandian vs. Hewitt)

Lleyton Hewitt [54] and David Nalbandian [21] met on Rod Laver Arena for the second time after six years (but on the surface with a different color) and just like in 2005, they played a wonderful, dramatic match, without any doubts the best in the first round of the Aussie Open ’11. Hewitt, after winning an exhibition tournament at Kooyong, seemed to be in a great shape, and he was going to a comfortable 4-set win, but he couldn’t convert any of three break points leading 3:1* (40/0) in the 4th set, later on he was forced to chase his rival from a break down in the 5th set. Nalbandian led 5:3* but Hewitt managed to win three straight games, and had two match points at 6:5* – both Nalbandian saved with volleys (actually the first one with a half-volley, right after the first serve!). Hewitt also led 7:6, but the last three games took Nalbandian, finishing the match with a topspin forehand lob at 1:15 a.m. local time to produce an amazing revenge for his loss to Hewitt six years ago leading 8:7* (30/15) in the 5th set!
It was a very tough first round we both know it, every time we play it’s long matches, tough ones, he’s a real fighter,” says Nalbandian, “He played unbelievable. It’s amazing playing with him in a full stadium, here in Australia. We both had a lot of chances, I was serving for the match, it was that kind of match nobody can forget. Cramping was around all the time, he was too tired as well. I played the two match points, I play incredible, serve and volley, it was amazing, and then after that the match was for both. I can win, I can lose, the match was very close.
Australian Open 2005 (QF):
Lleyton Hewitt d. David Nalbandian 6-3, 6-2, 1-6, 3-6, 10-8 (4 hrs. 5 min.)
Australian Open 2011 (1R):
David Nalbandian d. Lleyton Hewitt 3-6, 6-4, 3-6, 7-6(1), 9-7 (4 hrs. 48 min.)
In the picture, Hewitt celebrates beating Nalbandian in Melbourne 2005 and Nalbandian celebrating his revenge six years later on the same court.
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