Lleyton Hewitt has played the last match of his singles career after falling to Spain's David Ferrer in straight sets at the Australian Open. Meanwhile, there were surprising victories for a couple of Germany's women.
The former world No. 1 said his farewells to the crowd at Melbourne's Rod Laver Arena on Thursday after losing to Ferrer in straight sets, 6-2 6-4 6-4.
"I left nothing in the locker room. My whole career I've given 100 percent," the teary-eyed 34-year-old Australian told the crowd after video tributes from the likes of Roger Federer and Rafa Nadal were played on the stadium's video screens.
"I love coming out here and competing. I've been so fortunate to have that opportunity 20 years in a row."
Hewitt, who was joined on the court by his three children, also took the opportunity to thank the fans, his family, and his coach, Tony Roche.
"I felt like this was the perfect place to finish," Hewitt said. "I was getting goose bumps out here."
An idol defeated
Although he showed no mercy on the court, after the match, Ferrer was lavish in his praise for the Australian, who won the US Open in 2001 and Wimbledon one year later.
"It's a sad day. I never had idols, but Lleyton was one for me," Ferrer said. "I have a museum in my house and I have a T-shirt of Lleyton. It's the only T-shirt I have of a tennis player."
Hewitt's famous temper was also briefly on display during the match, when he directed an expletive at a linesman after being called for a foot fault.
Upsets for Beck and Siegemund
After all of the German men had been bounced out of the Australian Open early, two of the women pulled off major upsets on Thursday to make it into the third round. In the biggest victory of her career, Laura Siegemund beat former world No. 1 Jelena Jankovic of Serbia 3-6, 7-6 (7-5), 6-4 to advance, while Annika Beck beat 11th seed Timea Bacsinsky of Switzerland in straight sets 6-2, 6-3.
Siegemund and Beck are to face each other in the third round on Saturday.
Angelique Kerber also advanced, beating the Romanian Alexandra Dulgheru 6-2, 6-4. Sabine Lisicki, who was coming off a long break due to her knee injury, fell in three sets to Denisa Allertova of the Czech Republic.
pfd/apc (AP, dpa, AFP, SID)