Lleyton Hewitt advances at Sony Open with 600th victory
KEY BISCAYNE, Fla. (AP) - Lleyton Hewitt became the third active man to win 600 matches when he rallied past Robin Haase 3-6, 6-3, 6-3 Thursday in the first round at the Sony Open.
The 33-year-old Hewitt joined Roger Federer (942 wins) and Rafael Nadal (675) in reaching the milestone.
''Not many people get the opportunity to get close to that, so it means I have been around for an awfully long time,'' Hewitt said. ''I'm getting old. A few years ago when I had the last couple of surgeries, I probably would have doubted I'd get to this stage. I'm grateful I'm out there and able to compete with the best guys.''
Hewitt is a former No. 1 and a three-time Key Biscayne semifinalist.
Fellow Australian Bernard Tomic, mounting a comeback from surgery on both hips and playing for the first time since January, lost to Jarkko Nieminen 6-0, 6-1.
In women's play, No. 5-seeded Angelique Kerber won her opening match, beating Peng Shuai 6-3, 1-6, 7-6 (5). Kerber, a two-time Grand Slam semifinalist, matched her best showing at Key Biscayne by reaching the third round.
No. 12 Ana Ivanovic beat American Lauren Davis 6-1, 6-1, and No. 8 Petra Kvitova defeated Paula Ormaechea 6-3, 6-4. No. 28 Svetlana Kuznetsova, the 2006 champion, lost to qualifier Donna Vekic 7-6 (5), 7-5.
Six-time champion Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova were scheduled to play their opening matches later Thursday. Seeded men begin play on Friday.
In other men's play, Americans Jack Sock and Ryan Harrison won first-round matches. Sock, a qualifier, beat wild card Guido Pella 6-3, 6-4. Harrison, a wild card, defeated Federico Delbonis 6-2, 6-4.
Delbonis, who won his first career title at Sao Paulo three weeks ago, fell to 0-4 this year on hardcourts.