SI.com Staff
Thursday January 21st, 2016

On Thursday, 33-year-old David Ferrer will face off against 35-year-old Lleyton Hewitt in the third round of the Australian Open in their fourth career meeting. No. 8-seed Ferrer defeated Hewitt at the 2012 U.S. Open and 2008 Roland Garros, while Hewitt won their first career meeting at Wimbledon in 2006.  This matchup at the Australian Open will be complete their head-to-head Grand Slam.

Ferrer and Hewitt are similar in stature and style of play. Neither utilizes a pounding serves but both rely on grinding ground games and look to outlast their opponents during a match. The player who comes up with big shots on the big points will have the advantage. In his first round match here Ferrer faced four break points against his serve and saved three, while Hewitt faced eight break points and saved six. 

One key for Hewitt will be to get a lot of first serves in play. At 5’10”, he doesn’t have the margin that the taller players have and he usually gets around 50% of his first serves in play. In his best year in 2002 when he finished ranked No. 1 in the world, Hewitt hit only 51% of his first serves in play. In his first round match here he hit 59% in and threw in 10 aces. He’ll need that type of serving to continue his career at least one more match.

Check SI.com's Australian Open Daily Data Viz hub page throughout the whole tournament for the latest data-driven infographics and charts from IBM, the official technology partner for the Australian Open. IBM captures and analyzes the data that powers all of the Grand Slams, as well as the digital platforms that extend the experience to fans around the world.

SI Apps
We've Got Apps Too
Get expert analysis, unrivaled access, and the award-winning storytelling only SI can provide - from Peter King, Tom Verducci, Lee Jenkins, Seth Davis, and more - delivered straight to you, along with up-to-the-minute news and live scores.