July 12, 2012

NEWPORT, R.I. (AP) -- Lleyton Hewitt of Australia defeated Dudi Sela of Israel 6-4, 6-3 Thursday to advance to the semifinals at the Hall of Fame Tennis Championships.

It marked his second straight-set victory in three matches on Newport's grass courts.

The 31-year old Hewitt, the No. 1 player for 75 consecutive weeks from 2001-03, has undergone five surgeries in the past four years and entered the week ranked at a career-low of 233 on the ATP tour.

Wild card Ryan Harrison beat fellow American Jesse Levine 6-3, 6-4 to advance to the quarterfinals.

Germany's Benjamin Becker also moved to the quarters, ousting Canadian and No. 3 seed Milos Raonic 6-3, 6-3.

Hewitt started strong, breaking in the first game of the match en route to a 5-2 lead. In the next two games, Sela broke back and held serve, closing it to 5-4. Hewitt finished the first set in 42 minutes, winning the final point when Sela hit a service return long.

During the eighth and ninth games of the first set, a cloud of dust rolled into the area, casting a slight cloud over the practice courts, stands and part of center court. A parks and recreation crew was grooming a softball infield next to the Hall of Fame.

In the first game of the second set, Hewitt broke again, hitting a backhand winner down the line on the final point.

With the set tied 3-all, Sela doubled-faulted four times in seventh game, including the final point to give Hewitt a 4-3 edge. He closed out the next game with an ace and the match ended when Sela hit a forehand return into the net.

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