Andy Roddick: Injury to American Delays Inevitable for Lleyton Hewitt
There are times when winning a shortened match is a really good thing. It allows you to save some energy, which can serve you well in future matches. Hewitt will not receive that benefit.
Awaiting Hewitt is Milos Raonic, who's lost only one set in advancing to the third round. Raonic is 22, has a massive serve and is one of the game's rising stars that will be a factor in Grand Slam tournaments for a long time. That won't start here, though.
However, the reason it won't start here has nothing to do with Hewitt. Even if the Australian pulls the third-round upset over Raonic, the rather large shadow of Novak Djokovic looms in the next round. Djokovic will be too much for either man to overcome.
However, Hewitt will not get that far. Raonic has a good history in his short time at the Australian Open. A season ago, he made a run to the fourth round as a qualifier. Now that he's a seeded player, Raonic's skills have only improved.
Roddick was doing fine against Hewitt before getting hurt. It wasn't until Roddick's injury that Hewitt began to take over. Now, he's facing a younger opponent with a similar game. Raonic will not suffer the same injury issues that hit Roddick.
That leaves Hewitt to battle against a player like Roddick, only younger. Prior to this tournament, Hewitt and Roddick were 7-7 against each other. The only problem is that neither of those two are in their primes anymore. As a result, Hewitt's chances to win this match are nowhere near 50/50.
This Australian Open and season in general is going to be a great opportunity for the game's young studs to emerge. Names like Raonic and Bernard Tomic are ones that we're going to hear a lot of, and that's going to start here.
That will be front and center when Hewitt squares off against Raonic in the third round. He won't be able to keep up with his big serve and overall firepower.
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