Every year, the Aussie Open draw seems to produce a scintillating first round encounter that'll pack the opening night house at Rod Laver Arena. More than a few have featured hometown hero Hewitt, like in '09 against Fernando Gonzalez and in '11 versus David Nalbandian.
Both of those matches were losses for Hewitt, yet were intense productions of fantastic, passionate play. It's almost guaranteed that this year against Tipsarevic will yield the same quality tennis. Whatever deficits in Hewitt's game, the surface and the roaring, loyal crowd will be at his back.
Tipsarevic, though, won't fold under the pressure. He's coming off an impressive tournament victory at a lead-up in Chennai, India, and he drew the quarter with David Ferrer as his Top 4 seed. The Serb is no doubt senses a golden opportunity to advance to his first Slam semi.
Hewitt battled Ferrer very hard in one of the most exciting matches of last year's US Open. Tipsarevic plays a very similar game to the Spaniard, which must give Hewitt hope. And even though they haven't met in years, Hewitt does lead their head-to-head 3-1.
We don't know how many more Australian Opens will feature Rusty. Will he score yet another memorable, improbable victory on his home turf?
Prediction: Tipsarevic in a grueling four-setter.