Wimbledon 2011: ' Bulldog' Hewitt Forced to Let Go of Tennis Ball by Soderling

Monica FritschCorrespondent IJune 23, 2011

Lleyton Hewitt loses in second round to No. 5 Robin Soderling
Lleyton Hewitt loses in second round to No. 5 Robin SoderlingClive Mason/Getty Images

Lleyton Hewitt of Australia is often referred to as a bulldog by tennis fans and professionals alike. His refusal to go down without a fight has been a big part of his tennis success.

In the first round of this year's third major, Wimbledon, Hewitt defeated Kei Nishikori of Japan and Soderling defeated Philipp Petzschner of Germany.

Hewitt is a two-time Grand Slam champion, winning the men’s singles titles at Wimbledon in 2002 and the U.S. Open in 2001.

Hewott's competitive spirit was in full effect today, as No. 5 seed Robin Soderling of Sweden defeated Hewitt in the second round 6-7(5-7), 3-6, 7-5, 6-4, 6-4. It was the first time in Soderling’s career that he came back to win after being down two sets to love.

The tournament organizers were expecting rain, so the match was played entirely with the roof closed. That didn’t seem to bother Hewitt, because he came out firing, dominating the first set tiebreak, seven points to five.

Soderling still didn’t look like the Wimbledon quarterfinalist from 2010, and it appeared Hewitt was on the verge of the first big upset of the tournament.

Soderling was able to capitalize on break points late in the third and fourth sets to force a fifth. Hewitt’s tenacity reappeared early in the fifth and deciding set, as he broke to go up 2-1. However, Soderling broke back and took the set and match 6-4.

Soderling will now play either Igor Andreev or another Aussie, Bernard Tomic.