MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — Lleyton Hewitt of Australia beat Marcos Baghdatis of Cyprus 1-6, 6-2, 6-0 on Thursday night to advance to the quarterfinals at the U.S. National Indoor Tennis Championships.
The No. 3 seed leads the career series with Baghdatis 3-2, winning their first match since 2010 when Baghdatis had to withdraw with an injured shoulder. Hewitt won his 29th career title in Brisbane earlier this year. He needed 91 minutes to finally beat Baghdatis for the first time outside of Australia and continue his strong start this year.
"Marcos, he's always a tough competitor, and I think on this style of court suits his style of game as well," Hewitt said. "He hits the ball hard and flat out there, and if he's making a lot of first serves it's not easy. I just sort of bide my time out there and took my chances. Had to fight hard early in the second set to hold serve and got a bit of momentum after that."
Hewitt will play American Michael Russell on Friday. Ivo Karlovic of Croatia beat second-seeded Feliciano Lopez of Spain 7-6 (2), 6-4 in the night's final match serving up 19 aces and losing only six points off his serve. He will play American Jack Sock.
Earlier Thursday, qualifier Alex Kuznetsov upset eighth-seeded Mikhail Kukushkin of Kazakhstan 2-6, 6-3, 7-6 (1) to reach his first ATP Tour quarterfinal. He will play fourth-seeded Lu Yen-Hsun of Taiwan, who beat American qualifier Denis Kudla 3-6, 6-3, 6-3.
Hewitt could join Roger Federer (932) and Rafael Nadal (669) as the third active player with 600 match victories if he wins the title in Memphis.