Hewitt all set for fight with Ferrer
LLEYTON Hewitt simply refuses to let the dream go without a fight.
Playing in his 20th consecutive and final Australian Open, the 34-year-old turned back the clock to beat compatriot James Duckworth in their first-round clash on Tuesday night, earning a match-up against No.8 seed David Ferrer.
Not surprisingly given the response to the Duckworth game, organisers have again given the Aussie veteran prime billing on Rod Laver Arena tonight.
What is surprising is that Hewitt and Ferrer, who turned professional in 2000 and has reached a career-high ranking of No.3, have met just three times.
The Spaniard leads the way 2-1, the most recent meeting resulting in a four-set win for Ferrer in the third round of the 2012 US Open.
As impressive as Hewitt was against Duckworth, he acknowledged tonight's opponent would present a significantly sterner challenge.
"He's like a brick wall out there," Hewitt said of the 33-year-old.
"He competes as well as anyone on tour. Everyone thinks he just makes balls, but he's a pretty aggressive baseliner.
"He's been just under winning that Grand Slam … especially on clay and hard court, he's a pretty tough customer."
At the same time, Hewitt said he believed he had a decent shot at extending his farewell for another match.
"Yeah, I give myself a fighting chance," he said.
"It's going to be tough, I know that. But I feel like I'm hitting the ball well enough to go out there and give him a good run."
Hewitt is one of four Australian men in action on day four.
Bernard Tomic will headline the night session against unseeded Italian Simone Bolelli, while Sam Groth and John Millman both have daytime games scheduled.
Groth faces the unenviable task of taking on No.2 seed and four-time Australian Open finalist Andy Murray, while Millman has drawn underrated Giles Muller from Luxembourg.
Groth said he would again rely on his big serve against Murray.
"Hopefully I will serve well and it doesn't come back," the Aussie said . "I'm going to take it to him. For me, it doesn't really change too much. I'm going to serve big and try to get forward and play aggressively, use my ... everything I do normally.
"For me I play my game style and that's it.
"If it's good enough, it's good enough."