Australian No. 1 Lleyton Hewitt is set to begin his campaign for a third clay court title in Houston when he faces Canadian qualifier Peter Polansky in the opening round of the U.S Clay Court Championships on Tuesday. This marks the first time these two competitors will meet on the professional tour and will likely be an interesting encounter.
Hewitt, 33, has had a successful resurgence in 2014, as he bag his season with a victory over 17-time Grand Slam champion Roger Federer to win the Brisbane title. He also earned his 600th victory several weeks back when he defeated Robin Haase in the opening round of the Miami Masters. Hewitt will be looking to win his third clay court title, and his first in Houston since 2009.
- Hewitt has only ever won two clay court titles. His last one was in 2009.
- The Australian is after his 30th title on the tour.
- Hewitt is on the 21st player in ATP history to win 600+ matches. Only two other active players share that feat, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer.
World No. 135 Peter Polansky successfully qualified for the U.S Clay Court Championships and will now look for his first ATP World Tour victory this season when he meets the top ranked Aussie tomorrow afternoon. The Canadian is 0-3 so far this season and has only managed to qualify for one ATP World Tour event prior to this, losing to Juan Monaco in the opening round at Indian Wells.
- Polansky was the Canada’s top singles player between June 21, 2010m and January 17, 2011. He was then replaced by the current Canadian No. 1 Milos Raonic.
While this could potentially be an intriguing contest it will likely end in a one-sided affair favouring the Australian baseliner. Hewitt is far more experienced and is comfortable on this surface, while Polansky will be faced with the pressure of defeating a two-time Grand Slam champion.
Prediction: Lleyton Hewitt in Straight Sets