Two Wimbledon champions will meet in the semi-final of the International Hall of Fame Championships on Saturday afternoon, as Lleyton Hewitt and Jack Sock cross paths for the first time on the professional tour. While there are 12 years and 33 ranking spots separating the two competitors, this is a compelling semi-final match-up and arguably the most entertaining prospect for the afternoon.
World No. 43 Lleyton Hewitt earned a straightforward 6-4, 6-4 victory over Steve Johnson on Friday afternoon. He only needed three break points and a 62% accuracy rate on his first service points to close out the mach in one hour and 18 minutes.
“I feel pretty good at the moment. I’m getting my match toughness back. I think that’s important when you’re out there,” said Hewitt. “You’re on auto-pilot on the big points.”
With that victory, Hewitt improved to 12-3 overall this season on grass. The former Wimbledon champion has never won the title in Newport but has gone as far as the final last year, where he lost to Nicholas Mahut.
After successfully winning the Wimbledon doubles title less than a week ago, Jack Sock has manaed to build on that momentum with a semi-final appearance in the International Tennis Hall of Fame Championships. The young American defeated John Isner in the quarter-final round in straight sets, picking up his first win over his fellow American in four head-to-head appearances.
“I missed a lot of easy shots. I didn’t [convert] the three break points,” said Isner. “Matches go that way sometimes.”
This is the first time these two competitors will cross paths on the professional tour, and could not have come at a more compelling time. Sock is swelling with confidence while Hewitt is playing some of his best tennis in recent memory. Sock has the natural gifts to trouble Hewitt and it will be interesting to see how he performs against the former Wimbledon champion.
Prediction: Jack Sock in Three Sets