Hewitt becomes latest casualty at the Marseille Open

16th February 2007, Comments 0 comments

MARSEILLE, France, Feb 15, 2007 (AFP) - Australia's former world number one Lleyton Hewitt became the latest high profile casualty at the ATP Marseille Open here on Thursday as he retired with a thigh injury.

MARSEILLE, France, Feb 15, 2007 (AFP) - Australia's former world number one Lleyton Hewitt became the latest high profile casualty at the ATP Marseille Open here on Thursday as he retired with a thigh injury.

The 25-year-old eighth seed was joined on the sidelines by fifth seed David Ferrer, the Spaniard being ousted in three sets by Frenchman Julien Benneteau as they joined the top three seeds who went out on Wednesday.

Hewitt, who had had a tough three setter on Wednesday, felt pain in his right thigh after the first set in his match with Gilles Simon and had no option but to call it a day.

"From the end of the first set I couldn't really play a shot because of the pain," said the two-time Grand Slam champion.  

"It is hard to play on a different surface following the Davis Cup tie (a shock 3-2 defeat by Belgium last weekend)," added Hewitt.

Ferrer collapsed completely after winning the first set 6-4, only winning one more game as Benneteau dominated the match.

"I believe I really started to upset him when I began to go to the net more often at the beginning of the third set," said the 25-year-old Frenchman, who appears to reserve his better performances for his homeland having reached the French Open quarter-finals last year.

"It was a really good tennis match. I knew I was ready. And it is this type of spirit I wish to maintain throughout the season as I want to break into the top 20."

However for his compatriot Nicolas Mahut there was to be no repeat of his heroics on Wednesday, when he downed Croatian second seed Ivan Ljubicic, as he bowed out to Finn Jarkko Nieminen in three sets (6-4, 3-6, 6-3).

There are just two seeds left standing after Frenchman Richard Gasquet, the sixth seed beat compatriot Marc Giquel later on Thursday in straight sets and Cypriot Marcos Baghdatis, seeded seven, also progressed against another Frenchman Cyril Saulnier in two sets.

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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