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Tennis: Feisty Hewitt stuns 11th seed Wawrinka

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

Lleyton Hewitt stormed into the second round of Wimbledon in impressive fashion, knocking out 11th seed Stanislas Wawrinka in straight sets on Monday.

The Australian 2002 Wimbledon champion, who has been dogged by injuries in recent years, was roared on by Aussie fans as he beat his Swiss opponent 6-4, 7-5 6-3 on Court One in two hours and 12 minutes.

It took him five match points to do it as Wawrinka clung on but the world number 70 sank to his knees when he sealed victory, then jumped up in delight and punched the air after shaking hands with his opponent.

Australian supporters hugged the former world number one and patted him on the back as he made his way off court.

"Unbelievable feeling. I knew it was a tough draw," said the 2001 US Open champion.

"I've lost the last couple of tight matches to Stan. He's a quality player.

"I knew I had to come out here and play well -- and I played really well.

"He came up with big serves and big shots to keep himself in it.

"I didn't feel like a total underdog going onto the match, I've been playing well and I backed myself.

"There were a lot of Aussies out there and I loved every minute of it."

The 32-year-old said people were asking when he was going to retire but he asked why he would want to when he could still generate such an atmosphere.

"It's the biggest adrenaline rush you can have," he said.

Hewitt faces German qualifier Dustin Brown in the second round on Wednesday.

Hewitt entered the All England Club in good form, getting to the Queen's warm-up tournament semi-finals.

He is now the world number 70, his highest ranking since May 2011 following a series of injury problems and operations.

Despite his ranking, he is one of only six Grand Slam champions in the draw and few players would take him lightly on his favourite surface. With 115 wins, he is the second-most successful active player on grass behind Roger Federer.

Hewitt was one of six Australians contesting the men's singles first round -- the most since 2003.

He was joined by Bernard Tomic, Marinko Matosevic, wild card Matthew Ebden and qualifiers Matt Reid and James Duckworth.

France's Guillaume Rufin beat Matosevic 6-1, 4-6, 6-4, 6-3, while Reid lost to Radek Stepanek of the Czech Republic 6-2, 6-2, 6-4.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130624/tennis-feisty-hewitt-stuns-11th-seed-wawrinka