Hewitt rallies against Sela

Miami, March 26:

Australia’s Lleyton Hewitt rallied from a first-set deficit to down Israeli lucky loser Dudi Sela 3-6, 6-4, 6-3 in the ATP Masters and WTA hardcourt tournament on Wednesday.

Hewitt, a former world No 1 who has fallen to 98 in the world as he battles to come back from left hip surgery, dropped his serve five times but capitalised on six of his own 11 break chances to notch the win in just under two hours. Hewitt said the swirling winds made for a difficult match for both players.

Hewitt, a two-time Grand Slam champion, reached three straight semi-finals at this event from 2000-2002. He next faces seventh-seeded Frenchman Gilles Simon. World number one Rafael Nadal of Spain is the top seed, and arrives seeking his second Masters 1000 title in as many weeks after his triumph in Indian Wells on Sunday.

Nadal has never won the Miami title, losing to Nikolay Davydenko in last year’s final. Davydenko isn’t defending his title because of a foot injury. Roger Federer, a 13-time Grand Slam champion, is the second seed in a field that also includes world No 3 Novak Djokovic and sixth-ranked American Andy Roddick.

Serena Williams, the world No 1 and two-time defending champion, is the top women’s seed.