Atlanta, GA – Lleyton Hewitt once again came away victorious, reaching the quarterfinal round thanks to a Wednesday triumph, but Mardy Fish endured an unusual first-round exit at the BB&T Atlanta Open.
Hewitt, the seventh-seeded Aussie, took down American and Monday first-round winner Rhyne Williams in straight sets, claiming a 7-6 (8-6), 6-4 decision on the Georgia hardcourts. He'll now take on Croatian Ivan Dodig for a berth in the semifinals.
In the other regularly-scheduled second-round match Wednesday, Dodig outfoxed Lithuanian challenger Ricardas Berankis 6-1, 6-7 (3-7), 6-3.
The sixth-seeded Fish saw his first-round match from Tuesday night against countryman Michael Russell delayed by weather into Wednesday, and that might have played into the hands of his opponent. Russell dropped the first set 4-6 and was ahead 4-2 in the second, when the last of two rain delays finally halted play for the night.
The 35-year-old Russell picked up where he left off, however, taking the match with set wins of 6-2 and 7-5. His reward is a second-round date with Colombian Santiago Giraldo.
Meanwhile, a first-round encounter between Americans James Blake and Tim Smyczek, which was wiped out due to Tuesday's rain, went on uninterrupted. It was won by Blake, 7-6 (7-3), 4-6, 7-6 (7-4), whose next foe will be Russian Evgeny Donskoy, a winner over Rajeev Ram on Tuesday.
Another first-round winner on Wednesday included Christian Harrison, an American wild-card who needed three sets to subdue Colombian Alejandro Falla, but did so 6-1, 6-7 (7-9), 6-2. Harrison has the unenviable task of facing top-seeded John Isner, who received a first-round bye.
A surprise in the early first-round action was Croatian Ivo Karlovic retiring after dropping a 6-2 first set to Australian qualifier Matthew Ebden. Ebden will take on South African second-seed Kevin Anderson.