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Australian No.1 Lleyton Hewitt came back from a two-set deficit for the fifth time in his career with a 6-7(1), 6-7(4), 7-6(4), 6-4, 6-3 win to overcome No.26 seed Ivo Karlovic in the first round of Roland Garros.
Hewitt withstood 55 aces from the Croat which is an Open Era record. The Zagreb resident previously hit 51 aces in a first round loss to Daniele Bracciali at 2005 Wimbledon, a record shared with Sweden’s Joachim Johansson. Karlovic converted 73 percent of first serves as he won the first two sets in tie-breakers. Hewitt enjoyed more success in the third-set tie-break and after getting a grip on the match, he broke serve three more times to wrap up the thriller in three hours and 56 minutes.
The 28 year-old Hewitt next faces Andrey Golubev in the second round after the World No.88 eased to a 6-3, 6-3, 6-2 win over Denis Gremelmayr.