MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — Andreas Seppi ended perennial local favorite Lleyton Hewitt’s 18th appearance at the Australian Open with a 7-6 (4), 6-3, 5-7, 5-7, 7-5 win Tuesday.
Former No. 1-ranked Hewitt, who beat 17-time major winner Roger Federer in last week’s Brisbane International final, had a match point late in the 4-hour, 18-minute match. But he was broken in that 11th game before Seppi held serve in the next to close out the 63-minute fifth set.
The closest Hewitt has come to capturing the title at his home Grand Slam event was as losing finalist to Marat Safin in 2005.