- The Washington Times - Friday, August 4, 2006

Third-seeded Lleyton Hewitt wasted no time knocking out Denis Gremelmayr 6-1, 6-4 on stadium court yesterday to advance to the Legg Mason Tennis Classic quarterfinals. Less than 20 hours after pulling out a close, three-set victory over Vincent Spadea, Hewitt needed just one hour to overcome Gremelmayr.

Hewitt’s serve was nearly unstoppable as he won more than 84 percent of his service points. He did not double-fault at all during the match and recorded five aces.

“I played a bit better today, I think,” Hewitt said. “I had my rhythm out there a little bit better right from the start. I felt like I could put pressure on his service game throughout the whole first set. Pretty much every game I was in control. I served a lot better today. … I felt like it was a step up in the right direction today.”

This is just the second time in three attempts that Hewitt has advanced this far at the William H.G. FitzGerald Tennis Center. He lost in the first round in 1998 but won Legg Mason in 2004, defeating Gilles Muller 6-3, 6-4.

Hewitt will play in the quarterfinals today against 11th-seeded Arnaud Clement, who upset fifth seed Dominik Hrbaty 6-3, 6-2.

“He is a tough opponent,” Hewitt said of Clement. “I’ve got a lot of respect for his game … he’s a tough competitor, he’s got good wheels on him and he is extremely fit. If I play the kind of tennis I played today and step it up another notch, then hopefully things will go the right way.”

Hewitt, No. 12 in the world, is 7-1 all-time against No.57 Clement. Hewitt has won their last five meetings, including a 6-3, 6-4, 6-1 victory in the first round of the 2005 Australian Open.

Fish advances

Qualifier Andrea Stoppini’s unexpected run was snapped by Mardy Fish 6-4, 6-1. Stoppini had taken out two Americans, Paul Goldstein and Andre Agassi, before falling to Fish. Those victories were Stoppini’s first career ATP wins.

Fish was too much for Stoppini to handle. Fish broke Stoppini’s serve four times and did not drop a service game en route to his swift victory and second quarterfinal appearance at Legg Mason.

Fish, who is recovering from two wrist operations, has posted a 14-10 record so far and won a tournament in Tallahassee, Fla. The last time Fish played in Washington, he fell in the 2004 quarterfinals to Andy Roddick 1-6, 4-6.

Israelis triumph

The Israeli doubles duo of Andy Ram and Jonathan Erlich was the first team to advance to the semifinals, defeating Ashley Fisher and Tripp Phillips 6-1, 6-4. Ram and Erlich, the No.3 seeds, converted on all three of their break-point opportunities.

The duo has already won two doubles titles this year, at Adelaide and Nottingham, but this is their first stop in the U.S. Open Series. They are currently seventh in the Stanford ATP Doubles Race.

TV coverage set

Television crews arrived last night, preparing for a weekend of full coverage of the Legg Mason. ESPN2 will televise today’s singles quarterfinals and Sunday’s finals live from 3 to 5 p.m. and tomorrow’s semifinals from 2 to 4 p.m.

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