20for20 #19: 2011 1R, Nalbandian vs Hewitt

In a classic match largely forgotten to history, David Nalbandian and Lleyton Hewitt battled it out for nearly 5 hours in a first-round clash that would give Gonzales and Pasarell a run for their money. Both players seemed to turn back the clock in a vintage exhibition of talent, shotmaking, grit and passion.
In a contest full of twists and turns, Hewitt seemed on the verge of victory in the 4th set before Nalbandian fought back to stay alive in a tiebreak. As the match reached a crescendo late in the 5th set, Hewitt earned another match point to the delight of the Melbourne crowd, but Nalbandian would showcase his immaculate talent once again with a "see it to believe it" half-volley drop shot. He broke Hewitt soon after to close out the match with a perfectly placed lob, 3-6 6-4 3-6 7-6(1) 9-7.



I agree that it might be the greatest 1R in history. Considering the history of Hewitt vs South America it must've been especially sweet for Nalbandian. He retired in the next round, which would've annoyed Lleyton even more.


This was a very good match . Remember the fight both players showed .

Contrast this with players like Zverev and Thiem laying eggs in 5th sets. LOL at this gen.