Lleyton Hewitt is through to the last eight in the US Open. It’s quite an achievement, given he limped into the event a week and a half ago, citing tendonitis and other ailments within his knee before he’d played a match.

Now he’s won four and will face the reborn Andy Roddick in the quarter-finals, for the right to take on either second seed Rafael Nadal or unseeded Russian Mikhail Youzhny, who is on the run of his life, having won through to the last eight for the loss of a whole three games against sixth seed Tommy Robredo.

Hewitt didn’t have any easy time of it overnight. He finally got home in five sets against French 25th seed Richard Gasquet, the Aussie having let slip a two sets to love lead. Hewitt eventually won 6-4, 6-4, 4-6, 3-6, 6-3.

So how did the knee enjoy that hardcourt adventure? Probably not much, and Roddick promises to offer a whole new level of pain.

The big-serving American has finally emerged from his long form slump in a big way. Remember Benjamin Becker, who finally ended the career of Andre Agassi a couple of days ago? He lost 6-3, 6-4, 6-3 to the A-Rod, which supports suggestions that Andre was lucky to lose when he did, in a competitive match against the German 112th-ranked player.

Had Andre staggered into last night’s match against Roddick, it might have been a very ugly send-off.

This continues to be an extremely watchable US Open. In the men’s draw, Federer, Nadal, Roddick and Hewitt are all still in contention, plus some fun wildcard chances like an in-form Marat Safin, British hope Andy Murray and US local hero James Blake.

The top three women, Amelie Mauresmo, Justine Henin-Hardenne and Maria Sharapova, have made the quarters, although the first woman through to the semis is 19th seed Jelena Jankovic who wiped fourth seed Elena Dementieva overnight, 6-2, 6-1.

Peter Fray

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