US National Indoor Tennis Championships: Lleyton Hewitt defeats Marcos Baghdatis
Lleyton Hewitt recovered from a slow start to knock Marcos Baghdatis out of the US National Indoor Tennis Championships.
Last Updated: 15/02/14 8:38pm
The Australian third seed, who won his 29th career title in Brisbane this year, settled down after losing the opening set in quick-time.
The 32-year-old faced only one more break point in the final two sets.
That came in the first game of the second set, and the former No 1 took advantage of Baghdatis double-faulting four times and struggling with his serve to bagel him in the decider.
"Marcos, he's always a tough competitor, and this type of court suits his style as well," said Hewitt, who next faces American Michael Russell on Friday.
"He hits the ball hard and flat out there, and if he's making a lot of first serves it's not easy.
"I just sort of bided my time out there and took my chances. Had to fight hard early in the second set to hold serve and got a bit of momentum after that."
Big-serving Ivo Karlovic cracked 19 aces past Feliciano Lopez as he knocked the second seed out of the tournament.
The 34-year-old Croatian was at his punishing best, losing only six points off his serve in a 7-6 (7/2) 6-4 victory over Spaniard Lopez that earned him a quarter-final shot at American Jack Sock.
There was better news for another American qualifier as Alex Kuznetsov upset eighth-seeded Kazakh Mikhail Kukushkin to reach his first ATP quarter-final.
Kuznetsov, who turned pro in 2004 and just turned 27, finally won the seventh match of his career in his 38th match.
Despite losing the first set he claimed the second comfortably before snatching the third on a tie-break to seal a 2-6 6-3 7-6 (7/1) victory.
He will play fourth-seeded Lu Yen-Hsun of Taiwan, who fought back from a set down to against Denis Kudla to reach the last eight.
Home qualifier Kudla took the first set of their last-16 contest but the world No 54 from Chinese Taipei came storming back to take the match 3-6 6-3 6-3.