Aussies progress at Wimbledon

Hewitt, the 2002 men’s champion and 15th seed this year, overcame a shaky start to power to a 5-7 6-0 6-2 6-2 win over Argentine Maximo Gonzalez, while Luczak savoured a memorable 2-6 7-6 (7-3) 6-2 7-5 triumph over Spanish 30th seed Tommy Robredo.


Alicia Molik and Jarmila Groth also safely progressed, but qualifiers Bernard Tomic and Carsten Ball bombed out on the opening day of the championships.

Like top seed and six-time champion Roger Federer – who recovered from the brink against Colombian Alejandro Falla – Hewitt was below his best but still proved classy enough to book a date on Wednesday with Kazakhstan’s Evgeny Korolev.

At 30, Luczak was making his long-awaited debut at the All England Club and seized the moment.

“I’m pumped. Thirty years in the making, I’ve been waiting for this for a long time,” he said.

Luczak’s victory was even sweeter – and more deserving – considering the honourable Players’ Council representative spurned a guaranteed STG10,000 ($A16,800) cheque two years ago when he opted against taking his place in the main draw while less than fully fit.

“I had a hip issue at that time and I really couldn’t play. It would have only been to collect the money, so I’m happy I did the right thing,” Luczak said.

“I said if I want to play Wimby, I want to do it when I’m fully fit, so it makes this day even more special.”

Molik slammed down 14 aces to cast aside Slovakian Zuzana Kucova 6-2 7-5 in her first singles match back at Wimbledon since 2007.

“I’ve prepared so much and I feel so well,” Molik said.

“I’ve spent the last four weeks – seeing I lost early at the French – hitting on hardcourt, synthetic grass, prior to coming on to the grass in Birmingham, Eastbourne.

“So my preparation could not have been better, so I was just ready, busting to get out there and finally play an actual match.”

Groth, who reached the last 16 earlier this month at the French Open, continued her fine grand-slam form with a 6-4 6-3 win over Czech Renata Voracova.

Fellow Australians Samantha Stosur, Casey Dellacqua and Anastasia Rodionova all open their campaigns today.