The two veterans took to court for a Round 1 match on Stadium court, with Hewitt awarded a wild card in the tournament.
They both served particularly well and after an hour and 5’ the score-board read 4-4, following Hewitt’s hold after nearly 8’.
Stepanek did not have much to do as Hewitt’s temporary loss of focus at a crucial stage of the set proved costly. Hewitt’s backhand saw the net at 15-15, and then in the following point, an error off his forehand interrupted play. Evidently, Stepanek had 2 set points.
Stepanek won the first set 7-5 as a result of another error off the backhand from the former Australian number 1.
When Hewitt failed to hold his opening game of the second set after a nail-biting 37 shot rally at 30-40, his problems continued.
Stepanek consolidated the early break of serve to lead 3-0. Hewitt was unable to recover in the second set.
He went down a double break of serve in the 6th game. Stepanek beat Hewitt for the first time in his career 7-5 6-1 to advance through to the second round.
They each registered the same number of unforced errors on the day, 22 – although Stepanek had 1 more in total in the winners department, compared to Hewitt’s 11 winners.