Emotional farewell as Hewitt goes down fighting

The so-called Big Four - Federer, Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray - have become dominant, while Hewitt has struggled with hip and foot injuries, and has increasingly reduced his workload to the point where the Grand Slam tournaments and the majors were his only real focus.

Hewitt closed the curtain on a career that featured two Grand Slam titles, the world No. 1 ranking and a staggering 20 consecutive Australian Open appearances.

"I came out and gave everything I could as always - I can be proud that all throughout my career I have given 100%", he said. I have had a fantastic last month on tour - playing in almost every major city in this country. They will have to deal with Hewitt's Davis Cup team this March, in Australia.

Meanwhile, a recent article published by Buzzfeed and the BBC claims that there has been match-fixing at the highest levels of tennis, although the investigation did not reveal any specific names.

Andy Murray maintained his flawless record against Australian opponents when he defeated Sam Groth 6-0, 6-4, 6-1 Thursday, his 17th consecutive win against players from Down Under. He's an idol for me and an unbelievable player. Ferrer jumped to leads in each of the three sets, though Hewitt broke in the sixth game of the third, launching the crowd to its feet.

A second grand slam triumph came at Wimbledon the following year, and Hewitt's defeat of David Nalbandian inspired baseline hustlers that they could win the grasscourt tournament long the preserve of serve-and-volley specialists.

Was objectivity maintained? It is hard to say, but Hewitt - accompanied by his three children at his side - gave an articulate and upbeat description of his last bow as a singles player. At the end of two hours, 33 minutes - or 20 years, if you prefer - Lleyton Hewitt thanked the devoted crowd at Rod Laver Arena, picked up his bags and walked off the court.

Medical staff attend to an injured patron on a stairwell on Rod Laver Arena at the Australian Open tennis championships in Melbourne, Australia, Thursday, Jan. 21, 2016.

But Hewitt was broken again in the next game as tempers boiled over, and he was given the warning for an audible obscenity and then had words with the chair umpire at the changeover.

"(It came) obviously at a frustrating time", he said.

Asked if any particular moment stood out in his successful career, he added: "The Davis Cup semi-final, but also the [2003] final against Spain where I beat Juan Carlos Ferrero in five sets on day one".

"I'm so fortunate to have had this opportunity for 20 years".

"I was really happy I happened to win that service game, because didn't have much warmup and had to start serving straight up", she said. He was a magnificent Davis Cup warrior who delivered the trophy to Australia twice, in 1999 and 2003.

The 2014 champion and fourth seed Stanislas Wawrinka swatted away Czech veteran Radek Stepanek in the twilight, while women's third seed Garbine Muguruza and two-times champion Victoria Azarenka also charged into the third round.

Whilst much of Australia was caught up in the Hewitt hysteria, John Millman was locked in a gripping five-set battle with world No. 38 Gilles Muller on Show Court 3.

Australia's Bernard Tomic slugged it out to beat Simone Bolelli of Italy 6-4, 6-2, 6-7 (5-7), 7-5.

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