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Rafael Nadal attempts to put the disappointment of Indian Wells behind him against Lleyton Hewitt in the second round of the Sony Open in Miami on Saturday night.
The world number one is looking to bounce back after an early exit at last week’s BNP Paribas Open, falling at the third-round stage to Alexandr Dolgopolov.
Hewitt, who has continued to roll back the years with his great performances so far this season, has beaten the Spaniard on four previous occasions – three on outdoor hard courts – although the last time was back in 2006.
The 33-year-old Aussie set up the contest after defeating Robin Haase in the first round, recovering from a slow start to earn a 3-6 6-3 6-3 win.
Hewitt denies he is on his final lap of the ATP circuit and results like beating Roger Federer in Brisbane earlier this year will strengthen his belief that retirement is some way off.
But he is likely to find Nadal a tougher nut to crack with the Spaniard having won their last five clashes dating back to 2007, albeit four of them on clay.
Nadal, 27, was in reflective mood after his defeat at Indian Wells and suggested he may not be able to dominate the men’s scene in the same manner as he has done in the past.
He said: “I like to win, but I (can’t) win forever. I have to know that and everybody has to know that.”
Nadal is 1.32 to cover a 1.5 set handicap against the Aussie with Hewitt available to back at 3.08 to take at least a set from the Spaniard at Crondon Park.