|Australia's Lleyton Hewitt celebrates after winning a point against Slovenia's Blaz Kavcic during their men's singles first round tennis match of the French Open tennis tournament at the Roland Garros stadium. (Jacques Demarthon/AFP)
NEWPORT, R.I. - Former world No. 1 star Lleyton Hewitt was an easy quarterfinal winner Thursday at the Hall of Fame Tennis Championships.
The wild card Aussie reached his first semifinal in more than two years by humbling Israeli veteran Dudi Sela 6-4, 6-3 in 78 minutes on the grass courts at the International Tennis Hall of Fame.
The two-time major champion Hewitt's semifinal opponent on Saturday will be former Newport titlist Rajeev Ram of the United States. The surprise 2009 champ Ram upset second-seeded Japanese Kei Nishikori 7-6 (8-6), 6-3 on Thursday.
The second round concluded Thursday when German qualifier Benjamin Becker dispatched third-seeded Canadian slugger Milos Raonic 6-3, 6-3 and sixth- seeded Ryan Harrison handled fellow American Jesse Levine 6-3, 6-4.
Friday's quarterfinals will pit top-seeded and defending champion John Isner against South African Izak Van der Merwe and Harrison versus Becker. The 6- foot-9 American slugger Isner beat Belgian Olivier Rochus in last year's Newport finale.