Lleyton Hewitt continued to defy his body and steel his mind on Tuesday, toppling world No.14 Marin Cilic to advance to the third round of the men's singles at Wimbledon. He'll need every ounce of his famous fighting spirit; his next Olympic assignment is Novak Djokovic.
"Fantastic again," Hewitt said after his 6-4, 7-5 triumph. "I came out, played aggressive right from the start, served exceptionally well and took it to him when I needed to."
The tall Croatian was a big scalp for the former world No.1 now ranked 159, but he knows how big the step up will be against Djokovic. "It doesn't get much tougher. I don't have a lot to lose though, I can go out and enjoy it.
"He hasn't played too many bad matches. I've got to play my game, take it to him and try to be aggressive as much as I can."
That approach served him well against Cilic, in a win Hewitt said was "massive" for his confidence. "I didn't do too much wrong out there today. He's a tough guy to play against — he pushes the best guys in the world on any kind of surface. I'm over the moon with the win."
Before facing down Djokovic he will be back in action in the mixed doubles with Sam Stosur, who said she would relish the chance to reignite an Olympic campaign that was derailed by a first-round singles loss.
"I have played quite a few mixed tournaments, but not for a little while, and Lleyton and I played together at the Hopman Cup a few years ago," Stosur said. "Unfortunately our record is not too good, so we will definitely be looking to turn that around this time."
Hewitt professed to feeling physically "really good, great" after his dismissal of Cilic, which could not be said for Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Milso Raonic, whose match on court one went for so long it broke Olympic tennis records.
Tsonga, the French fifth seed, finally won 6-3, 3-6, 25-23 after three hours and 57 minutes. The match was the longest in terms of games, and the last set the longest by the clock, in Olympic history.