Newspaper article The Observer (Gladstone, Australia)

Sport Briefs

Newspaper article The Observer (Gladstone, Australia)

Sport Briefs

Article excerpt

Comeback halted

LLEYTON Hewitt suffered his first setback since returning from a hip injury, losing to American James Blake in straight sets at the Hopman Cup.

Hewitt, who posted tough three-set wins over Nicolas Kiefer and Dominik Hrbaty earlier in the tournament, was outgunned by a classy Blake 6-2 6-2 in just 60 minutes.

Hewitt, whose world ranking slipped to 70 after spending almost five months out of the game, appeared sluggish in his third singles match of the tournament and was troubled by an ear complaint.

Hughes out but not ruled out

PHILLIP Hughes fans can relax; national chairman of selectors Andrew Hilditch is also a believer.

Hilditch has handed the prolific NSW opener a ringing endorsement in a sign the selectors are seriously considering the 20-year-old for higher honours in the not too distant future.

"As far as Phillip Hughes is concerned, he is a very fine player and showing great potential," said Hilditch.

Termoil hits Poms

ENGLAND cricket chiefs scrambled to restore order ahead of the Ashes series after Kevin Pietersen quit as captain and coach Peter Moores was sacked amid a high-profile spat on Wednesday. …

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