Andy Roddick stumbled out of the Australian Open in just the second round after being forced to retire with a leg injury. He was in the midst of a match with home favourite Lleyton Hewitt but after continuing on with the injury for nearly two sets, both of which were lost by the American, he called it a day.

Roddick is the 15th seed this year, and was not expected to have much trouble finishing off the former world number one Hewitt, and for a period he seemed to be well on his way to fulfilling this expectation. He took the first set with relative ease, winning it 6-3 in just 39 minutes.

Early in the second set however, he stumbled during a point and appeared to strain something in his leg. The American received treatment at 0-3 down in the second set, but gamely played on for as long as he could. He was clearly struggling, and the second set went to the Australian 6-3, who could see the weakness in his opponent and reacted by making Andy move as much as he could.

The third set was a similar story, again won 6-4 by Hewitt, whose dogged approach and tireless energy were beginning to wear down his injured opposition. At the end of this set, Roddick approached the umpire to confirm that he couldn’t continue, and the match was Hewitt’s. The home crowd must have enjoyed the unlikely result as they saw their champion progress, but would have enjoyed seeing the match won in a more satisfying manner.

In the post match interview, Hewitt admitted he had adapted his strategy to face the injured American but was sorry that the contest had to end prematurely. “Obviously Andy Roddick stretched something and it’s hard to concentrate for the player up the other end,” said Hewitt. “I don’t want to sound cruel but you just try to run him around a bit more. We are out here competing, it’s hard work.”

Hewitt is now one of the favourites, according to the up to date tennis betting odds.