Sport Tennis Rafter and Hewitt bow out in doubles

Rafter and Hewitt bow out in doubles

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Pat Rafter’s comeback to top level tennis was a short one, with the 41-year-old and partner Lleyton Hewitt bundled out in the first round of the men’s doubles.

The Australian veterans fell 6-4 7-5 to American Eric Butorac and South African Raven Klaasen.

Rafter retired from the singles tour 11 years ago and it’s been nine years since he managed his last doubles match.

Cheered by a large crowd at Hisense Arena, he served well, holding in each set.

The former US Open champion didn’t look to have lost much of his touch at the net but admitted he struggled with his service return.

“I didn’t want to make an idiot of myself and I thought I got through it OK,” Davis Cup captain Rafter said.

Hewitt lost a five-set thriller in his opening-round singles match against Italian Andreas Seppi.