He fell short of the victory he craved, but Lleyton Hewitt claims his confidence was the big winner in his effort to push world No.2 Novak Djokovic all the way at the London Olympics.
After shocking the world No.2 to take the first set at Wimbledon, Hewitt appeared on track for his first win over Djokovic in six years.
But he was unable to go on with the job - the Serb a 4-6 7-5 6-1 winner as he ran away with the decisive third set to set up a quarter-final clash against fifth seeded Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.
While disappointed, Hewitt - who was two points away from forcing a second set tie-break - said he could take a lot out of his strong performance as he looks to work his way back to full fitness following foot surgery earlier this year.
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"When I played him in the Australian Open I was in a lot of pain the whole match and I was able to find something extra," Hewitt said.
"Then you go through a whole lot of surgery, you can't expect to pick up your ball striking where you left it off - it's always going to take time.
"In terms of that, the last couple of weeks have given me a lot of confidence.
"I threw everything I had at him but in the end he was too good.
"I played really good tennis today, I took it to him."
Hewitt's London Olympics aren't over however, the 31-year-old to pair up with Sam Stosur in the mixed doubles later on Wednesday when they take on Polish fourth seeds Agnieszka Radwanska and Marcin Matkowski.