(January 5, 2014) For the first time since the Halle in 2010 Lleyton Hewitt has won a tournament. In a battle of 32-year-olds, Hewitt stunned No. 1 seed Roger Federer 6-1, 4-6, 6-3 to win Brisbane International.
The former No. 1 who have been playing each other on tour since 1999 were playing their 27 match against each.
In the first set, Hewitt came out as the Hewitt of old, breaking Federer three times with Federer hitting 22 unforced errors.
The momentum swung in Federer’s favor in the second set after fighting back to even the match.
The third set was a tale of missed opportunities for the 17-time major champion. Federer failed to take advantage of seven break points within the Australian’s first three service games. Overall Federer was 1 for 10 in break point chances on the day.
The first game of the final set lasted 16 minutes with Hewitt saving 4 break points. In turn, Federer was broken in the fourth game and Hewitt held on to win.
“Playing the best players in the world and finals of tournaments, always it’s exciting,” Hewitt said. “That’s why you still play the game. For me, it was motivation enough just to try to get the win out there and obviously win another title. It’s been a couple of years. So I was just ready for the challenge today.
“I played great obviously at the start, really well. It took Roger a little bit of time to get into the match. Then I just had to fight hard at the start of the third set.
“It means a lot with the calibre of players here as well in this tournament. It’s not an easy tournament to win. I wasn’t one of the top four seeds, so I had to win all five matches to get through. There are pleasing parts and massive positives to take out of it.”
“I didn’t play great today which is a bit unfortunate, but also Lleyton was the best player I played this week,” Federer said. “He made it toughest on me. So I have a clear idea what I need to work on, and I have a clear idea where my mind and body is that… I’m very hungry and eager to attack the Australian Open next week.”
For Hewitt, who is now 7-2 in finals in Australia, it’s his first tournament win on home soil since he captured Sydney in 2005. He raises his record against Federer to 9-18. The victory will move him up in the rankings from No. 60 to around No. 43. The last time Hewitt was in the top 50 was in October 2010.