Australia’s Lleyton Hewitt delighted home fans when he battled to a gutsy 6-1, 4-6, 6-3 victory over Swiss top seed Roger Federer in the Brisbane International tennis tournament final on Sunday.
Federer, who led Hewitt 18-8 in meetings between the former world number ones going into the match, had 22 unforced errors on his way to being broken three times in the first set after reaching the final without dropping serve once.
The world number six improved markedly in the second set but a failure to convert seven break opportunities in the third proved costly, as the Australian held on for victory in two hours and seven minutes.
It was Hewitt’s first ATP title since Halle in 2010 when he also beat Federer in the final.
“It’s been a while since I won a trophy,” said Hewitt.
“For me to get it from you really means a lot,” Hewitt said. “I don’t need to congratulate Roger, he gets congratulated every week when he’s up here for finals.”
The match was Federer’s last competitive outing before the Australian Open, where the Swiss will be seeking to add to his record 17 grand slam titles with a fifth Melbourne crown.
Reuters, Associated Press