Hewitt stuns Federer in Brisbane final

Top seed Roger Federer and Australian Lleyton Hewitt added another chapter to their rivalry at the final of the Brisbane International on Sunday. Hewitt topped Federer 6-1, 4-6, 6-3, earning his his first ATP World Tour title since the 2010 event in Halle.

"Congratulations Lleyton on a great week and a great finals today, way to tough it out. You guys make it very special for all of us, thanks very much for coming out and giving it everything you got," said Federer.

"Playing the best players in the world and finals of tournaments, always it's exciting. That's why you still play the game," said Hewitt. "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 years. So I was just ready for the challenge today.

"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."

Hewitt took the first set 6-1 over Federer, breaking the Swiss three times in 27 minutes while the Swiss superstar committed 22 errors.

Federer fought back in the second set, securing the lone break in the ninth game. The 17-time Grand Slam champion held his serve to even the match at one set all in 49 minutes.

The tenacious Hewitt, playing in his 45th career final and his first on home soil since the 2005 Australian Open, bounced back in the third set, breaking Federer in the fourth game to go 3-1. Hewitt saved all seven break points he faced in that set, leading to him hoisting his 29th tour-level title in two hours and seven minutes.

"I played great obviously at the start, really well," said Hewitt. "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."

Federer’s serve had not been broken during the tournament so far - the 32 year old had saved all eight break points that he encountered until Sunday’s final.

"I feel pretty good, especially having played all the matches I have here now with the doubles in particular," said Federer.

"I didn't play great today which is a bit unfortunate. But also Lleyton was the best player I played this week. 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 at. I'm very hungry and eager to attack the Australian Open next week."

"It's a good start to the season, I got a busy year ahead of me with a baby coming. I hope I can come back next year," said Federer.

The final topped off a record week with 105,730 fans attending the event, breaking the previous record of 92,802 in 2012.

"Thanks to Roger, because the reason they read out the numbers and the records were broken this year was mainly because of Roger," said Hewitt.

Both players were vying for a maiden Brisbane title during this 27th meeting in their Head to Head Series. Federer entered Sunday’s final leading 18-8 and had lost just once in his last 17 meetings against Hewitt. Their last meeting on Australian soil came in 2011 when Australia entertained Switzerland on grass in the Davis Cup World Group play-off, with Federer prevailing in four sets.

Sunday’s victory marked Hewitt’s first win over a Top 10 opponent in an ATP World Tour Final since facing Federer in the 2010 Halle tournament. This was also the 32 year old’s first appearance in a final on home soil since the 2005 Australian Open.

Date: 5th January 2014, Source: ATP and Brisbane


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