World no. 127 Nicolas Mahut won twice in Newport this Sunday as the rain-delayed semi-final matches were played just a few hours prior to the final. The Frenchman thus turned around the clash against Lleyton Hewitt to seize his second career title after conquering ‘s-Hertogenbosch several weeks ago. Both of the competitors have appeared in the Newport final before: the Australian lost to Isner last year, whilst Mahut suffered a straight sets defeat against Fabrice Santoro in 2007.
In a tight first set the unseeded Frenchman prevented Hewitt confirming the fifth game break before giving away another serve at 5-5 – this time the former number one took advantage of the opportunity and went one nil ahead after tucking away the first set point. Mahut was hanging by a thread in the second set as the two-time Grand Slam winner broke in the seventh game and was serving for the tournament at 5-3, but the in-form Frenchman stayed mentally strong and ultimately squared things up after producing a four straight games run. The decider was no less dramatic – the Australian broke the deadlock to move 3-1 ahead, yet Mahut bounced back again and pulled off another great run by clinching all of the remaining five games. He finished the match on a high note by wrapping it up with a hold to love. The Frenchman will move into the top 100 after his 5-7, 7-5, 6-3 final victory at Hall of Fame Championship 2013 – the clash lasted two hours and twenty minutes.
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