Unseeded Lleyton Hewitt won the battle of two former top ranked players as he defeated Roger Federer in three sets to secure his maiden Brisbane International title and improve the head-to-head record against the legendary Swiss which now stands at 9-18.
While Roger’s serve had remained intact up until the final clash, he was broken three times in the first set today. The home crowd favorite got off to a flying start by creating a triple break point in the very first game and obtaining a double break cushion by 4-1. He lost just one point on his serve in the opener to close it out in twenty-four minutes after the top seed dropped yet another service game.
FedEx upped his performance in the following set which has proved to be far more competitive with both of the contestants holding on to their serves until 4-4. The Swiss Maestro then came up with a couple of break points in the ninth game to finally steal the local hero’s service game and squared things up by holding to love next.
Riding the wave of momentum Federer kept putting pressure on the opponent’s serve in the opening stages of the decider, but the Australian weathered the storm by averting five break point threats before stunning the World no. 6 in the fourth game. Roger did not drop his head and stayed determined to peg back, yet another couple of break point chances went begging which allowed Hewitt to serve for the championship. He made no mistakes and sealed a prestigious victory by winning 6-1, 4-6, 6-3 to lift his first tour-level trophy after conquering Halle in 2010 and the 29th in total.
While the Swiss prevailed in the aces department (13-4), Hewitt was able to maintain an 80% first serve points won efficiency throughout the encounter and also helped his cause by rescuing nine out of ten break points.
“It means a lot with the calibre of players here as well in this tournament,” Hewitt stated after the triumph.” 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,” said Federer. “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.”