Australian No. 1 Lleyton Hewitt continued his winning ways this week in Kooyong, where he picked up a straight sets victory over British No. 1 Andy Murray. The two met in an exhibition match following the conclusion of the semi-final contest between Gilles Simon and Richard Gasquet, which Hewitt won 7-6(7-1), 7-6 (7-4).
While the match was not a part of the professional tour, it was a highly entertaining affair that featured an array of breaks and some fantastic shotmaking from both players. Hewitt appeared the fresher of the two throughout the match and was certainly the stronger nearer the end of the match. While Murray faded considerably after the opening set, his serve was considerably better than last week in Dubai, which is an upside ahead of the season-opening Grand Slam next week in Melbourne.
Hewitt is coming off an outstanding week in Brisbane, where he defeated Feliciano Lopez and Kei Nishikori before toppling 17-time Grand Slam champion Roger Federer in the final. It was his first title win since 2010 and his first title in Australia since 2005. The win also boosted his ranking back into the top 50 in the world, where he has not overtaken 21-year-old Bernard Tomic as the top ranked Australian on the tour.
The fourth-ranked Murray has only played five matches since returning from his back surgery layoff, which kept him of the tour since September; three of the matches were exhibition matches as he has lost in the second round in Doha to Florian Mayer.
Murray is scheduled to meet world no. 112 Go Soeda in the opening round of the Australian Open, while Hewitt has drawn Italy’s Andreas Seppi for his first round encounter.