At the Brisbane International final today, Lleyton Hewitt's dream week finished off with a shock win over favourite Rodger Federer. In the first set Federer got off to a terrible start, producing 22 unforced errors compared to the Aussies 3. This slow start enable Hewitt to surge to a 6-1 lead in only 27 minutes. The last time Hewitt took a 61 set off Federer was back in 2003! Luckily for Federer and the crowd watching, the former number 1 regained rhythm and form to battle along in the second set to break Hewitt at 4-4 which lead to Federer squaring the match one set all. However it was not to be Federer's day and Hewitt quickly Opened up a 3-1 lead in the third set which he never looked back on, eventually winning the match. The final score was 61 46 63. After taking his first title since 2010 (first title in his home country since 2005) Hewitt said:-
“It’s been a couple years. So I was just ready for the challenge today. Played great obviously at the start, really well. Took Roger little bit of time to get into the match,”
“For the first set I was seeing the ball like a football.Didn’t really matter where he served, I was on it.I felt great out there.
“Roger obviously picked up his game and cut out a lot more of those cheap errors, and then he started serving a lot better towards the end of the second set, and especially the start of the third set.“Then I just had to fight hard at the start of the third set.”
Meanwhile yesterday Rafael Nadal gain title number 61 following a three set win over Frenchman Gael Monfils at the Qatar ExxonMobil Open. Monfils for some reason always produces good form in Qatar and even beat Nadal twice in the past so it was inevitable that the match wasn't going to be so straight forward. In the first set Nadal raced to a 61 lead after only 23 minutes (he beat Hewitt with that one). On the other hand in the second set Monfils hold his ground forcing it to a tiebreak. In the tiebreak Monfils charge to a dominating 6-3 lead however it still require him to use four set points to take the set with an ace. On course for a close third set, Nadal put a downer on Minfils second set win by roaring to a commanding 4-1 lead. This lead was just too much for Monfils to come back on and Nadal went on to win with the final score being 61 67 62. Quoting Reuters Nadal said after the match:-
“Every victory is important and the title today means a lot to me. It is the first time in my career that I am able to start the season with a victory. That's always important,"
Nadal and Federer are not playing any tournaments this week in the build up to next weeks Australian Open however Hewitt will be playing in the AAMI Classic exhibition.