Lleyton Hewitt takes out Hall of Fame crown

Last updated 12:51 14/07/2014

Relevant offers

Tennis

Wimbledon 2016: Marcus Willis loss to Roger Federer 'not my standard Wednesday' Wimbledon 2016: Australian Bernard Tomic into second round Wimbledon 2016: Roger Federer ends world No 772 Marcus Willis' fairytale Wimbledon 2016: Champion Novak Djokovic sweeps past Adrian Mannarino Wimbledon 2016: Coachless Tomas Berdych battles to four-set win in rain-hit match Wimbledon 2016: Agnieszka Radwanska wins quick match under centre court roof Kevin Anderson reveals online death threats after loss at Wimbledon Caroline Wozniacki dumped from Wimbledon by Svetlana Kuznetsova Stanislas Wawrinka overcomes resistance from teen Taylor Fritz at Wimbledon Wimbledon 2016: Nick Kyrgios downs Czech veteran Radek Stepanek in opener

Grand Slam winner Lleyton Hewitt took advantage of his second chances to win a title on his third try at the Hall of Fame Tennis Championships.

Playing in his third consecutive final on Newport's grass courts, the No 3-seeded Australian, beat second seed Ivo Karlovic of Croatia 6-3, 6-7 (4), 7-6 (3).

"Obviously relief to have finally won here," Hewitt said. "It's an important tournament, not a grand slam by no means, but the last three years I've come here and put myself on the line and come awfully close the last two years. It was nice to get rewarded today."

The 33-year old Hewitt captured his 30th career ATP title in a match that lasted for two and a half hours and earned the victory mainly because of his success on second serves from Karlovic, winning 36 of 54.

"When he's making a lot of serves, it's tough to get into his service game," Hewitt said. "I think my passing shots and returns are probably as good as anyone out there. In the third set tiebreaker, I returned really well."

After winning the first set fairly easily, breaking in the third game to take control, Hewitt found himself in a tough second set.

Like last year, when he had a chance to serve out the match for the title, Hewitt was broken in the second set. Hewitt led 5-3 and was up 30-15 in the ninth game before Karlovic broke.

"Even though I didn't play my best, I was fighting," said Karlovic, who had 26 aces in the match. "I was trying to turn it around and I was able to do it in the third set."

Neither player broke in the final set before the match-deciding tiebreaker.

Hewitt broke on the first, fifth and ninth points of the tiebreaker to take control, hitting a backhanded cross just inside the line to go up, 6-3.

"To go up 6-3, I hit a really good return pass," he said. "You've got to do that against him."

Hewitt then closed it out on serve when the 35-year old Karlovic hit a forehand return long. He dropped to both knees when it ended, raising his fists to the sky before being joined by his three young children.

"Things went well for me, and today was actually special for me to have them there, to be able to enjoy it and remember it," he said.

Hewitt also was part of a doubles' title with fellow countryman Chris Guccione later. The pair beat Jonathan Erlich of Israel and American Rajeev Ram, 7-5, 6-4.

Karlovic played in his fourth final this season after he missed a large part of 2013 with an illness. He was hospitalised for two weeks before returning to the tour in Newport last year.

Hewitt earned US$81,500 for the title and Karlovic $42,900 for being the runner-up. It was the oldest final matchup in the 38-year history of the tournament.

Ad Feedback

Hewitt lost to Nicolas Mahut of France in last year's final and to American John Isner in 2012.

- AP

Special offers

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content