Former world number one Lleyton Hewitt returned to the tennis scene in style as he recorded a three set victory over Roger Federer to win his first title in over three years at the Brisbane International.
Hewitt broke Federer's serve three times to win the first set 6-1, before the Swiss fought back to win the second set 4-6. However, Hewitt held his nerve and serve, saving seven break points as he won the deciding final set 6-3.
With the Australian Open starting in eight days, former finalist Hewitt appeared in confident mood, claiming: "If I play like I did this week I have a chance of doing damage to some serious players.
“It just gives me a lot more confidence going out there believing in how well I’m hitting the ball at the moment and that I can match up with the best guys. Obviously it’s a different stage, winning three sets out of five against those guys, but that’s why I still play the game.”
Hewitt has suffered something of a fall from grace since the 2005 season, only advancing beyond the fourth round of a major on one occasion. His last title win came in June 2010, as he beat Federer to win the Gerry Weber Championships in Germany.
He has constantly struggled with injuries, to the extent that it seemed likely that we would have to retire from tennis. However, Hewitt now wants to catch up on last time and hopes his injuries worries are over.
“I think the most pleasing thing is what I’ve had to come through and the tough times in terms of surgery," Hewitt continued.
“Before the last surgery I made no secret. There were no guarantees I would be able to play again.”
However, this win brings Hewitt back into the top fifty of the world and he will be hoping that this will spur him on to success in the next Australian Open Championships.
Federer himself did not seem to worried by this loss, as he said in the post-match interview: "I have a clear idea what I need to work on and I have a clear idea where my mind and body is at."
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