World No. 41 Lleyton Hewitt has lifted both the singles and doubles titles at the Hall of Fame Champions grass-court event in Newport, Rhode Island.
Hewitt took on Croatian Ivo Karlovic in the singles final on Sunday evening, when his trademark resilience proved to be the difference as both men battled gusty winds.
After stumbling at the last hurdle two years running, the Australian finally laid his Newport ghosts to rest with a hard-fought 6-3 6-7 (4) 7-6 (3) victory in two-and-a half hours.
Not smooth sailing
It was not all smooth sailing though, and the match looked as if it could slip away from Hewitt when he blundered the chance to serve for the trophy in the second set before surrendering two match points on Karlovic’s serve.
Hewitt, who had not dropped a set all-tournament before the final, recovered to clinch the third set, in which he won five of the last six points in a fluctuating tie-breaker.
With talk of retirement looming, the 33-year-old was relieved to banish memories of losing to American John Isner and Frenchman Nicolas Mahut in the two previous championship showdowns at Newport.
"It was obviously very tough the last couple of years," Hewitt said.
"Last year I served for it as well. That just makes it more gratifying."
Hewitt returned to centre court later on Sunday alongside compatriot Chris Guccione to contest the men’s doubles final against Jonathan Erlich and Rajeev Ram.
The Australian duo claimed their debut title together with a dominant performance over their fellow unseeded opponents, emerging comfortable 7-5 6-4 winners.
Both Hewitt and ‘Gooch’ looked confident on-serve, chalking up 73% accuracy and 77% first-serve points won.
Hewitt’s clean sweep at the Hall of Fame Championships registered his 30th career ATP singles title and his second of the year, adding to his win at the Brisbane International on home soil in January.
His victory partnering Guccione was his first ATP doubles title since 2000, when he lifted the US Open crown with Max Mirnyi as the youngest male Grand Slam winner of all-time at 19-years-old and six months.
The 2001 US Open and 2002 Wimbledon champion has now joined four other players who have clinched both the singles and doubles trophies at Newport. Nicolas Mahut in 2013, Ram in 2009, Dan Goldie in 1987 and John Fitzgerald in 1983 are the others.
Hewitt is also currently among four active players with more than 30 singles titles to their names, an illustrious list that included Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic.
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