Brisbane International: Lleyton Hewitt rolls back years to stun Roger Federer and take title

 

Melbourne

There is probably as much chance of a home-grown male singles champion here at the Australian Open later this month as there is of Lleyton Hewitt arriving at Melbourne Park in one of the city trams, but at least the Adelaide-born former world No 1 will offer the prospect of some excitement for locals when the year’s first Grand Slam tournament begins in seven days’ time.

Hewitt has been dogged by injuries in recent years, but the 32-year-old proved he can still be a threat to the very best when he beat Roger Federer 6-1, 4-6, 6-3 to claim the Brisbane International title on Sunday. It was Hewitt’s first title since he beat Federer in the final at Halle four years ago.

“If I play like I did this week I have a chance of doing damage to some serious players,” Hewitt said as he looked forward to the Australian Open. “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.”

Australia has not had a home male singles champion here since Mark Edmondson in 1976, though Hewitt went close nine years ago, when he lost to Marat Safin in the final. There have been hopes that Bernard Tomic might restore Australian glory, but the  21-year-old has yet to realise fully the potential he showed as world junior No 1.

Hewitt, meanwhile, has made a fine recovery from the injuries which had looked likely to end his career. The world No 60 has had five operations, most recently on a foot problem in 2012, yet has kept bouncing back. Remarkably, he is set to reclaim the Australian No 1 position from Tomic, who is expected to fall in today’s updated world ranking list from his current position at No 51. “I think the most pleasing thing is what I’ve had to come through and the tough times in terms of surgery,” Hewitt said. “Before the last surgery I made no secret. There were no guarantees I would be able to play again.”

The other men’s champions in the first week of the season were Rafael Nadal and Stanislas Wawrinka. Nadal beat Gaël Monfils 6-1, 6-7,  6-2 in the Qatar ExxonMobil Open final. Wawrinka won in Chennai, beating France’s Edouard Roger-Vasselin 7-5, 6-2 in the final.

Serena Williams proved she has no intention of relinquishing her hold on the No 1 ranking when she followed up her win over Maria Sharapova by beating Victoria Azarenka 6-4, 7-5 in the final in Brisbane. Williams’ sister, Venus, was beaten 6-2, 5-7, 6-4 by Ana Ivanovic in the final in Auckland. Last night, Venus pulled out of this week’s Hobart International.

Meanwhile, Andy Murray will this summer attempt to become the fifth player in the Open era to win the Queen’s Club title for a fourth time. The British No 1 yesterday confirmed he will defend his title at the Aegon Championships, which begin on 9 June.

Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

How a costume drama became a Sunday night staple
Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers as he pushes Tories on housing

Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers

Labour leader pushes Tories on housing
Aviation history is littered with grand failures - from the the Bristol Brabazon to Concorde - but what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?

Aviation history is littered with grand failures

But what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?
Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of Soviet-style 'iron curtains' right across Europe

Fortress Europe?

Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of 'iron curtains'
Never mind what you're wearing, it's what you're reclining on

Never mind what you're wearing

It's what you're reclining on that matters
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence