Lethal Hewitt goes straight into the final

Giant Swede has no answers as in-form Aussie marches on without dropping a set

Lleyton Hewitt advanced to the US Open men's singles final yesterday without dropping a set in his six matches. The Australian fourth seed was too experienced and accomplished for his semi-final opponent, Joachim Johansson, defeating the 6ft 6in Swede, 6-4 7-5 6-3.

Hewitt worked patiently through the match, absorbing his opponent's big serve, anticipating the aggressive forehand and using his nifty footwork to stay out of trouble.

Hewitt put pressure on Johansson's serve in the second game, the Swede having to save a break point at 30-40 after hitting a forehand long. Johansson rescued himself with a service winner. Hewitt made errors from 40-0 in the fifth game, and, at deuce, Johansson drove a forehand down the line to create an opportunity to take the lead. This time Hewitt's serve came to the rescue.

Johansson was taken to deuce in the sixth game, but neither player prospered until the Swede served to stay in the set at 4-5. Hewitt took the opening three points of the game by virtue of the sharpness of his returns. The Australian netted a backhand on the first set-point. Johansson hit a smash wide on the second.

The second set went with serve until Johansson, serving at 5-6 to try and force a tie-break, was unsettled by a Hewitt volley, at 15-15, and was unable to make a steady response, missing a forehand at 15-40. Hewitt, fairly restrained until that point, let out a roar of "Come on!" and pumped an arm. His sister, Jaslyn, who is Johansson's girlfriend, contrived an air of circumspection as she watched from a neutral guest box.

The third set followed a similar pattern, Hewitt winning the concluding eight points. He broke to love for 5-3, and served out to love after an hour and 59 minutes.

After letting out another yell, Hewitt shook hands with his friend Johansson, whose 17 aces were not enough to turn the contest, and then left the court to be greeted by his fiancée, Kim Clijsters, whose injured wrist prevented her from entering the women's singles. "It was definitely a bit awkward, with my parents in one box and Jaslyn in another," Hewitt said. "I just put a professional cap on and went out there and played."

Jennifer Capriati, who was born in New York, would be entitled to take issue with the Sinatra line that if you can make it here, you can make it anywhere. The redemption of Capriati's troubled career came in Melbourne and Paris. As for New York, zilch.

Capriati's fourth semi-final appearance at the US Open since 1991, when she was 15, ended in yet another disappointment on Friday. She was nudged out of the championships by Elena Dementieva, who last night was due to contest an all-Russian final with Svetlana Kuznetsova.

America's last hope in the singles - a limping Lindsay Davenport was earlier defeated by Kuznetsova - Capriati was unable to carry the flag, Dementieva prevailing, 6-0 2-6 7-5, after two hours and 15 minutes. So the host nation was left without a representative in either the men's or women's singles finals for the first time since 1988. While the lack of home interest threatened the CBS television ratings on "Super Saturday", the hearts of tennis followers went out to the disappointed Capriati.

A year ago, she was denied a place in the final by the gutsy Belgian Justin Henin-Hardenne, after serving for the match at 5-3 in the second set and 5-3 in the final set and coming within two points of victory nine times. Friday's match against Dementieva was in a different category. The excitement was fuelled by errors, and spectators found great amusement in Dementieva's round-arm service action and plopping second deliveries - until the Russian won the third-set tie-break, 7-5.

Dementieva made 53 errors to Capriati's 33, although the Russian's eight double-faults almost counted as a step in the right direction compared with her usual quota. Asked why her serve did not match her impressive groundstroke game, Dementieva said: "It's not my favourite shot." But is she not embarrassed when spectators laugh? "It's doesn't bother me at all. I keep winning. They can say whatever they want to say."

Windy conditions contributed to the number of shots that went astray, and nerves added to the drama in the final set, with four breaks of serve on each side. The eighth break hurt Capriati most. The American double-faulted on break point when serving for the match at 6-5. "I didn't tense up," Capriati said. "On that side, against the wind, it was impossible."

It was suggested that she may have imagined that destiny was on her side, given the way the tournament had unfolded. "Maybe there's no such thing," she replied, flatly.

Life and Style
Swimsuit, £245, by Agent Provocateur

Diving in at the deep end is no excuse for shirking the style stakes

Mario Balotelli, Divock Origi, Loic Remy, Wilfried Bony and Karim Benzema
transfersBony, Benzema and the other transfer targets
Yaya Touré has defended his posturing over his future at Manchester City
Spectators photograph the Tour de France riders as they make their way through the Yorkshire countryside
voicesHoward Jacobson: Line the streets for a cycling race? You might just as well watch a swarm of wasps
Life and Style
lifeHere's one answer to an inquisitive Reddit user's question
peopleDave Legeno, the actor who played werewolf Fenrir Greyback in the Harry Potter films, has died
Detail of the dress made entirely of loom bands
Life and Style
There were mass celebrations across Argentina as the country's national team reached their first World Cup final for 24 years
transfersOne of the men to suffer cardiac arrest was 16 years old
Arts and Entertainment
Armando Iannucci, the creator of 'The Thick of It' says he has
tvArmando Iannucci to concentrate on US show Veep
German supporters (left) and Argentina fans
world cup 2014Final gives England fans a choice between to old enemies
A mugshot of Ian Watkins released by South Wales Police following his guilty pleas
peopleBandmates open up about abuse
Basketball superstar LeBron James gets into his stride for the Cleveland Cavaliers
sportNBA superstar announces decision to return to Cleveland Cavaliers
Javier Mascherano of Argentina tackles Arjen Robben of the Netherlands as he attempts a shot
world cup 2014
Four ski officials in Slovenia have been suspended following allegations of results rigging
sportFour Slovenian officials suspended after allegations they helped violinist get slalom place
14 March 2011: George Clooney testifies before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee during a hearing titled 'Sudan and South Sudan: Independence and Insecurity.' Clooney is co-founder of the Satellite Sentinel Project which uses private satellites to collect evidence of crimes against civilian populations in Sudan
Caption competition
Caption competition
Daily World Cup Quiz
Independent Dating

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

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting
Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

In the final part of our series, Chris Green arrives in Glasgow - a host city struggling to keep the politics out of its celebration of sport
Out in the cold: A writer spends a night on the streets and hears the stories of the homeless

A writer spends a night on the streets

Rough sleepers - the homeless, the destitute and the drunk - exist in every city. Will Nicoll meets those whose luck has run out
Striking new stations, high-speed links and (whisper it) better services - the UK's railways are entering a new golden age

UK's railways are entering a new golden age

New stations are opening across the country and our railways appear to be entering an era not seen in Britain since the early 1950s
Conchita Wurst becomes a 'bride' on the Paris catwalk - and proves there is life after Eurovision

Conchita becomes a 'bride' on Paris catwalk

Alexander Fury salutes the Eurovision Song Contest winner's latest triumph
Pétanque World Championship in Marseilles hit by

Pétanque 'world cup' hit by death threats

This year's most acrimonious sporting event took place in France, not Brazil. How did pétanque get so passionate?
Whelks are healthy, versatile and sustainable - so why did we stop eating them in the UK?

Why did we stop eating whelks?

Whelks were the Victorian equivalent of the donor kebab and our stocks are abundant. So why do we now export them all to the Far East?
10 best women's sunglasses

In the shade: 10 best women's sunglasses

From luxury bespoke eyewear to fun festival sunnies, we round up the shades to be seen in this summer
Germany vs Argentina World Cup 2014: Lionel Messi? Javier Mascherano is key for Argentina...

World Cup final: Messi? Mascherano is key for Argentina...

No 10 is always centre of attention but Barça team-mate is just as crucial to finalists’ hopes
Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer knows she needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

18-year-old says this month’s Commonwealth Games are a key staging post in her career before time slips away
The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

A future Palestine state will have no borders and be an enclave within Israel, surrounded on all sides by Israeli-held territory, says Robert Fisk
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: The German people demand an end to the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

The German people demand an end to the fighting
New play by Oscar Wilde's grandson reveals what the Irish wit said at his trials

New play reveals what Oscar Wilde said at trials

For a century, what Wilde actually said at his trials was a mystery. But the recent discovery of shorthand notes changed that. Now his grandson Merlin Holland has turned them into a play
Can scientists save the world's sea life from

Can scientists save our sea life?

By the end of the century, the only living things left in our oceans could be plankton and jellyfish. Alex Renton meets the scientists who are trying to turn the tide
Richard III, Trafalgar Studios, review: Martin Freeman gives highly intelligent performance

Richard III review

Martin Freeman’s psychotic monarch is big on mockery but wanting in malice