Home crowd favourite Lleyton Hewitt upset top seed Roger Federer in the Brisbane International final in 2014.
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The Brisbane International tennis tournament 2014 saw record crowds of over 100,000 people flock to the Queensland tennis centre to see the top seed Roger Federer take on home crowd favourite Lleyton Hewitt in the final.
The women’s final between World No. 1 Serena Williams and Victoria Azarenka also drew hundreds and thousands of spectators in what was a very successful year at the Brisbane International. Organisers would hope that over 100,000 people would return to the tournament in 2015 ahead of the Australian Open in late January.
Lleyton Hewitt defeated Roger Federer in an exciting three set match to win the Brisbane International tournament in 2014. Hewitt and Federer have one of the oldest rivalries on the tour.Lleyton Hewitt (Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images)
Federer led their head to head record 18-8 prior to the match, which was their 27th
career meeting. Hewitt slightly improved the record to 18-9 with the win in Brisbane.
The opening set was over in only 27 minutes as Hewitt capitalised on an error riddled Federer. The Swiss maestro won only the single game in the first set surprising crowds when he completely missed the ball as he swung for it in un-Federer-like fashion. The 32-year-old also shanked a few balls, sending them flying into the stands.
Reflecting on the uncharacteristic errors in the first set, Federer said:
“I think it was a combination of two things, that Lleyton played good. Definitely got a lot of returns back and put the pressure on me from the baseline. I really was struggling with all sorts of rhythm.”
However the 17-time Grand Slam champion was not going to go down without a fight and he gave the crowd something to cheer about when he picked up his form in the second set.
“You want to keep playing your game and hope that things turn around for you eventually. Kind of did in the second set, so that was better,” Federer said.
The former World No. 1 managed to hold serve in the second set, something he didn’t do particularly well in the opening set. Hewitt was up 40-0 and had the opportunity to go up 5-4 in the second set and have victory almost in his sights, however the veteran squandered the opportunity and instead it was Federer who broke to lead 5-4. The Swiss No. 1 held serve, coupling an off-forehand winner and a few aces to serve out the second set and remain with a fighting chance to clinch the championship trophy. Roger Federer (Chris Hyde/Getty Images)
However, Federer soon found himself on the back foot again with Hewitt claiming the early break and rushing ahead to a 4-1 lead in the deciding set.
Federer was reeling his missed opportunities:
“Lleyton did a good job hanging around, but I should have taken advantage already earlier I think in the one-all, two‑all games. So I have some regrets there. It’s unfortunately one of those matches that got away from me. I got to try to do better job next time around when I get in this position,” he continued.
The South Australian eventually managed to serve out the match, saving a couple more break points en route. He threw his hands up into the air as he realised he had defeated Federer to clinch the title winning the last set 6-3 after two hours and seven minutes on the court.
“Winning here at a new tournament and it’s only the second time I’ve been up here as well. I’ve won nearly every tournament there is to win in Australia. To beat possibly the greatest player in the final means a lot,” Hewitt said.
The Brisbane title was only Hewitt’s first championship win on home soil since his victory at the Sydney International in 2005. Hewitt also had not defeated Federer since his thrilling come from behind victory at the Australia v Switzerland World Group semi-final where he was two sets down, before he stunned onlookers to win 5-7, 2-6, 7-6 (4), 7-5, 6-1.
Both Hewitt and Federer are 32-years-old and it seems they are approaching the end of their careers. Hopefully Hewitt will return to defend his title and Federer will come back and compete at the Brisbane International in 2015.
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