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Rebuilding: Hewitt Lifts Big Prize In Houston

img_0039At U.S. Clay Court Championships, Australian Lleyton Hewitt secured his first ATP title in over two years by beating 23 year-old American Wayne Odesnik 6-2, 7-5.

For Odesnik ranked just outside the top 100, this was his first trip to an ATP final and on his best surface. As a two-time majors’ champion and former world number one, Hewitt used his wealth knowledge to pull him through. From the first point, Hewitt asserted himself with a forehand up the line winner. Then, with unforced errors from Odesnik , Hewitt went up 1-0. After consolidating the break, Hewitt connected on a forehand crosscourt winner for his second break chance and converted when Odesnik dumped his backhand into the net. However, with a double fault and unforced errors, Hewitt allowed Odesnik to get one of the breaks back for 3-1. In the next game, Hewitt had another advantage point courtesy of an inside out forehand winner. But, Odesnik brushed that aside with his own forehand winner and with a great backhand volley pickup saved the game. Subsequently, Hewitt opened the door for Odesnik with another double fault and a forehand shank. But, with two aces, Hewitt wiped off double break point, preventing his opponent from leveling the set. The Australian then sealed a third break to take the set 6-2.

Odesnik started the second set as he had the first. Multiple errors handed Hewitt a double break lead at 3-0 despite the Australian only getting 31% of his first serves in play. In the fourth game though, Odesnik capitalized on double faults by Hewitt for 1-3. After a marathon nine-deuce game in which Odesnik saved four break points to hold for 2-3, the American got a rare backhand error from the Australian to square the set at 3-3. In trouble again at 15-40, Odesnik came up with a few clutch serves to force return errors from Hewitt. After, with a backhand up the line winner, Odesnik had his first lead in the match at 4-3. With Hewitt’s backhand temporarily AWOL, Odesnik won five straight game for 5-3. Regrettably, serving for the set, Odesnik’s most reliable shot, the forehand went on holiday. As a result, Odesnik was unable to recover from triple break point. After easily equalizing the set at 5-5, Hewitt forced one too many forehand errors from Odesnik to get the upper hand at 6-5. Thereafter, despite serving a double fault, Hewitt regrouped to capture the championship. By reaching the finals, both men will incur a significant bump in their ranking.

On Saturday, in the doubles final, Bob and Mike Bryan thumped fellow Americans Ryan Sweeting and Jessie Levine 6-2, 6-1 for their fourth title of 2009.

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