Brisbane, Australia (SportsNetwork.com) - Australian Lleyton Hewitt thrilled his home country crowd by shocking top-seeded Roger Federer in three sets to capture the Brisbane International on Sunday.
Hewitt's 6-1, 4-6, 6-3 victory ensured his first title since 2010 in Halle. It was his 29th championship and seventh in Australia. The unseeded Hewitt beat Federer for just the second time in the last 18 meetings.
Both players, at age 32, showed their sheer determination on the court, but Hewitt was able to sustain some hard-fought service games to come out on top.
In their first meeting since the Davis Cup in 2011, it looked as if Hewitt would breeze to the shocking win, but Federer rallied in the second set to force the decisive third.
Hewitt got the break to move to a 3-1 lead Federer was behind 5-2 after he delivered a poor return following a strong backhand from the Aussie. Hewitt then closed the match in 2 hours, 7 minutes.
Before Sunday, Hewitt won the most recent ATP Tour matchup, stunning Federer in the final of the Wimbledon tune-up in Halle back in 2010. That victory ended a 15-match losing streak for Hewitt in the series and was the last of his ATP titles, which has since been bumped up.
Hewitt owns a 29-16 mark in title matches. He lost in the Newport final last year in his only appearance in a final. Hewitt is 9-18 all-time against Federer.
"For me getting towards the end of my career and trying to help out Australian tennis as much as possible, the biggest thing is marketing here," Hewitt said as he addressed the crowd. "We've had such a rich tradition of tennis in this great country and we want to produce the best juniors coming through. Having you (Federer) come here and play in these smaller tournaments really helps."
The former No. 1 Federer remains tied with John McEnroe in third place with 77 career championships. Sunday marked the first time his serve was broken in this week's tournament.
The 2013 year was a lackluster one for the super Swiss. Federer had just one title and no Grand Slam final appearances for the first time since 2002. He is 77-37 all-time in finals.
"I have a busy year ahead of me with a baby coming, but I will try to ensure you that I'll come back," Federer said about hoping to return to the tournament in Brisbane.
This event served as a tune-up for the Australian Open. The first Grand Slam event of 2014 is set to get underway Jan. 13 in Melbourne. Federer is a four- time Aussie Open champion.