20 years after Hewitt’s title at the Sydney Masters


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20 years after Hewitt's title at the Sydney Masters

On November 12, 2001, Lleyton Hewitt touched the sky with his hands as a local. In Sydney, the Australian was crowned champion of the ATP Finals (called the Masters Cup at the time) after beating Frenchman Sebastien Grosjean in the final and, at age 20, was approaching number one in the world rankings.

The Melbourne-born career is noted primarily for his two Majors achieved in the US Open 2001 and at Wimbledon 2002. However, one of the achievements that he will never forget will undoubtedly be the one he obtained three months after his first Grand Slam title: the Sydney Masters, unique in history played in Australia.

He arrived at the event as the number two seed after winning five titles in that season (the ATP just from Sydney, Queen’s, Hertosgenbosch, Tokyo and Flushing Meadows). The top seed was Brazilian Gustavo Kuerten, champion of the tournament in Lisbon the previous season. Hewitt, in that 2001, had 77 victories and at home he fulfilled a dream.

In his first presentation, the then 20-year-old would defeat Grosjean 3-6, 6-2, 6-3. Days later he took a new step by imposing himself against nothing more and nothing less than the American Andre Agassi, third-seeded and Australian Open champion that year, by 6-3, 6-4. To close a perfect round robin, with three wins, he would defeat his great friend Patrick Rafter, with whom he dreamed of qualifying for that tournament all year, with partial 7-5, 6-2.

The dream was getting closer and closer and his next victim was the Spanish Juan Carlos Ferrero placeholder image; he eliminated it 6-4, 6-3. Finally, Hewitt would rise to glory in a fabulous performance in the final, making his compatriots delirious who encouraged him throughout the tournament: 6-3, 6-3, 6-4 against Grosjean and the cup was in his hands.

One week, the Australian became number one in the world and the following year, in Shanghai, he would more than defend his crown. Hewitt and the ATP Finals, a love of a movie.


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