Australia claims the Kooyong Crown.

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Stein Eriksen

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Tennis News
  • Australia claims the Kooyong Crown.

Australia claims the Kooyong Crown.

Lleyton Glynn Hewitt, the former World No. 1 tennis star and the two times grand slam champion, couldn’t have the perfect the form, claiming the Kooyong crown, when the Australian Open just around the corner.

The final of the Kooyong Classic was played between the Australian Hweitt and the ailing Frenchman Gael Monfils. The game begun with a spell of service breaks with Hweitt taking the early lead of 2-0. Maintaining the same pressure throughout till the end, he took the game in straight sets 7-5 and 6-3 in a match that lasted 89 minutes.

The Australian and the Frenchman previously had a 2-2 head-to-head record as they entered the game. The last encounter between the two was last year at Wimbledon with the same results, Hewitt winning the match.

Hewitt was firm in his game saying he is playing well while the 12th rank Frenchman, Monfils was clearly restricted in his athleticism and grimaced over and over while chasing the down returns.

Hewitt took heart from three consecutive victories at Kooyong after beating the Russian Nokolay Davydenko and the world number 10 Mikhail Youzhny previously, and shall now be leading into the first major of the season capable of causing upsets in the draw.

The 29-year-old Australian took his second straight service break for a 3-1 edge till an established advantage of 4-1. He then served for the fixture at 5-3 and held a set point in the ninth game.

The Frenchman then established his zeal back into the game breaking back to trail 4-5 bringing the Australian unstuck. Hewitt further ran up four set points in the 12th game leaving Monfils batting away.

But Monfils failed to muster up a resistance in the fifth, giving away the set to Hewitt in 52 minutes with a passing shot.

After the interval, Monfils took the initiative in the second set to break in the opening game, but a back problem in the sixth set held the Frenchman back and noticeably slowing his game.

Hewitt took the advantage of his opponent’s physical state and broke back as Monfils double faulted. This had him hold the server to lead 4-3 and then further wrapping up the set to a 6-3 win by the end.

The third place was taken by the fellow country-man Jurgen Melzer, defeating the Russian Nikolay Davyenko 7-6 (7-4) and 6-2.

The Kooyong Classic champion will meet the old sparring partner David Nalbandian of Argentina in the first round of next week's Open at Melbourne Park.

 

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