I didn't have the chance to catch the first set of the ATP Brisbane final. It was probably for the best. The 6-1 scoreline in Hewitt's favour suggests heavily shankalicious play from Federer. Maybe the doubles had worn him out, maybe Hewitt played extra focused at home, I don't know. I wouldn't be surprised if it was one of the worst sets by Federer ever.
His serve started working in the second and despite being break point down in a crucial game (down 3-4), he managed to edge the set out 6-4. Things were finally looking up. In the third he was holding easier than Hewitt who fought like a wildcat to stay on serve. The thing about Hewitt is that he fights well and hard and that's why he in the end managed to win the 3rd set by 6-3. And with that the match and the tournament. End score with Hewitt's numbers first: 6-1 4-6 6-3.
This is how Federer described the loss (courtesy of ATP World Tour):
“I didn't play great today which is a bit unfortunate, but also Lleyton was the best player I played this week. He made it toughest on me. So I have a clear idea what I need to work on, and I have a clear idea where my mind and body is that… I'm very hungry and eager to attack the Australian Open next week.”
And this is what he needs – hunger. You could potentially feel that one of the reason he lost this match is because he lacked DESIRE. Hopefully this will be back in Australian Open, but so will also more dangerous opponents.
Hewitt talked about his win:
“Playing the best players in the world and finals of tournaments, always it's exciting. That's why you still play the game. For me, it was motivation enough just to try to get the win out there and obviously win another title. It's been a couple of years. So I was just ready for the challenge today.
“I played great obviously at the start, really well. It took Roger a little bit of time to get into the match. Then I just had to fight hard at the start of the third set.
“It means a lot with the calibre of players here as well in this tournament. It's not an easy tournament to win. I wasn't one of the top four seeds, so I had to win all five matches to get through. There are pleasing parts and massive positives to take out of it.”
Congratulations to Hewitt and some “Allez!” for Federer going in to the first major of the year.