Federer, Hewitt gain spots in ATP final in Brisbane

Jan. 4, 2014 at 7:54 AM
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BRISBANE, Australia, Jan. 4 (UPI) -- Roger Federer and Lleyton Hewitt each won in three sets Saturday and will square off in the finals of the Brisbane International tennis tournament.

Federer, the No. 1-seed, beat eighth-seeded Jeremy Chardy 6-3, 6-7 (3-7), 6-3 after the unseeded Hewitt gained his spot in the championship match with a 5-7, 6-4, 6-3 upset of No. 2-seeded Kei Nishikori.

The matches were played in sweltering conditions with temperatures topping 104 degrees Fahrenheit.

Nishikori took the early advantage against Hewitt with a break in the 11th game but Hewitt broke through on his ninth break-point opportunity for a break in the 10th game of the second set. He broke Nishikori's serve again to open the third set and held on for the win in 2 1/2 hours.

Federer had 20 aces and faced just one break point, which he saved, in beating Chardy in just less than 2 hours. Federer won 72 percent of the points on serve. A break in the eighth game of the third set proved to be the difference in the match.

Federer enters Sunday's final with an 18-8 edge in career meetings versus Hewitt, a rivalry that had its first chapter in 1999. Federer is 77-36 in ATP finals and a win Sunday would leave him alone in third place on the all-time list for ATP titles.

Hewitt, playing in his first final in his homeland since the 2005 Australian Open, is 28-16 in championship matches. However, he hasn't won since June 2010, when he beat Federer for the title at Halle, Germany.

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