CNNSI.com 2002 Wimbledon 2002 Wimbledon


 

Aussie rules

Hewitt wins second Grand Slam title with Wimbledon rout

Posted: Sunday July 07, 2002 11:59 AM
Updated: Sunday July 07, 2002 11:25 PM
  Lleyton Hewitt Lleyton Hewitt became the first baseliner to win Wimbledon in 10 years. Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

WIMBLEDON, England (AP) -- If there were ever any doubts about Lleyton Hewitt's status as the world's top player, there aren't any more.

The 21-year-old Australian crushed David Nalbandian in straight sets Sunday in the Wimbledon final to win his second Grand Slam title, solidify his No. 1 ranking and confirm the changing of the guard in men's tennis.

In a tournament where aging former champions Pete Sampras and Andre Agassi lost in the second round, Hewitt swept through the draw without a hitch and put on a ruthless performance Sunday to win 6-1, 6-3, 6-2 in under two hours.

The match shaped up as a mismatch: the top-seeded Hewitt against No. 28 Nalbandian, a 20-year-old Argentine playing in his first grass court tournament and his first match on Centre Court.

And a mismatch it was.

Hewitt never wavered, whipping his ground strokes with power and precision, dictating the points, making very few errors. Nalbandian couldn't cope with the occasion or Hewitt's supremacy, making countless unforced errors.

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* Lleyton Hewitt says he is glad to be a part of the winning tradition at Wimbledon.
* Neither rain nor a streaker could put a damper on Hewitt's first Wimbledon title.
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Hewitt's only show of nerves came when he served a double fault on his first match point at 5-2, 40-0. But when Nalbandian hit a shot long on the next point, Hewitt fell onto his back in exhilaration

He got back to his feet and slammed a ball into the crowd. After shaking hands with Nalbandian, Hewitt left his racket on his chair and pumped his fists above his head to the crowd.

Hewitt then climbed up through the stands to the guest box, emulating the celebrations of Pat Cash, the last Australian to win Wimbledon in 1987.

Hewitt embraced his coach Jason Stoltenberg, kissed his girlfriend Kim Clijsters and hugged his parents before returning to the court to accept the winner's trophy.

Match Statistics
  Hewitt  Nalbandian 
1st serve percentage  41 of 79 - 52%  51 of 89 - 57% 
Aces 
Double faults 
Unforced errors  25  41 
Winning % on 1st serve  32 of 41 - 78%  27 of 51 - 53% 
Winning % on 2nd serve  19 of 38 - 50%  12 of 38 - 32% 
Winners (including service)  23  10 
Receiving points won  50 of 89 - 56%  28 of 79 - 35% 
Break point conversions  8 of 20 - 40%  2 of 10 - 20% 
Net approaches  16 of 24 - 67%  12 of 17 - 71% 
Total points won  101  67 
Fastest serve  122 mph  123 mph 
Average 1st serve speed  110 mph  106 mph 
Average 2nd serve speed  89 mph  89 mph 
Match duration  1:57 minutes    
 
With an Australian flag draped around his shoulders, he paraded around the court showing off the Challenge Cup trophy to the crowd.

"I kept looking at the scoreboard to see if it was real," Hewitt said. "It's an unbelievable feeling. I always dreamed that some day I would be playing for this trophy."

"Now this is a real ripper,' he said, using an Australian expression meaning, "This is great."

"I don't really want to let go of it."

Hewitt, who won the U.S. Open last September, has now added the most prestigious title in tennis to his resume and validated his legitimacy as the top dog in the game.

And he did it without any of the controversy which has dogged his career: no tantrums, no abrasive behavior, no tirades at umpires or line judges.

Hewitt, who dropped only two sets in the tournament, seemed to come of age both on and off the court.

What's more, Hewitt became the first baseliner to win Wimbledon since 1992.

It was the most one-sided final in terms of fewest games won by the loser since John McEnroe beat Jimmy Connors 6-1, 6-1, 6-2 in 1984.


 
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