Federer ends remarkable year in style - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Federer ends remarkable year in style

22/11/2004 02:58:46 PM Comments (0)

Top seed Roger Federer has routed third-seeded Australian Lleyton Hewitt 6-3 6-2 in a rain-shortened final of the year-ending Masters Cup to cap an incredible 2004 campaign.

It was Federer's 13th consecutive win in a final - a record in the Open era - and 11th title this year. Federer, who won the Australian Open, Wimbledon and US Open championships in 2004, also posted his 23rd straight win over a top-10 opponent.

The 23-year-old Federer, who also became the first player to defend his title at the event since Hewitt accomplished the feat in 2001-02, ended the year on a 17-match winning streak, including all five matches here. He was an amazing 74-6 in 2004.

"What can I say? This is an unbelievable end to a fantastic season," said Federer, who had seen limited action since winning the US Open two months ago because of a thigh bruise.

"It started off at the Australian Open and just kept on coming. This is way too much to ask for, it has been fantastic."

Federer was unfazed by rain delays all week, including one that postponed the start of the final by three hours and forced organisers to shorten its intended length from best-of-five to best-of-three sets.

Once the match started, Federer broke Hewitt - his US Open final victim - in the second game and grabbed a 5-2 lead before rain again interrupted play.

Hewitt held serve after play resumed but Federer closed out the set, then broke Hewitt twice in the second set to earn the 1.52million US dollars first prize.

"Roger is the standout player of the last year and a half," Hewitt said.

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