Hewitt beats Blake to win Queen's title - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Hewitt beats Blake to win Queen's title

By Valkerie Mangnall 19/06/2006 04:59:39 AM Comments (0)

Australia's Lleyton Hewitt capped the first phase of his Wimbledon preparation by easily beating American James Blake to claim his fourth Queen's tennis title.

The 13th-ranked Hewitt, seeded eighth, took just one hour and six minutes to beat fifth seed and world No.7 Blake 6-4 6-4.

Hewitt said winning the West London grasscourt tournament was a confidence boost ahead of Wimbledon, which starts on June 26.

"This place has always been pretty special to me and I really enjoy coming back here every year," Hewitt said of the Queen's Club.

"Hopefully it's going to lead to good preparation for a week's time.

"Today I felt like I played pretty flawless tennis for most of it."

The win ended the longest title drought of Hewitt's eight-year professional career - his last victory was in Sydney in January, 2005. Blake won this year's Sydney crown.

Hewitt, who also won at Queen's from 2000-2002, also became just the third four-time champion there, joining Boris Becker (1985, '87, '88, '96) and John McEnroe (1979-81, '84).

Hewitt was off to a flying start when he converted his second break point in the opening game as Blake sent a backhand wide.

The Australian sealed the following game to love with an ace and broke Blake again in the fifth game with a clever backhanded dropshot that bounced on top of the net and over.

Blake broke back to love three games later before holding serve, but Hewitt held in the following game to take the set.

Blake saved a breakpoint in the third game of the second set, but Hewitt broke his opponent in the seventh for a 4-3 lead and held serve in the tenth to claim victory with an unreturnable serve.

The win took Hewitt to a 7-1 record over Blake after the American had won their most recent meeting, in Las Vegas in February.

Blake, who beat third-seeded compatriot Andy Roddick in the semifinals, was contesting just his second final on grass.

"Lleyton played that well," Blake said.

"He served great, didn't give me any freebies really, and I think to beat him you really got to control the points.

"But I wasn't able to do that because he was getting on the offensive before I was - so difficult."

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