Hewitt defends Indian Wells title - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Hewitt defends Indian Wells title

18/03/2003 06:24:57 AM Comments (0)

World number one Lleyton Hewitt captured his 19th career singles title, crushing Brazil's Gustavo Kuerten 6-1 6-1 in the final of the $US2.45 million ($A4.12 million) ATP Masters Series event.

With the one-hour victory, the top-seeded Australian not only defended his Indian Wells title but became the first back-to-back winner here since American Michael Chang in 1996 and 1997.

It was Hewitt's 11th singles victory in 13 days and second ATP title in as many weeks.

Hewitt beat fellow Australian Mark Philippoussis in the final last week in Scottsdale, Arizona.

Hewitt broke unseeded Kuerten's serve four times without surrendering a break himself.

He served 55 per cent, fired three aces and 14 winners and took home $US400,000 ($A672,834), double Kuerten's payday.

Kuerten made 30 unforced errors - three times as many as Hewitt.

Hewitt broke Kuerten in the sixth game of the first set to take a 5-1 lead, then served out the next game to win the set in just 31 minutes.

The second set was even faster as Hewitt overpowered Kuerten with his strong serve and steady baseline shots.

Hewitt, who defeated Britain's Tim Henman in straight sets in last year's final, has an 18-4 record at Indian Wells.

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