Tennis / Hewitt crushes Robredo to book final berth vs. Agassi or

Sun., August 08, 2004 Av 21, 5764

Tennis / Hewitt crushes Robredo to book final berth vs. Agassi or Roddick
By News Agencies

Lleyton Hewitt crushed Tommy Robredo 6-3 6-2 yesterday to set up a
Cincinnati Masters Series final against Andy Roddick or Andre Agassi.
The Australian former world number one, sacrificing the chance of an Olympic
medal to help revive his career, reached his first final for six months with
a 53-minute victory over unseeded Spaniard Robredo.

Hewitt’s play was full of his trademark counter-hitting and fierce refusal
to give up any cause, but more unusually it also featured unusually potent
serving. He has still dropped serve only once in the tournament.

Hewitt, who beat Gustavo Kuerten, Tim Henman, and Marat Safin on the way to
the last four, made the first break in the seventh game by winning a
forehand to forehand exchange. He then served out for the first set in the
most crushing manner, finishing it with a perfectly delayed forehand
top-spin lob winner.

Hewitt made the killer break in the fifth game of the second set,
relentlessly harrying and probing from the baseline and provoking Robredo
into an over-ambitious faded drive on break point.

The mistake punctured Robredo’s morale. Hewitt capitalized ruthlessly,
winning 12 of the next 13 rallies and the match to move within one victory
of his first title since triumphing indoors in Rotterdam in February.

Americans Roddick, the defending champion and number two seed, and Agassi,
seeded 11th, played in the second semifinal last night after press time.

On Friday night, Agassi outlasted 2002 champion Carlos Moya 7-6 (14-12), 6-3
to blast into his first semi-final in five months.

Meanwhile, Israeli double pair Jonathan Erlich and Andy Ram downed the
second seed pair of Bob and Mike Bryan of the United States 6-4, 5-7, 7-5 on
Friday but failed to keep up the momentum, losing 7-6, 6-3 to Max Mirnyi of
Belarussia and Sargis Sargsian of Armenia yesterday.