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Hewitt wins first tournament in 2 years

sports Updated: Apr 13, 2009 10:09 IST

AP
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Lleyton Hewitt held on to win his first tournament in two years with a 6-2, 7-5 victory over Wayne Odesnik of the United States in the US Men's Clay Court Championships.

The former No 1-ranked Hewitt won his 498th career match on Sunday and moved closer to joining Roger Federer and Carlos Moya as the only active players with 500 or more victories. The 28-year-old Australian also won his first clay court tournament since he took the Delray Beach tournament in 1999.

He failed to win a tournament last year for the first time in his career while recovering from hip surgery.

"This is what all the hard work is for, to play weeks like this and have this kind of feeling at the end," Hewitt said. "It makes going through the surgery and all the hard work worth it.

"It's a big day to win a clay court event. I feel every year I'm getting better on clay. Now I'm looking really forward to the French Open - With a good draw I think I can do some damage there."

Hewitt took a 3-0 lead in the second set without much opposition from Odesnik, who was making his first ATP final. The American rallied by breaking Hewitt in the fourth game of the second set, then withstanding five break points to hold his serve in the fifth.