SAP Open: Murray upsets Hewitt to claim title

He used a mix of deft drops shots and backhand winners to upset third-seeded Lleyton Hewitt on Sunday, claiming his first ATP Tour title.

india Updated: Feb 20, 2006 19:17 IST

Andy Murray used a mix of deft drops shots and backhand winners to upset third-seeded Lleyton Hewitt 2-6, 6-1, 7-6 (7/3) on Sunday in the SAP Open, claiming his first ATP Tour title.

Murray started slow, but settled down in the second set. Once he gathered himself, his powerful backcourt game proved too much for Hewitt.

On match point in the third-set tiebreaker, Murray sliced a few shots to set up a crisp backhand crosscourt winner that Hewitt could only watch.

"Obviously, it's the biggest moment in my life in tennis so far," Murray said of the win, which earned him $52,000. (euro43,830). Murray, who knocked off top-seeded Andy Roddick 7-5, 7-5 in the semifinals, briefly raised his hands over his head after winning the match.

The 18-year-old shook hands with Hewitt at the net and then climbed into the stands for a long hug and kiss from his girlfriend. Murray said his girlfriend's presence during the tournament relaxed him.

"Hopefully she'll come to a few more tournaments," Murray said, drawing chuckles from the crowd.

Hewitt was tested early, fighting off break points in the first game of the match and climbing back from love-30 on his serve to go up 3-1. Hewitt would break Murray twice to close out the set 6-2. But Murray fought back and began to hit his backhand with more authority in the second set.

The Brit's crosscourt winners brought raucous applause from the crowd that welcomed him warmly, even after dismissing the tournament favorite Roddick.

Hewitt refused to go away quietly, staving off two match points with aces in the third set. Those opportune aces that extended the match gave Murray pause.

"I got a little too nervous, but I managed to come through," Murray said.

In the final set, Murray mixed in drop shots with his groundstrokes, drawing Hewitt to the net and then lobbing over him or passing him.

First Published: Feb 20, 2006 12:21 IST