Hewitt wins Wimbledon final glory
LONDON, England -- Australian Lleyton Hewitt has won the Wimbledon men's singles title for the first time after beating newcomer Argentine David Nalbandian 6-1 6-3 6-2 in the final.
It was a second grand slam title for the 21-year-old world number one after his victory at the U.S. Open last year.
After being presented with the trophy, Hewitt told the crowd: "I had to look up at the scoreboard to see if it was real.
"It's an unbelievable feeling. Growing up as a kid back in Australia I always dreamt that some day I was going to be playing for this trophy and I saw Pat Cash do it 15 years ago and to finally get a chance to do it out here, I can't believe how I've played these two weeks.
"It's a ripper!"
His victory on Sunday makes him the first Australian to win the grasscourt crown since Pat Cash in 1987.
Nalbandian, playing for the first time on Centre Court in his debut year in the main draw, could not recover from a poor opening set in which he appeared to be fighting nerves. (Match report)
By the time he got his game going, Hewitt had raced to a 4-0 lead and the Australian won the first set in 33 minutes.
The second set was interrupted twice by rain -- the first break marked by the appearance of a streaker (Story) -- but nothing could distract Hewitt from his task.
After grabbing two breaks to one for the Argentine, he served out with an ace to take a two-set lead.
Nalbandian got another break in the third set, but he was already a break down and Hewitt got two more to claim victory in just under two hours of play by converting his second match point.
After the match, Nalbandian managed a joke: "I hope that next year when I come here for the second time I am going to win the final."
He added: "It was a big day for me. My first grass tournament. This was unbelievable."
Asked about the reaction back in Argentina, the rising star said: "The people were really, really happy, but I do not know right now. Yesterday they were very happy."
Before a ball had even been hit in the men's final at least two pieces of Wimbledon history had been assured.
Firstly, Hewitt, 21, has ensured that a new champion joins the ranks of tennis legends such as Bjorn Borg, John McEnroe, Boris Becker and Pete Sampras as neither he, nor Nalbandian, had ever won the tournament.
Secondly, Nalbandian, 20, has already set a record and stunned the tennis world by becoming the first man to reach a Wimbledon final on his senior debut.
As if that was not enough, he is also the first Argentinian to reach a Wimbledon final and has still to play his first match on the hallowed Centre Court.
The final also features players with the youngest combined ages in Open era history.
Nalbandian was the fourth-youngest Wimbledon finalist in the Open era and Hewitt is the youngest Wimbledon champion since Boris Becker won in 1985 at the age of 17.
The men's final comes a day after another piece of Wimbledon history was made.
Serena and Venus Williams became the first sisters to play a final since 1884 when Briton Maud Watson beat her sibling Lilian two sets to one.
Serena won the match and the title off her elder sister. (Story)
She said afterwards: "I'm a Jehovah's Witness. Obviously we believe in God and the Bible.
"Without Him, I wouldn't be here right now. I really thank Him for everything. I've been blessed really."
The younger Williams sister triumphed 7-6 6-3 to end Venus' hopes of becoming the first woman since Steffi Graf to win the title three times in a row. (Match report)
Venus said: "At least I know that sometimes I can look at the trophy."
Serena defeats Venus for Wimbledon title
Saturday July 06, 2002 10:39 AM
Sisters bid for Wimbledon title
July 6, 2002
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