Hewitt Stuns Sampras for Queen's Club Title

Published June 18th, 2000 - 02:00 GMT

Australian teenager Lleyton Hewitt defeated American Pete Sampras for the first time in his career, winning an initial grass court title to boot with victory in the final at the $800,000 Queen's Club tournament Sunday. 

Hewitt, 19, picked up his fourth trophy of the season on the ATP Tour with his 73-minute upset of the second seed and two-time champion 6-4, 6-4. 

Hewitt took charge after falling down a break on his opening serve and effectively controlled the six-time Wimbledon champion throughout the rest of the brief afternoon outing in west London. 

Hewitt served out his victory for a top prize of $91,500 as Sampras produced two near-identical backhand returns wide to end it.  

"It's unbelievable," said the winner. 

"I got off to a rough start, but this is the best that I've ever returned. I knew it had to be that way. Once Pete gets on a roll on his serve he's almost impossible to break." 

Hewitt, one of the top young talents in the game, had lost to Sampras in all three of their previous meetings, the last in Miami in March on hardcourt. 

Sampras had been bidding for a second consecutive title here after beating Briton Tim Henman in 1999. He had accounted for Hewitt in the semis here a year ago. 

Hewitt said that his week could not have been better. "I've been seeing the ball as big as a football out there. It's a great feeling." 

Hewitt now stands 17-6 on grass and heads for his next tournament on grass starting Monday in Rosmalen, the Netherlands – (AFP) 


© 2000 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)

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