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Tennis: Mahut beats Hewitt for Hall of Fame title




Nicolas Mahut of France holds the Van Alen Cup after defeating Lleyton Hewitt of Australia in the finals of the Hall of Fame Tennis Championships in Newport, R.I. Sunday, July 14, 2013. Mahut won 5-7, 7-5, 6-3. AP Photo/Elise Amendola

NEWPORT – French wild card Nicolas Mahut rallied from a set down to defeat Australia’s Lleyton Hewitt Sunday in the final at the Hall of Fame Championships.

Mahut battled back from a first set loss to take a 5-7, 7-5, 6-3 victory over the 2012 runner-up Hewitt on center court.

Mahut breezed past American Michael Russell 6-2, 6-2 in the semis earlier Sunday to reach the final and became the first Frenchman to claim the Newport title since Fabrice Santoro five years ago.

The 31-year-old improved to 2-2 all-time in title matches on the ATP Tour. He clinched his first career ATP title last month at ‘s-Hertogenbosch.

Hewitt ousted two-time reigning champion John Isner earlier Sunday in a rematch of last year’s final to advance to the title match for a second consecutive year.

Hewitt, who was seeded fourth, took the first set from the Frenchman but was unable to close the deal.

With the loss, Hewitt falls to 28-17 overall in ATP Tour finals. He is 7-2 in finals on grass.

Mahut, who had lost the only two previous contests with the Aussie, collected $78,000 in prize money.


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