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.