Nicolas Mahut defeated Lleyton Hewitt in three sets at the Newport, Rhode Island final last night to capture his second ATP singles trophy. Three weeks ago he had no titles and now with his win in the Netherlands two weeks ago, added to his victory in Newport yesterday he has two ATP titles – both of which are on grass.
Hewitt looked like he was in firm control of the match going a set and a break up looking like he was going to close it out but the resilient Frenchman broke back as Hewitt was serving for the match at *5-4 – he then went on to take the set 7-5 taking three straight games in the process. Hewitt had another chance in the third set breaking Mahut in the third game of the third set. It wasn’t to be though as Mahut broke back and then used the momentum to his advantage taking the set and the match in two hours and twenty minutes.
With his victory Mahut becomes the first Frenchman to win in Rhode Island since The Magician Fabrice Santoro won the title in 2008. This also propels Mahut back into the top 100 of the ATP rankings.
After his victory Mahut said:
When you want to win a final, everything can happen. I just can’t believe it’s true
The Frenchman will now get direct entry into slams once again eliminating the need to play qualifying.
A month ago I was playing to make the cut for the qualies at the US Open, I was [ranked] 240 with some points to defend. I told my coach, I have to play great on grass to make the cut for the qualies. A month later I have two titles.
There were differing of opinions about whether Mahut should have received the wildcard he was given at the Wimbledon Championships. People thought he didn’t deserve it just because of the fact he played a part in ‘that’ match in 2010. The truth is he did deserve it because hes an accomplished grass court player and he has shown that by picking up two titles on the surface in the space of three weeks defeating some very good grass court players along the way.
I don’t think theres any doubt now…..