BRISBANE, Australia – Lleyton Hewitt drew on all his trademark fighting qualities to upset second seeded Kei Nishikori of Japan in the semi-finals of the Brisbane International on Saturday.
Hewitt recovered from losing the first set to overhaul Nishikori 5-7, 6-4, 6-3 and maintain his record of never having lost an ATP semi-final on Australian soil in nine appearances.
As the temperature at the Queensland Tennis Centre reached 41
degrees Celsius (106 degrees Fahrenheit) during their match, the 32-year-old Hewitt finished stronger than Nishikori, a player eight years his junior.
Nishikori had been the better player for the first set-and-a-half, pressuring Hewitt's serve while holding his own with ease.
He broke Hewitt late in the first set and had chances of an early break in the second before the Australian began to gain the ascendancy.
Hewitt broke Nishikori at 5-4 to take the second set then broke again at the start of the third, holding on to take the match in two-and-a-half hours and move into a final against either Roger Federer or Jeremy Chardy. – Sapa-AFP