sport

Hewitt captures Kooyong crown

Lleyton Hewitt crushed Juan Martin Del Potro 6-1 6-4 to win the Kooyong Classic in Melbourne in just over an hour.

Hewitt, who was world number one a decade ago, rolled back the years with a thrilling performance in the eight-man event he won in 2011.

The 31-year-old dominated the final under cloudy skies as he completed three wins over top-15 ranked opponents during the week.

"Juan Martin is a fantastic competitor," said Hewitt. "He's one of the best and I'm sure it won't be long before he's pushing at the top three or four in the world."

Hewitt also paid homage to the Kooyong Club, adding: "This is the home of Australian tennis, there have been so many great Davis Cup ties played here."

Hewitt raced through the opening set in 27 minutes, reaching a 3-1 lead after just 16 minutes. The Australian finished off the set on a first set point as Del Potro fired a forehand long.

Del Potro made a stab at a rally in the second set, breaking Hewitt for 3-4 at one point and levelling at four-all soon after.

But the popular Aussie stayed in control, moving to 5-4 and finishing a game later on a second match point, a stinging forehand return winner.

Tomas Berdych lifted his game to claim third place through a 6-3, 6-2 win over Marcos Baghdatis, winning in just under an hour.

The performance was a vast improvement for the sixth-ranked Czech after losing in straight sets to Hewitt earlier in the week.