Ferreira Stuns Hewitt to Claim Mercedes-Benz Cup

Aug. 4, 2003

LOS ANGELES - Wayne Ferreira, an assistant coach for the California men's tennis team, saved three match points to stun Australian star Lleyton Hewitt in the final of the Mercedes-Benz Cup Sunday at the UCLA Tennis Center.

'I played a tough competitor today, and I really brought it to him,' said Ferreira. 'I played great. (Three) things made me very proud this week - one is actually competing like I did this week after the injury (groin) I had. The second is beating a player like Lleyton Hewitt. He's an incredible player. The third thing is every time I walk down the hall there, I see the past champions (of this tournament). They're the greatest players in tennis, and to have my name next to theirs is a privilege.'

Ferreira claimed his 15th career title and first in nearly three years with a 6-3,4-6, 7-5 victory in two hours, 28 minutes over the former No. 1-ranked player in the world.

In the first set of their see-saw battle, Ferreira broke for 5-3 by ripping a two-handed backhand winner down the line, and then served out the set. The two players traded early breaks in the second set, then remained on serve until Ferreira srved at 4-5, when he took a 40-0 lead but lost five straight points to hand the set to Hewitt.

The third set featured a number of close games and missed break points by each player, but remained on serve until 5-5. Ferreira dug out of a 0-30 hole at 3-4 by hitting three straight aces and a service winner, and then saved three championship points serving at 4-5. In the next game, at 5-5 in the third, Hewitt served up three double faults to get broken by Ferreira. Serving for the match, Ferreira quickly went up 40-0, then lost one point to Hewitt, and at 40-15, closed out the match with his 19th ace.

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