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Hewitt Defeats Sampras to Capture US Open Title - 2001-09-10

Twenty-year-old Lleyton Hewitt of Australia has won the men's title at the U.S. Open tennis tournament in New York. Hewitt picked up his first grand slam title by defeating four-time champion Pete Sampras of the United States, 7-6, 6-1, 6-1.

Hewitt held steady while Sampras committed numerous unforced errors and struggled with his usually strong service game in the final Sunday which lasted one hour and 54 minutes.

The young Australian was solid with both his forehand and backhand as he pounced on easy opportunities presented by the man with the most grand slam victories ever. Hewitt says he has had steady preparation to achieve his grand slam win.

"I have not been having those highs and lows all the time," he said. "I have been gradually getting better and better. The results I have had in some of those big matches has definitely helped me in big matches in grand slams, I think."

Sampras struggled with windy conditions inside Arthur Ashe stadium as Hewitt continued to gain confidence with each passing point.

But Sampras says Hewitt just played better. "The reason I was not as sharp was because of the way he was playing," he said. "He made me work very hard on my service games. He was serving very well and he did not miss."