Tennis
Hewitt, Karlovic to contest Newport final
TENNIS

Hewitt, Karlovic to contest Newport final

Lleyton Hewitt will contest his third consecutive Hall of Fame Championships final after downing Jack Sock in straight sets on Saturday.

Hewitt - a beaten finalist in the past two deciders in Newport - will have the chance to make amends courtesy of a routine 6-1 6-2 triumph over his seventh-seeded American opponent.

The Australian and former world number one, who lost to John Isner (2012) and Nicolas Mahut (2013) in Newport previously, only needed an hour to dispose of Sock.

Hewitt - seeded third - will now face giant Croatian Ivo Karlovic in Sunday's final as he bids to become the first Australian to win the event since Mark Philippoussis in 2006.

Karlovic accounted for Australian Samuel Groth 6-4 6-4 in just over an hour in the other semi-final on Saturday.

After ousting sixth-seeded American Steve Johnson in the quarter-finals, Hewitt continued where he left off against Sock, who won just 46 per cent of his first service points.

Hewitt forced Sock, who defeated John Isner en route to the semis, onto the back foot, claiming two breaks of serve as he raced away with the opening set.

It did not get much better for Sock in the second stanza with Hewitt breaking in the third and fifth games to set himself up for the win, which was confirmed when the American sent his backhand wide of the line in the eighth game.


"I felt pretty confident going in with my ball-striking," said Hewitt, who is the first player in history since 1976 to reach three successive finals in Newport.

"I was able to nullify [Sock's] biggest weapons - his serve and forehand - right from the start."

In Saturday's other semi, Karlovic emerged victorious in the battle of the two big servers.


Groth, who upset defending champion Mahut in the quarters, edged the ace count 10-9 but breaks of serve in each set worked against the 26-year-old unseeded Australian.

"It was a difficult match because [Groth] serves unbelievably," said Karlovic.

"I was lucky enough to take my opportunities and win."

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