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Lleyton Hewitt Wins Sydney International

January 15, 2005

SYDNEY, Australia (AP) _ Top-seeded Lleyton Hewitt of Australia won the Sydney International for the fourth time in six years Saturday, beating Ivo Minar of the Czech Republic 7-5, 6-0 in the Australian Open tuneup event.

Hewitt, also the tournament winner in 2000, 2001 and 2004, has won 20 straight matches in the event. He has lost only one career match at the Sydney International Tennis Center, falling to Max Mirnyi in the first round of the 2000 Olympics.

In the all-Australian women’s final, sixth-seeded Alicia Molik beat Samantha Stosur 6-7 (5), 6-4, 7-5 for her fifth WTA Tour title.

Also, Australia’s Todd Woodbridge and India’s Mahesh Bhupathi beat Frenchmen Arnaud Clement and Michael Llodra 6-3, 6-3 in the doubles final.

Hewitt raced to a 5-0 lead, but Minar rallied to tie it at 5.

``It was a strange match ... momentum swings,″ Hewitt said. ``I felt like I came out of the blocks extremely well, but then he loosened up a bit. When he got back to 5-5, I had to try to settle down and take it up a notch, and I was able to do that.″

Hewitt has won 24 ATP Tour titles.

``I wasn’t doing anything special,″ Minar said. ``He was playing some bad shots.″

The Australian Open begins Monday in Melbourne.

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