Hewitt into US final

Hewitt into US final

Lleyton Hewitt moved within touching distance of his first title in more than two years and first clay court championship in a decade after defeating Russian Evgeny Korolev in the semi-finals of the US Men's Clay Court Championships.

The Australian, whose last tournament victory came at Las Vegas in March 2007, advanced to meet American Wayne Odesnik in the final after claiming the 498th win of his career by downing Korolev 7-6 (7/4) 6-4.

Both players failed to manage a service break in the opening set but Hewitt took control after the Russian made four straight errors during the tiebreak.

The second set continued to go to serve until the 10th game when Hewitt set up three match points at love-40.

He only needed one to close out the match as a backhand return by Korolev went long, ending the 93 minute contest.

"It was good serving by both of us actually," said Hewitt, whose last title on clay came at Delray Beach in 1999.

"It was a pretty high-quality match, especially on clay court to be able to hold serve like we did. I had a couple of chances in the first set and he played a couple of big points."

Odesnik will be vying for his first career title after reaching the final with a straight sets win against Germany's Bjorn Phau.

Having taken the opening set, the American raced to a 5-1 lead in the second set but gave Phau some hope by double-faulting on break point while serving for the match.

Odesnik made no mistake on his second opportunity however, closing out the match 6-4 6-3 in an hour and 43 minutes.

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