Second time unlucky for Kratochvil

Kratochvil was defeated by Australia's Lleyton Hewitt in Tokyo Keystone Archive

The Swiss tennis star, Michel Kratochvil, has lost out in the final of the $970,000 ATP tournament in Tokyo to his opponent, Australia's Lleyton Hewitt, 4-6, 2-6.

This content was published on October 7, 2001 - 08:35

Top-seeded Hewitt, fresh from a pummelling of American James Blake in his semi-final round on Saturday, looked in control of the match from the outset.

The 22-year-old Swiss, who just 24 hours earlier had easily overcome his own semi-final opponent, Karol Kucera, seemed less sure of his play in Sunday's final.

Hewitt broke his opponent in the first game of the match and twice in the second set. The world number three then went on to demonstrate his fighting qualities in the eighth game of the first set when he saved three break points.

Kratochvil's defeat in Japan means the Bern-based player has now reached the final of an ATP tournament twice in his career - only to lose out on the top spot each time.

His first ever final appearance was at last month's Shanghai Open, when he was beaten into second place by Germany's Rainer Schüttler.

But the Swiss star said he was satisfied with his performance in Tokyo and was quick to pay tribute to Hewitt.

"Lleyton is so quick and he doesn't make any mistakes from the baseline," Kratochvil said after the match.

"He is the hottest player in the world at the moment," he added.

swissinfo with agencies

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