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Friday, 15 November, 2002, 16:52 GMT
Hewitt remains on course
Lleyton Hewitt
Hewitt will play Roger Federer in the semi-finals

Lleyton Hewitt's dreams of defending his Masters Cup title remain on track, largely thanks to Carlos Moya.

The Australian's hopes hinged on Moya beating compatriot Albert Costa and the Spaniard spent nearly three hours doing just that, despite having already booked his place in the last four.

  Red Group W/L
Carlos Moya 3-0
Lleyton Hewitt 2-1
Albert Costa 1-2
Marat Safin 0-3

Hewitt, though, will likely need to find the form which took him to the world number one spot a year ago if he is to triumph from an unpredictable semi-final line-up.

He next meets Roger Federer, who is making up for a desperately disappointing year with a sparkling late season.

The 21-year-old had been expected to start challenging for Grand Slam titles in 2002 but failed even to make a quarter-final.

But in recent weeks he has discovered a level of consistency which pushed him into the Champions Race top seven and secured a trip to the presitigious Masters Cup.

Carlos Moya
Moya could end the year third in the Champions Race

Like Moya, he has won all three of his round-robin matches, including a straight sets win over Juan Carlos Ferrero, who ended the hopes of second seed Andre Agassi.

And even if Hewitt should extend his career record over the Swiss player to 7-2, he could still face his nemesis in the final.

Moya takes on Ferrero in the first semi-final on Saturday and on form would be favourite to advance.

But the former world number one has had ongoing problems with his fitness and could be drained by his valiant efforts against Costa.

Ferrero, whose form has been patchy rather than spectacular, has the upper hand over Moya, having beaten his older compatriot seven times in nine meetings.

  Gold Group W/L
Roger Federer 3-0
Juan Carlos Ferrero 2-1
Jiri Novak 1-2
Andre Agassi 0-2
Thomas Johansson 0-1

But Moya was highly impressive in wins over Hewitt, Costa and Marat Safin and is one of the few players to consistently trouble the Australian.

He is also keen to end the year as Champions Race number three, a feat which Federer and Ferrero could also achieve if either wins the tournament.

Moya holds a daunting 5-2 winning record over Hewitt, something which the Aussie is desperate to put right.

But having already captured the world number one spot which was his priority in Shanghai, a tired and out-of-form Hewitt may struggle to find the spark of inspiration.

And should he fail, the stage would be set for only the second Spanish winner in the history of the end-of-season event and the first Swiss.


Saturday's Masters Cup schedule

0700 GMT
Carlos Moya v Juan Carlos Ferrero
followed by
Roger Federer v Lleyton Hewitt

All the action from the end-of-season Masters Cup

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