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Last Updated: Monday, 22 November, 2004, 03:01 GMT
Federer coasts to Masters Cup win
Roger Federer
Federer failed to be deterred by two rain delays
World number one Roger Federer has cruised to his second successive Masters Cup title after defeating Lleyton Hewitt 6-3 6-2 in Houston.

Thunder, lightning and heavy rain delayed the match by three hours but Federer stormed into a 5-2 lead in the first set as play finally started.

Another downpour brought the players off but Hewitt failed to match Federer's game on their return.

It was the Swiss star's 13th final win in a row - an Open era record.

Federer collected a $1.52m prize for his victory - his 11th title of the season, including the Wimbledon, US and Australian Open titles.

"It's just an unbelievable end to a fantastic season for me," said the 23-year-old, who had suffered a torn left thigh muscle last month.

I'll go back to the drawing board and hopefully I can get him next year
Lleyton Hewitt

"I was injured and came back strong and was able to win this title. It's almost too much to ask for.

"I can leave on vacation now with a great feeling and with great memories. My priorities now are to defend my Wimbledon title and to defend my number one ranking."

Organisers had earlier warned the final could be moved to Monday due to the dire conditions but, as the weather cleared, they opted to reduce the final from a five-set contest to a three-set one.

Federer got off to an electric start with a game to love before breaking Hewitt's opening service game.

He then kept ahead at 5-2 before a 78-minute rain delay. When the players returned to court, he promptly rounded off the set.

The players were more closely matched in the second set until Federer broke Hewitt's serve in the fifth game.

After that he conceded just four more points and sealed the title as Hewitt struck a forehand into the net.

Hewitt, who has now lost six times in a row to Federer, said: "I'd like to congratulate Roger not only for winning the tournament but for the way he has played all year.

"He has really cleaned me up this year. I'll go back to the drawing board and hopefully I can get him next year."

Hewitt into Houston semi-finals
19 Nov 04 |  Tennis
Federer claims semi-final berth
18 Nov 04 |  Tennis
Roddick rains on Henman's hopes
17 Nov 04 |  Tennis
Early wins for Hewitt and Safin
16 Nov 04 |  Tennis

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