Hewitt beats del Potro to win Kooyong exhibition

Hewitt beats del Potro to win Kooyong exhibition
January 12, 2013, 3:30 am
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Australia's Lleyton Hewitt makes a forehand return to Argentina's Juan Martin Del Potro in the final of the Kooyong Classic in Melbourne, Australia, Saturday, Jan. 12, 2013. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)

(APWF)

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) Lleyton Hewitt warmed up for his 17th Australian Open with a 6-1, 6-4 win over Juan Martin del Potro on Saturday in the final of the Kooyong classic invitational exhibition tournament.

The 31-year-old Hewitt, once the top-ranked player in the world, won the tuneup event ahead of the season's first major for the second time in three years and said, ``I hit the ball as well as I have in a long time.''

Hewitt has a tough first-round match at the Australian Open against No. 8 seed Janko Tipsarevic on Monday night. The veteran Australian has won the U.S. Open and Wimbledon, but only once reached the final of his home major.

The victory over the seventh-ranked del Potro, the 2009 U.S. Open champion, followed wins over Tomas Berdych and Milos Raonic.