Day final out, hello prime time

Written By Unknown on Senin, 06 Januari 2014 | 23.40

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BRISBANE International organisers will consider switching the men's final to a prime time evening slot for 2015 following Sunday's star clash between Lleyton Hewitt and Roger Federer.

Tournament director Cameron Pearson will talk to broadcaster Channel Seven about showing the 2015 men's title decider at either 6pm or 7pm Queeensland time

"We'll look at our schedule and what matches were played when and we will review each day's play and the sessions and certainly that's one that I'm going to look at for sure, to look to move towards a night final for the men," Pearson said.

"It's obviously a better time from an audience perspective but also you're showcasing your best match at night, under the lights.

"Keeping away from when the sun comes in on the side of the court would make it a better spectator experience as well."

The setting sun streamed on to the Pat Rafter Arena court through a gap between the top of the stands and the roof as Hewitt took on the 17-times Grand Slam winner.

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Their match, played over two hours and eight minutes, spilled into prime time by chance after the curtain-raiser men's doubles final starting at 2pm went to three sets and lasted 96 minutes.

The Hewitt-Federer match averaged 1.12 million viewers on 7Two and peaked at 1.56 million.

It was the most watched program in its timeslot in Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth.

Federer and Hewitt flew out of Brisbane yesterday to continue their Australian Open preparations.

Hewitt, who will contest the AAMI Classic starting at Kooyong tomorrow, will go into the first Grand Slam of the year with increased confidence following his 6-1, 4-6, 6-3 upset of Federer but he said that was incidental to winning in Brisbane, his first title since 2010.

"Playing the best players in the world and finals of tournaments, always it's exciting, that's why you still play the game," said the 32-year-old Australian.

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"For me, it was motivation enough just to try to get the win out there and obviously win another title. It's been a couple years. So I was just ready for the challenge."

The win pushed Hewitt's world ranking from No.60 to 43 but, again, that was just a bonus after beating Federer and world No.17 Kei Nishikori on the way to the title.

"The pleasing thing is how I backed up," Hewitt said.

"I had my first match on Tuesday night, and then after that had one day off and after that had to play four matches in a row.

"At my age and then to come through and do that, the last two wins have been big, quality players as well."

Federer branded Hewitt "the best player I played this week".

"He made it toughest on me," Federer said.

"So I have a clear idea what I need to work on, and I have a clear idea where my mind and body is at.

"I'm very hungry and eager to attack the Australian Open next week."

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