DOHA, Qatar (AP) _ It was like old times for Germany’s Rainer Schuttler. This time, though, there was a title on the line.
Schuttler, who began the week ranked 111th in the world and had to qualify for the main draw, upset top-seeded Tim Henman 6-4, 5-7, 6-1 Sunday to win the $1 million Qatar Open.
``Right now I can’t believe it,″ Schuttler said. ``I’m really happy that I played good tennis. Last year I had some good results, but not in a row.″
It was the third time the two have met, and the second time Schuttler won. The German captured their first meeting in Split, Croatia, in 1998, also in three sets. Henman beat Schuttler in a British tournament.
Schuttler, who turned professional in 1995, played his brand of powerful baseline tennis, complimented with a series of well-timed excursions to the net, showing that his earlier victories against top players were no accident.
Besides playing qualifying, in his four matches to reach the final, Schuttler defeated Andrei Medvedev, Daniel Vacek, Goran Ivanisevic and Cedric Pioline.
Before this tournament, the 23-year-old Schuttler had never advanced beyond the quarterfinals of an ATP Tour event. In 1998, he had a won-loss record of only 12-15.
It took Schuttler 46 minutes to capture the opening set, closing it out on his own serve. In the second set, Henman continued with his ploy of slicing the ball back, but the German showed few signs of crumbling under the center court pressure.
It was, in fact, Henman who became frustrated, getting an uncharacteristic code violation for racket abuse after missing a break point opportunity.
Henman finally came through late in the set as he adopted his traditional chip and charge tactics, which began to pay dividend. He leveled the match, thanks to a double fault by Schuttler.
The German broke Henman immediately to begin the third set and the Briton never recovered.
Henman refused to talk to the media after the match and immediately left for the airport.
``I had confidence from qualifying, and ever since the Medvedev game my confidence got higher and higher,″ Schuttler said.
In Adelaide, Australia, on Sunday, Sweden’s Thomas Enqvist ended 17-year-old Lleyton Hewitt’s two-year unbeaten run in the Australian Men’s Hardcourt tournament, 4-6, 6-1, 6-2. Hewitt was the defending champion.
Enqvist was sidelined for three months last year after surgery on his right ankle. This was his 14th title, but the first since last April at Munich, Germany.
In Auckland, New Zealand, on Saturday, third-seeded Julie Halard-Decugis of France downed Belgium’s Dominique Van Roost 6-4, 6-1 to win the Auckland Women’s Classic.
Second-seeded Patty Schnyder beat top seed Mary Pierce 4-6, 7-6 (7-5), 6-2 on Saturday to capture the Australian Women’s Hardcourt Championship, held at the Hope Island Tennis Club in Gold Coast, Australia.
Led by world junior champion Jelena Dokic and Mark Philippoussis, Australia captured its first Hopman Cup on Saturday, downing Sweden 2-1. Dokic, the surprise of the week-long team event, beat Asa Carlsson 6-2, 7-6 (10-8) and Philippoussis stopped Jonas Bjorkman 6-3, 7-6 (8-6) to clinch the title before dropping the meaningless doubles.