Originally created 01/05/03

Blake beats Hewitt in Hopman Cup



PERTH, Australia -- James Blake upset top-ranked Lleyton Hewitt 6-3, 6-4 on Saturday and Serena Williams beat Alicia Molik to give the United States its second Hopman Cup title.

"I think that might be the first time I've taken out a reigning No. 1," Blake said. "It feels pretty good. I don't think he had his best form, but I'll take it. It gives me some confidence going into the rest of the year, knowing I can beat a top player like that."

Williams, the top-ranked women's player, beat Alicia Molik 6-2, 6-3, and teamed with Blake to win the doubles 6-3, 6-2 as the United States swept the three matches.

The American star, seeking her fourth straight Grand Slam victory in the Australian Open, is pleased with her decision to travel to Australia a week earlier than in past years.

"I feel I'm getting better and better. I'm glad I came over earlier this year," Williams said.