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Hewitt gets his first Slam with Mirnyi

Lleyton Hewitt and Max Mirnyi came into the U.S. Open as an unseeded doubles team, men who didn't have a long history of playing together. They will leave as the doubles champions.

Hewitt and Mirnyi pulled off an upset Friday, squeaking past fourth seeds Ellis Ferreira and Rich Leach 6-4, 5-7, 7-6 (7-5).

It was Hewitt's first Grand Slam title, making up for the mixed doubles final he lost at Wimbledon. "I wanted to do better in the final this time," Hewitt said.

Ferreira thought he and Leach should have won the tiebreak.

"One thing Rick has taught me is when you make a final or semi, that you don't kind of just rest with that," he said. "You should really always shoot to win the event."

It could be the start of a big weekend for Hewitt. He is also in the men's singles semifinals against Pete Sampras.

A LITTLE MOTHERLY HELP?: In the second set, Martina Hingis got a warning from the chair umpire for receiving coaching from her mother/coach Melanie Molitor.

Hingis said she didn't see what, if anything, her mother did to prompt the warning.

"That was kind of funny because I was on the other side of the court that she gave her coaching," Hingis said.

DID YOU KNOW?: Today's Lindsay Davenport-Venus Williams women's final is the first between two Americans here since Martina Navratilova and Chris Evert in 1984. It's the first between two women born in America since Tracy Austin and Evert in '79.

MOVING ON UP: By virtue of her win and Hingis' loss, Davenport will become No. 1 in the world when the WTA Tour rankings are released Monday. If Hingis had won, she would have retained the top spot even if she lost the final to Davenport.

THE MATCH OF HIS LIFE: In an interview with CBS to be aired today, Sampras said his loss to Stefan Edberg in the 1992 U.S. Open final changed his career.

"I can honestly say if I didn't lose that match, I wouldn't have what I have today," he said. "Up until that point, I didn't hate to lose. I didn't have that burning desire. I remember the match against Edberg and I gave in a little. I remember the fourth set I was tired. You know when you dig deep and you know when you don't. I didn't.

"It ate away at me and bothered me. It changed my career. It really did. If I didn't lose that match, I wouldn't be here today with 13 (Grand Slam titles)."

THAT'S MY BOY: Three Americans are in the boys singles semifinals. Andy Roddick, Robbie Ginepri and Ytai Abougzir won quarterfinals, becoming the first trio of Americans to get this far since 1977.

THIS BUD'S FOR YOU: Todd Martin was awarded the tournament's Heineken Star Award, which is given every year to the player who "shows the most grit and determination" during a singles match.

The award is voted on by a panel of former pros. They chose Martin because of his remarkable comeback against Carlos Moya in the fourth round when Martin rallied from two sets to none. Martin is the only two-time winner of the award in its five-year history. He won it last year.

_ DARRELL FRY

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