[img:f356492fac]http://network.news.com.au/image/0,10114,413723,00.jpg[/img:f356492fac] [img:f356492fac]http://foxsports.news.com.au/common/imagedata/0,5001,413706,00.jpg[/img:f356492fac] This is Lleyton showing excitement at winning a match under pressure. I hope this doesn't upset the Narks! ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------- MARATHON man Lleyton Hewitt last night swept to the brink of Australian Open glory, making light of a gruelling campaign to reach tomorrow night's final. The tireless baseliner weathered second seed Andy Roddick's phenomenal serving to snatch the world No. 2 ranking from the American with a 3-6 7-6 (7-3) 7-6 (7-4) 6-1 victory. Hewitt shoved aside concerns of a strained right hip to earn a tilt at Russian fourth seed Marat Safin in the centenary championship's historic night decider. "It's awesome, this started six months ago at least, nine months ago," Hewitt said. "I started preparing for this tournament back then and put in the hard yards. "I've always said I'd do anything to play in the first night final of the Australian Open and now I've got my chance. "I had to weather the storm as much as possible and there was a big momentum swing in the third set. That third set tiebreak was huge." Hewitt declared he would have to lift his game even higher after surviving tough matches against James Blake, Juan Ignacio Chela, Rafael Nadal, David Nalbandian and Roddick. Advertisement: "Obviously with Marat beating the best player going around (Roger Federer), he's playing extremely well," Hewitt said. "So it's not going to be easy. I'll have to raise my level and go out there and see what happens." Hewitt said his body "felt extremely good" despite spending more than 17 hours on court over the past 12 days. As Australia's first finalist since Victorian Pat Cash lost to Swede Mats Wilander in 1988, Wimbledon and US Open winner Hewitt is bidding to become the nation's first male champion at home since Mark Edmondson in 1976. Hewitt predicted pre-match fatigue would not be an issue against Roddick despite spending more time on court than any other player in the event. And he was right, taming the biggest serve in tennis to eventually defuse Roddick's lethal weapon. Hewitt surged away in the fourth set after Roddick reputedly clashed angrily with tournament referee Peter Bellenger in the Melbourne Park corridors after taking a long break to change his clothes. Bellenger is understood to have ordered Roddick to return to the courts immediately as Hewitt sat waiting at the end of the third set. It had no effect on the dual Davis Cup winner and former world No. 1. Reaching his fourth major ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â€Âœ his sole defeat at the highest level came in last season's US Open decider to Federer ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â€Âœ Hewitt shares a 5-5 win-loss record with enigmatic Safin. Watched last night by his parents, Glynn and Cherilyn, girlfriend Bec Cartwright and Adelaide footballer Andrew McLeod, Hewitt traded on his impressive fitness levels to destroy Roddick in the fourth set. The American could hardly have been more menacing early, unleashing his serve to stamp his authority on the match. Roddick cracked 11 aces in the opening set, 12 in the second set, including four in a row in the second game, seven in the third set and only one in a fourth-set rout for a total of 31. Gradually working his way into Roddick's service games, Hewitt snatched the second set tiebreak when his opponent strayed into error. And when Roddick netted a backhand on set point, the packed centre court exploded in delight. The jubilation was short-lived as a sloppy Hewitt double-faulted three times in the second game of the third set to present Roddick with a break. In a match peppered with exclamations of "good shot" from both players, Roddick was peeved when his rhythm was disrupted by spectators yelling out between serves as he served for a 5-2 lead. Double-faulting to allow Hewitt back on terms, Roddick rounded on Swiss chair umpire Andreas Egli as Hewitt took a tablet from a trainer. "So you are telling me I can have someone in the crowd yelling out between serves and you can't do a thing about it?" Roddick said. "You're gonna get security into the crowd and find them? Good luck." Taken to another tiebreak, Roddick went to 3-1 with a pair of aces before Hewitt won six of the next seven points, capped with a sensational backhand crosscourt pass to pocket the set. A double fault in the second game of the fourth set allowed Hewitt to continue his momentum as Roddick continued to slip. A second break in the sixth game was insurance for a man who now believes fate, and fitness, are his two biggest allies. Sinking to his knees after the last point, Hewitt kissed the court before acknowledging his coach Roger Rasheed.