Sunday, 25 August, 2002, 09:48 GMT 10:48 UK
McEnroe questions Hewitt future
Hewitt beat Pete Sampras in last year's US Open final
John McEnroe has revealed that he does not think world number one Lleyton Hewitt is big enough to dominate the game.
McEnroe told the Sunday Telegraph newspaper that it would be a "tall order for him physically" to have a long reign at the top.
But despite his reservations the seven-time former Grand Slam champion admits he considers Hewitt the clear favourite for the US Open.
And McEnroe goes on to compare Hewitt to the young Pete Sampras.
McEnroe respects Hewitt's fighting qualities
"As the reigning US Open and Wimbledon champion Lleyton Hewitt is definitely the man to beat," said McEnroe.
"But, as for dominating the game in the same way that Sampras and Agassi did in the 90s, it is going to be a tall order for him physically.
"There is no question he is the fastest player around and a great competitor, probably the greatest since Jimmy Connors, which is quite a compliment.
"But his sheer size will make it difficult for him to lord it.
"What you can say is he is as good as Sampras was at the same age."
Hewitt could have met Britain's Greg Rusedski in the second round at Flushing Meadows but Rusedski's promotion in the draw means that will now not happen.
Rusedski avoids Hewitt clash
Rusedski, who was a US Open finalist in 1997, beat Hewitt on his way to winning the RCA title in Indianapolis last week.
And McEnroe thinks that it is the big left-hander, rather than Tim Henman, who offers the best chance of British success at the US Open.
"Outside the top two, the Briton (Rusedski) has as good a chance as anyone of winning this event," said McEnroe.
"He is certainly more resilient than his fellow countryman, Tim Henman.
Henman still troubled by injury
"I understand that because of his shoulder injury he (Henman) is only serving at 50% capacity.
"If that is the case, he won't go more than two rounds at the Open."
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