Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Somewhere fairly shingly
Re: Should Hewitt retire?
I actually felt sorry for Hewitt afterwards during the presentation, having to listen to more cliched platitudes about his speed and heart and attempts to cheer him up by mentioning his extra prize money as the US Open Series winner - not something I've ever felt before, and would never have imagined possible yesterday when I watched him double fist-pump at the court after winning against Johansson. That's how amazing Federer's performance was.
That said, a very close scrutiny of the match suggests he could have done certain things better. A great start from Federer, yes, but he was helped by 40% first serves from Hewitt, two double faults to drop serve twice when he'd only been broken four times in the tournament (less than half as many times as his opponent) and frequent poor length on his groundstrokes allowing Federer to dominate the rallies instantly. It was notable that once he knuckled down and became his usual brick wall midway through the second set it immediately made Federer anxious and forced him into error. When you pin Federer deep onto his backhand side and test his consistency on that wing, you get a lot of reward. Too many times though, over-anxiety and trying to go for the lines cost Hewitt, e.g. the backhand missed at 4-3 in the second on breakpoint which would have got him back into the match far more easily than the way he had to in Federer's next service game at 5-4.
His real problem is that Federer can do most things as well as him, the speed, the defence and the consistent returning, while also doing a whole lot more when it comes to aggression. Hewitt needs to get more penetration on either his serve or off the ground, because apart from perhaps Coria on a fast surface I can't imagine any other top player being bagelled by Federer five times in one year.
The Wit and Wisdom of the Tennis Journalist, Indian Wells 2004
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I remember this one time when I went on a vacation on the Maldives. That was in the year 2001, I think. I went to this spa. I went to walk around with my girlfriend. I walk in, and we want to book a spa. This guy goes, "AHH, I remember you. You beat Sampras. I saw you on TV." That was like, really, how can you remember me? This guy has probably never been off his island and still knows me. I was a little bit shocked. Then I went to play tennis with him because he was actually the tennis teacher. It was nice.
Q. Were you naked at the time in the spa?
ROGER FEDERER: No. It was at the front desk. I didn't walk in naked.