Two articles describing the same cirumstance yesterday In Beunos Aires with very different interpretations...LOL
By Leo Schlink in Buenos Aires
September 21, 2006 12:00
Two articles describing the same event with very different interpretations...
LLEYTON Hewitt's worst safety fears were realised yesterday after the most elaborate security operation in Davis Cup history collapsed.
Hewitt was mobbed on centre court at Parque Roca as hundreds of children and adults invaded the arena to disrupt a mayoral opening at the new home of Argentine tennis.
Clearly surprised at the unravelling of a security blanket which includes 160 local personnel, uniformed and plain clothes police and two Australian bodyguards, Hewitt was whisked out of the arena in a motorised golf cart
Hewitt had agreed to participate in the ceremony as a conciliatory gesture ahead of another potentially bad-blooded tie with Argentina.
But his decision to accept the International Tennis Federation's invitation to trade a symbolic rally with an Argentine player after Buenos Aires mayor Jorge Telerman cut a ribbon at the net soon backfired.
As Hewitt posed for photographs with Telerman, hundreds of spectators surged on to the court rendering a small security force inadequate.
Tennis Australia immediately began an informal investigation as Hewitt was driven back to the team hotel by his Australian minders.
The incident capped a confronting day for Hewitt who was boorishly described by arch-rival David Nalbandian as being friendless.
Hewitt's manager Rob Aivatoglou said the court invasion justified the decision to take Australian security to Buenos Aires.
"I think the events of today clearly demonstrated why we and Tennis Australia have taken security very seriously," he said.
"To have children, media and adults being able to freely storm on to centre court while Lleyton was attempting to participate in the official stadium opening was completely inappropriate and unacceptable.
And while I never felt Lleyton was endangered because he had our hired staff protecting his interests, young children were caught in the stampede and were being pushed around and in some cases trampled.
"Clearly it was a dangerous situation for these young kids.
"It could easily have developed into something much more serious. Our security handled an awkward situation very well."
Hewitt, who first voiced his concerns over safety in April, was again smeared by Nalbandian, Jose Acasuso and Agustin Calleri.
"First, nobody is a friend of him, nor is anybody else," Nalbandian said.
"My victory over him in Australia (last year) was not only important for me but for the whole team.
"We won in Australia and we will again here.
"I still think we will win 4-1. It doesn't matter that Hewitt is here.
"The Argentine crowd is very respectful – much more than in a foreign crowd."
Acasuso, who has blamed Hewitt for turning the tie "into a circus", said security was solely "a problem of him."
And Calleri said: "This is a secure country. I feel very safe here. You would have to ask Hewitt why he talks about security."
Hewitt's delay in committing to the tie was based largely on security worries and more recently fitness (patella tendinitis).
Eurosport - AS - 21/09/2006 13:08
" src="http://layout.eurosport.com/i/stories/arw_orange.gif" width=8 border=0>Rasheed eyes Australian job
Lleyton Hewitt has unexpectedly transformed from villain to hero after an impromptu act of generosity and kindness led to him receiving a warming endorsement in Argentina's newspapers.
Hewitt arrived in Buenos Aires ahead of this weekend's Davis Cup tie as a universal enemy after a series of run-ins with Argentina's leading players over the last few years.
But Hewitt scored a welcome PR
victory after he spent time hitting balls to underpriviliged children in the stands after a practice session at Parque Roca Stadium on Wednesday.
He then spent time posing for photographs and signing autographs after being mobbed by locals.
The same newspaper that only a year before placed Hewitt in a list of the top five most hated sportsmen on the planet, ran a story under the headline "El Amigo de los Chicos" - The Friend of the Children.
La Nation newspaper described Hewitt's act as one of kindness and decency and reported "a memorable ovation" from the 6,000 or so children.
Australian captain John Fitzgerald said Hewitt's gesture was no premeditated PR
"It was great," he said in The Australian newspaper. "It was terrific. It wasn't anything staged.
"He just grabbed a few balls and hit them into the crowd. It was a heck of an atmosphere and they were excited, probably a lot of little kids who can't afford to come when the action starts," he said.
A victory for Australia over hot favourites Argentina would see Hewitt through to his fifth final in his seven years representing his country, in a clash with either Russia or the US on December 1-3.