Lleyton's enemies for a change
Lleyton Hewitt enemies
September 23, 2006
1 The whole of Argentina
"Hewitt seems to think that he's come to Iraq; that they are going to plant a bomb," Argentinian Davis Cup player Jose Acasuso said this week of Hewitt employing two personal bodyguards for the tie. As the most hated sports personality in Argentina, Hewitt is naturally a little bit nervous about the Davis Cup semi-final. David Nalbandian put it succinctly: "Nobody is a friend of him."
2 Andrew McLeod
It was man-love at its very best. McLeod lived in Hewitt's West Lakes mansion and drove his Ferrari. Hewitt wore an Adelaide Crows pendant to the Logies in a tribute to his best mate. They both headed to the Top End to have some boy time and made a DVD titled Lleyton Hewitt: The Other Side. The highlight? When Hewitt and McLeod are buying toilet paper in Darwin and Lleyton asks Andrew: "Do you want seashells or elephants?" Golly, it was man-love - but it had to end. McLeod objected to footage of his people in Hewitt's DVD. The pair went to the Federal Court and a settlement was reached, but the two no longer talk.
3 Rebound Ace
Summer comes, the hype around the Australian Open starts to stir and then Hewitt has his say about the sluggish surface. If they really wanted him to win that slam, surely the tournament organisers would change the court covering for him? Surely. Australian Open director Paul McNamee quit earlier this year, but insisted his resignation had nothing to with the Hewitt-Rebound Ace controversy. McNamee's final years were plagued by criticism from Hewitt.
4 Guillermo Coria
When Coria spat at Wazza (Warren Livingstone, head of tennis supporter group the Fanatics), it was on. At last year's Davis Cup tie against Argentina, Coria came out firing and grabbing his crotch (according to Hewitt). Coria's antics made Hewitt burst: "He tried hip and shouldering me at the end of the first set and he complained the whole day." Coria was just as upset by Hewitt and said that on the court "you really feel like killing him". "As a person, I would rather not win a single tournament in my life than be like him," Coria said.
5 Juan Ignacio Chela
At the 2005 Australian Open, Chela aimed a serve at Hewitt then spat in his direction. Chela was later fined $US2000 ($2600) but denied he spat in Hewitt's direction. Chela's behaviour caused Roger Rasheed to burst into the locker room and demand satisfaction from Chela's coach. "You do that again and I will knock your f---ing block off," Rasheed is alleged to have said.
6 David Nalbandian
"It's not very good for the sport. Not when you do a mistake or something like that, that's the worst thing." It's obvious Nalbandian is no fan of Hewitt's "C'mon" routine. "He [Hewitt] is not a gentleman," Nalbandian offered on another occasion. The pair simply drive each other nuts, and the rivalry has heightened again this week in Argentina.
7 Stupid Australians
They seem to congregate at tennis courts in Adelaide - well, that was the case in 1997. Hewitt was playing a hardcourt tournament in South Australia and after being booed for his unsportsmanlike behaviour, he questioned the "stupidity of the Australian public". "They're [spectators], not athletes, they haven't been in that situation … I'm not going to go out and change my mind just because a couple of idiots in the crowd say grow up."
8 New Idea
They used to be friends - but then Woman's Day smacked down megabucks for baby Mia and the Hewitts' hearts were stolen. Tied to a million-dollar contract under which wife Bec writes a diary about the baby and tennis life, Hewitt was unimpressed when photos and, gasp, words emerged in New Idea earlier this year and considered taking legal action.
9 The linesman
In 2001, during a second-round match against American player James Blake at the US Open, Hewitt attempted to have a black linesman removed after being foot-faulted twice. "Look at him and you tell me what the similarity is," Hewitt implored the umpire. Hewitt later denied the comment was made on racial grounds.
10 Laureus Sports Awards
Karrie Webb, Cathy Freeman, Ian Thorpe, the Australian cricket team and the Wallabies have all been lauded with a Laureus Award. Lleyton is yet to join the list. The sporting Oscars have so far failed to recognise Rusty's great achievements, so what does he think? "I couldn't really give a shit."
"Champions aren’t made in gyms. Champions are made from something they have deep inside them a desire, a dream, a vision. They have to have the skill and the will. But the will must be stronger than the skill.”- Muhammad Ali“