As y'all know, I'm a HUGE Kim fan, so it comes as no surprise that my regard for Lleyton can be traced back to her.
I first noticed Kim at the '99 Wimby, when she got to the 4th round as a qualifier. I though, "Hey, this chick could be good." Then I got to see some more of her when she came SO CLOSE to beating the Predator Part 2, er, I mean Serena, at the '99 US Open. Serena, of course, went on to win that
and I thought again, "Hey, this chick could be good."
As Kim was rarely on TV in the US, I didn't get to see her play, so she was one of those players I hoped was doing well, but she was always pushed to the back of my mind sort of by default.
I got to see some of Kim and Lleyton's mixed doubles matches at the '00 Wimby, and I thought they were adorable.
Then I saw Lleyton in the US Open semis versus Sampras, and I really started to root for him.
THEN came the '01 French Open.
I loved the way Lleyton battled back from 2 sets to love down to beat Canas, even though Ferrero took him out in straights the next round. And I thought it was sooooo sweet the way he stayed to support Kim throughout the rest of the tournament.
And I was hooked! I've been a rabid Lleyki ever since.