Let the war begin...MWUHAHGAHAH..
Newk: Stick it up Spain
By Mark Stevens
October 23, 2003
TENNIS legend John Newcombe has urged Australia to "stick it up" Spain in next month's Davis Cup final as payback for its disrespectful behaviour.
Newcombe, the former Australian captain, has branded abuse the team copped in the 2000 final loss in Barcelona as the worst of his career.
"The best way to stick it up them is to beat them, and beat them five-love," Newcombe said.
"I've been around for a long time and that's the worst I've ever seen."
Newcombe told the November edition of Australian Tennis Magazine it would be "embarrassing" if the crowd behaved as poorly during the November 28-30 tie at Melbourne Park.
The three-time Wimbledon champ criticised the Spanish players and then captain Javier Duarte for fuelling anger in the 15,000-strong crowd.
"They were inciting the crowd and constantly encouraging the crowd to over-participate . . . that's against the rules in Davis Cup," Newcombe said.
"They refused to recognise anything. If any of our players did anything extraordinary, they'd boo to drown out the Australian applause."
Two players who will be in Melbourne next month -- Alex Corretja and world No. 1 Juan Carlos Ferrero -- were at the centre of controversy.
Corretja, likely to play doubles in the final, launched calculated attacks on Lleyton Hewitt in the lead-up to the final, focusing on his "c'mon" antics.
"His behaviour irritates me," Corretja said. "He can behave as he wants, (he's) free to do it. We have to be patient with him if he behaves provocatively.
"We will see how the crowd will react, but in Barcelona the crowd doesn't like provocation."
Sparked by Corretja's comments, the Barcelona crowd unleashed unprecedented abuse at Hewitt on the first day of the tie.
"Definitely, that last game was the worst I've ever seen," Hewitt said after serving out the match. "It was the toughest thing I've ever had to do in tennis. It's not a soccer match."
Hewitt was booed when introduced at the opening ceremony and again during the warm-up to his match.
Newcombe was furious that Ferrero did not get around to shaking Hewitt's hand after he won the reverse singles, sealing victory for the Spanish.
Ferrero's teammates swamped him, leaving Hewitt standing at the net.
"That's just completely disrespectful and shows a lack of class," said Newcombe, who also vividly recalls the treatment dished out to Mark Woodforde, who was booed when he walked on to court.
"It was so bad, I just started laughing. It was like 'these people don't get it'," Newcombe said. "They totally missed the point (of Davis Cup)."
Woodforde said at the time that he felt like a "caged animal".
"I thought the crowd were pretty disgraceful," Woodforde said.
"I know, sure as hell, if we played in Australia, it wouldn't be like that."