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post #16 of 375 (permalink) Old 01-03-2004, 10:46 AM
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Clijsters's engaged tone contrasts sharply with surly Hewitt
By Owen Slot

LET US BE absolutely clear. Magic Sponge is all for love. Love ó love changes everything, at least so Andrew Lloyd Webber, that well-known philosopher, would have had us believe until Lleyton Hewitt came along. Never exactly a ray of sunshine, Hewitt arrived on Thursday for the Hopman Cup in Perth high on Planet Love, fresh from persuading Kim Clijsters to take his hand in marriage ó and as surly as ever. He sidestepped the media at the airport, refused to discuss the manner of the proposal and cut a journalist dead when asked about any wedding details. And no one was surprised.

But love on the sports pages isnít easy. Tiger Woodsís engagement to Elin Nordgren in November at a secret location in South Africa was marred when the owner of the secretly located game park put up pictures of the happy couple to help to advertise his website. Not stopping there, he alerted the newspapers and invited the mayor and local schoolchildren to the airport when they departed. Tiger was so angry he could have eaten the lions.

But Clijsters is a sunny character who allows the common people to be touched by the warmth of sports-pages love. ďLleyton had a surprise for me!Ē she records in her website diary. ďHe produced all of a sudden a ring and earrings! I was so happy I didnít know how to react. Let there be no doubt: I am full of joy.Ē

And this diary of hers is full of gems too. On December 8, she reports from Australia: ďI start to be somewhat confused. The cangoroos and walibis even come onto our terrace.Ē The following day, she goes so far as to share with us the news that she has just had colon hydrotherapy. Indeed, www.kimclijsters.be is such a friendly place that it even gives its readers the opportunity of sending the couple their congratulations. Just donít expect a reply from her fiancť.

This chilli has more than this one, weird no?

Toss me, but don't let the elf see

Mistress of Mischief

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Michael, why can't you just go to Arsenal and make my life so much easier?

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post #17 of 375 (permalink) Old 01-03-2004, 11:54 AM
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Re: Miscellaneous Lleyton articles 2004

Thanks a lot Clare You must be subscribed to The Times because I can't read the article from google news.
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post #18 of 375 (permalink) Old 01-03-2004, 12:12 PM
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Re: Miscellaneous Lleyton articles 2004

thanks so much
i can't read it from google news either...
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post #19 of 375 (permalink) Old 01-03-2004, 03:05 PM
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Re: Miscellaneous Lleyton articles 2004

I didn't think I was subscrbed to the times

well if anyone wants any times articles just let me know

This chilli has more than this one, weird no?

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post #20 of 375 (permalink) Old 01-03-2004, 04:36 PM
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Re: Miscellaneous Lleyton articles 2004

Not sure if this one's been posted yet: from the Hopman Cup website. Most of the quotes have already shown up in articles.

Transcript - Lleyton Hewitt
2 January 2004


Lleyton, how does it feel to be officially spoken for. I suppose it must have been an exciting few weeks, the last few weeks.

Yeah, itís been good. Everything went well and Iím really enjoying it at the moment.

And I suppose it was just very important that she said yes, but you never doubted it.

Oh, I hope not. I hope there wasnít too much of a problem. You know, everything has been going well for the last four years and weíve both been able to help each other out a lot, both on and off the court.

How have you spent the last week?

Just training mate Ė the same as always.

So you donít get to have fun just because you do something like that.

No, not at all mate. The Australian Open is coming up.

Lleyton, how good is it to have Kim, another elite athlete, as your partner Ė especially during the lows?

Yeah, you know, itís good I guess. We both know what each other is going through. Obviously I got to the pinnacle of tennis, I guess, just before she did, and now sheís up there and we both understand the pressures. And we donít talk about tennis that much, but if it does come up and we do have issues then sure, we can sort it out or help each other I guess.

And your parents were thrilled aboutÖ

Yeah, Mum was happy Ė it was good.

Youíve both got fairly hectic schedules, any thoughts on when the wedding might be? Can we expect it in the next 12 months?

Oh, donít know mate. You wonít be the first to find out!

How do you go into Wednesday though Lleyton, when obviously thatís one that people want to talk about, considering youíre up against your fiancť, how do you approach that game?

Iím not up against her yet. Iíve got to beat Xavier.

In the mixed doubles though?

Well, weíll wait and see if itís live.

On the tennis front, what are your goals for this season?

You know, see what happens. I havenít passed the round of 16 at the Aussie Open before. Obviously the Hopman Cup and Sydney for me is working towards the Aussie Open and getting as much match preparation as possible. Apart from the last two Davis Cup ties which were obviously a couple of the biggest highs for me in my career, I havenít played that many matches. So for me itís just good to get out there on one of my favourite surfaces, the Rebound Ace, and try to get some good hard matches under my belt. You know, I give myself a real good fighting outside chance, I guess.

Is that one of the things you aim for, to reclaim the world number one? I know you cut down on the amount of tournaments you played.

Oh, not really. I think if I put myself in a position early in the year then I might have a crack at it. But, you know, it was awesome taking those last three months off before the Davis Cup final. I know a lot of people questioned it, and the people closest to me didnít question it at all and they knew what was best for me. And it won us the Davis Cup in a lot of ways, I guess, winning that first match against Ferrero. I feel like Iíve got a lot of energy in the tank at the moment and if the chance comes around to have another crack at number one, then Iíll be happy to take that chance.

Having won the Davis Cup, do you think you might scale up your tournament schedule this year?

Iíll wait and see how the summer goes and play it by ear.

Lleyton, you look like youíve bulked up a bit in the off-season, or in your three months off and I know Roger (Rasheed) was saying youíre the fittest youíve ever been, do you feel that way?

Oh, not really. Nah, Iím alright.

Youíre wearing the muscle T Lleyton, come on!

Oh, itís so hot here in Perth. Donít you have air conditioning over here if Iím gonna come over from the east? Nah, Iím a little bit stronger I think. Iíve been doing a lot of work off court. You know, even leading up to the Davis Cup final I was probably the fittest Iíd ever been going into that match against Ferrero, and in the end I think I wore him down. To wear a guy like that down, whoís probably in the top two or three in the world of the fittest guys out there, and to do that in those conditions on a very hot day in Melbourne Ė I was pretty pleased with that and hopefully Iíve gotten stronger since then.

Since the start of your career youíve just jumped up, up, up and up and last year you had a bit of a climb backwards, have you learnt anything from last year?

Not really.

Because everyone, obviously, is trying to beat the number one all the time.

Yeah, I still feel like some of the matches that I played were as good as Iíve ever played. Coming back against Federer in those last three sets, was probably the best tennis Iíve played in my life. Against Ferrero Ė exactly the same. Against Enqvist in Sweden in the Davis CupÖit seems to always happen in the Davis Cup, but I had some pretty good matches last year. Even at the US Open I felt like, before I actually hurt my hip in that match against Ferrero, I was playing as well as Iíve probably ever played. I think a lot of the other guys have probably improved a little bit as well. Thereís a lot of young guys out there who are playing extremely well and who believe now that theyíre capable of taking that extra step and getting to the top of the game and winning Grand Slams.

So the Australian Open obviously would be the most important thing that you have yet to achieve, because youíve achieved so much.

Yeah, pretty much. To win your own national tournament, I think. Iíve been going to Melbourne Park ever since it opened and I get goosebumps just walking in the place. Iíve never really played probably my best matches there. I know it was only Davis Cup Ė itís not the Australian Open, but Iíve now played two of my greatest matches ever in there. So those memories are going to flash back as soon as I get in there, and Iíll really go out there and try and attack it right from the start. Grand Slams are weird though Ė youíve just got to take it one match at a time.

Just one more question about Wednesdayís match, you and Kim never have played each other competitively, have you?

No, just practice.

So it will be a fun sort of day, I suppose.

Yeah, it will be fun if I win my singles. Obviously Kim is a red-hot favourite against Alicia, so Aliciaís going to go out there and try her butt off like she always does, but itís going to be a tough one for her. And Iím going to go out there and try and beat Xavier, and make it a live rubber for everyone.

Lleyton, youíve got Jimmy on board for training this yearÖ

Oh, no just helping me out more than anything.

Was that your coachís idea?

No, well Roger (Rasheed) is still my trainer more than anything.

So will that help you, having him here?

Oh, itís more travelling with a mate along the place and he was someone I grew up with and played the Satellites and Challenger circuit together with and someone I get along really well with. He knows a lot about tennis and heís very motivational as well. Hopefully he can add a little bit to my team.

How much do you know about your first opponent Ė itís either Canada or Hungary.

Not a lot about the Canadian kid, Frank Dancevic. Iíve seen him play a little bit in the Canadian Open Ė I think he got a wildcard and might have won a round or lost close and heís pretty talented from what Iíve heard. Heís only 19 or 20 years old I think. Savolt Iíve played once before on clay. He likes to attack a lot and he had his best year, I think, last year. But if I go out there and play as well as I canÖitís always going to be tough first match of the next year on a new surfaceÖbut if I can go out there, Iím sure I can hopefully wrap it up.

Do you feel youíve got a bit of unfinished business here after last year? You havenít quite gotten over the line here at the Hopman Cup.

Oh yeah, well last year I think Williams and Blake were definitely the best team in the competition, thereís no doubt about that Ė they deserved to win it. The year before I actually thought we were playing as well as anyone. I hadnít lost a match and Alicia was starting to play well Ė she actually beat Sanchez that last match. I would have liked to say that I probably would have beaten Tommy Robredo on that day and we probably would have won it after that. So it was a little bit disappointing that year, but apart from that we just go out there and have a bit of fun Ė and try to get over the line. Alicia, I think, surprised everyone last year, how well she played, so hopefully she can back it up this year.

Just one last one, I know youíve touched on it, but do you genuinely feel that this is the best way to prepare for the Australian Open, coming on this surface?

I think so. Nothing has really been quite right yet for me in my preparation. Last year I felt like I played really well in Melbourne. I lost to El Aynaoui in a very tough match and didnít really have a lot that I didnít do in that match Ė he was too good. I played the Hopman Cup and had a week off last year. This year Iím playing the Hopman Cup and Sydney, purely more because I probably took that end of season off last year so I get a few more matches going into the Australian Open. I feel like physically I can go through playing three tournaments in a row and hopefully Iíll be fit enough.

Lleyton, how did you propose?

Oh, it was just on the Sydney Harbour Ė like youíve probably read. Thatís all youíre finding out.

Thank you.
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post #21 of 375 (permalink) Old 01-04-2004, 06:32 AM
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Hewitt: Rafter return will tease
January 4, 2004

LLEYTON Hewitt believes former Davis Cup teammate Pat Rafter will create contrasting emotions with his limited tennis comeback this summer.

The Queenslander will partner Josh Eagle in doubles at this week's AAPT Championship in Adelaide and at the Australian Open before playing singles against Mats Wilander in an exhibition event in Queensland next month.

The popular Rafter, 31, has not played competitively since retiring after Australia's 2001 Davis Cup final loss to France in Melbourne.

"I guess you are a little bit surprised he is playing in that exhibition (match) against (Mats) Wilander and then decided to play a few doubles matches," he said.

"It is good for tennis I think in one way, but they are going to get a little bit more of Pat Rafter and then he's going to not play again.

"So I guess it it is going to be disappointing for the crowd to see him once or twice again and then never see him again."

Hewitt said Rafter informed him of the abbreviated comeback during a round of golf last month but he did not know the dual US Open champion's reasons for returning to the court.

"I have not spoken to him about why he is actually playing doubles, whether it is to have a bit of fun with Josh Eagle, one of his best mates, I don't know," he said.

However Hewitt, who is currently playing at the Hopman Cup in Perth, said he did not expect Rafter to make a more prolonged return to the tour.

And Rafter himself has ruled it out.

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Hewitt promises aggressive stance

January 4, 2004

A beefed-up Lleyton Hewitt pledged to maintain his campaign of sustained aggression after opening the year with a straight-sets demolition of unheralded Hungarian Attila Savolt at the Hopman Cup in Perth.

The fiery baseliner skidded from the top of the world rankings to No.17 last year after taking on a limited playing schedule and failing to win a grand slam for the first time since 2000.

Some critics suggested Hewitt, 22, could not handle bigger serving opponents such as Andy Roddick and Roger Federer and that his counter-punching style was being found out.

However, the South Australian's inspirational performances in the Davis Cup semi-final and final last year proved he was far from washed up as a world force.

Hewitt has added four kilograms in strengthening his upper body in recent months in a clear attempt to improve his power.

He said he wanted to dictate matches and was prepared for an increased number of unforced errors.

His comments came after dismissing world No.175 Savolt 6-2 6-2 in 54 minutes as he started his preparations for his greatest remaining goal - winning the Australian Open - which starts January 19 in Melbourne.

"Probably trying to be more aggressive, I think that has probably been the (aim over) last five or six months, not just the last couple," he said.

"But it is trying to consistently do that and you have to keep doing that in practice and sometimes it does not all pay off.

"But in a couple of my biggest matches in the Davis Cup it did pay off.

"I thought I was pretty aggressive out there today so even though I hit a few more unforced errors I am still pushing and dictating points a lot more.

"Off the court, my fitness has always been pretty good and I am trying to take that to another level."

Hewitt's win secured victory for Australia in the opening tie at the mixed teams event before Wednesday's meeting with Belgium and the enigmatic world No.55 Xavier Malisse.

"Xavier is a very tough player," Hewitt said.

"I think everyone knows that if he is switched on that he can have a great day, but then again he can have a couple of horrors as well."

This story was found at: http://www.theage.com.au/articles/20...151214980.html

I think it's funny that critics said that Hewitt couldn't handle Roddick's serve. Hewitt's one of the few who can return it! And hello? His record against Roddick is 3-0! Seems he can handle him just fine. Doh! :retard:

"What kind of shape am I in now? Well round is a shape." said Roddick with a laugh. "I had a very detailed retirement plan, and I feel like I've met every aspect of it: a lot of golf, a lot of carbs, a lot of fried food, and some booze, occasionally ó I've been completely committed ... The results have shown."

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post #23 of 375 (permalink) Old 01-05-2004, 02:33 AM
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Re: Miscellaneous Lleyton articles 2004

Hewitt seals Australia win

Lleyton Hewitt beat Attila Savolt 6-2 6-2 as Australia eased past Hungary 3-0 in their opening match at the Hopman Cup.
Alicia Molik beat Petra Mandula 4-6 7-6 (7-5) 6-2 to give Australia the lead before Hewitt closed out the tie.

Molik and Hewitt then beat Mandula and Savolt 7-6 (7-5) 6-1 in the closing mixed doubles.

"I played well, very well," said Hewitt. "I am just looking forward to a lot more matches now."

He added: "I have been training really hard since the Davis Cup. I have barely had a day off since then.

"I was pretty aggressive out there today, that's something I have been working on and it was great to be able to come out here and get that win."

Mandula had Molik in trouble in the second set, leading by a set and 4-0 in the tiebreaker before Molik charged back into the match.

After being outplayed for the majority of the match, Molik grew in confidence and won 16 of the last 19 points.

Belgium play Slovakia and Russia take on France in matches on Monday.

The United States, featuring Lindsay Davenport and James Blake, begin the defence of their title against the Czech Republic on Tuesday.
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Re: Miscellaneous Lleyton articles 2004

Early signs look promising for a rebuilt and revitalised Hewitt

In the past five weeks, Lleyton Hewitt has been surprised by Pat Rafter, awed by Greg Norman, betrothed to Kim Clijsters and vindicated for a sabbatical gamble that helped deliver Australia its 28th Davis Cup.

He has also trained and practised with his customary zeal, the former world No.1 returning to the court yesterday with his new-year optimism and determination at their peak.

Virtually since his career nadir, last year's humiliating first-round loss to qualifier Ivo Karlovic at Wimbledon, Hewitt has set himself to play more aggressively, as he did during yesterday's slick Hopman Cup opener against Hungarian Attila Savolt. Far bigger occasions and better opponents are to come, of course, but the early signs were most encouraging.

Hewitt may now have won just three matches in more than four months - all in non-ATP events, and at great cost to his computer ranking - but the flipside is that he is also unbeaten since the US Open. Time away from the tour has its advantages, and the 22-year-old has used his tournament break to strengthen both his body and his resolve to play more attacking tennis, and more often.

"Probably trying to be a little bit more aggressive, I think; that's probably the last five or six months, not just the last couple, but it's trying to consistently do that, and you've got to keep doing that in practice," Hewitt said after yesterday's 6-2, 6-2 rout of world No.175 Savolt, whose foot injury cruelled any remote prospect of an upset.

"Sometimes it doesn't all pay off, but in a couple of my biggest matches in the Davis Cup it did pay off in both of those. Today, even though I hit a couple of unforced errors, I still feel like I'm pushing and dictating points a lot more. Off the court, trying to get a little bit more strength, I guess, and my fitness has always been pretty good, but trying to take that to another level."

Since laying the day-one foundation for the Davis Cup final success he claims compensated for his personal grand slam disappointments, Hewitt has taken just two weeks off during his Australian Open preparation, barely allowing himself a further day off since his brief dalliance with the golf tour early last month.

He has pushed himself through Adelaide's hot spell under the supervision of coach Roger Rasheed, acclimatising for the extreme physical demands of the Australian Open. In the interests of maximum match practice, Hewitt has booked a full January schedule that takes him from Perth to Sydney en route to Melbourne Park, where he has never passed the fourth round.

Davis Cup and the grand slams are his stated priorities again this year and, although Hewitt's ranking has slid from first to 17th, he belongs in single figures and seems certain to return there before long. "I know how good I can play if I play my game," the two-time grand slam winner said with the confidence of old.

Hewitt is also sure there will be no singles comeback for his friend Rafter, booked to play an exhibition against Mats Wilander in Townsville on February 2 and the recipient of unexpected doubles wildcards into the AAPT Championships and the Australian Open in partnership with Josh Eagle.

"I knew about it a little while ago. I guess you're a little bit surprised," Hewitt said. "It will be interesting. It's good for tennis, I think, in one way, but they're going to get a little bit more of Pat Rafter and then he's going to not play again, so it's going to be a little bit disappointing, I guess, for the crowd to see him once or twice again and then not get to see him again."

The Norman experience, which he described as the "chance of a lifetime", was one he will cherish. "He's got an amazing presence . . . I've never been around anyone with a presence like that," Hewitt said. "It was a true honour to actually be walking alongside him, and you see the game of golf in a totally different way. Not only the game of golf but little things that walking down galleries you don't get to see."

The Burswood crowd yesterday witnessed a 3-0 sweep of qualifiers Hungary by an Australian team comprising 36th-ranked Alicia Molik, fresh from her best year on the circuit, and the freshened-up, bulked-up Hewitt, renowned for his ability to find his rhythm and touch so quickly that it seems he has never been away.

Molik conjured a great escape against Petra Mandula, recovering from 2-5 in the second-set tie-breaker to close out the match 4-6, 7-6 (7-5), 6-2. The South Australian tore a muscle in her left foot in October, prematurely ending a year that began so successfully in Perth and Hobart, the site of her first WTA Tour title almost 12 months ago, and had limited her practice in recent weeks on medical advice.

"It's been a while since I've played a set, let alone three sets, so it was pretty scratchy out there but a win's a win," Molik said. "It's just good to be out on the court and feeling healthy for a change; I've had a pretty big lay-off.

"There's no problem now; it's pretty much fine, but I just haven't got the amount of sets and match practice in me that I would like, but that's what an event like this is for. Hopefully I can give myself the perfect preparation going to Sydney next week and then the Aussie Open."
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post #25 of 375 (permalink) Old 01-05-2004, 02:39 AM
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Re: Miscellaneous Lleyton articles 2004

Hewitt gets Aussies rolling in Hopman Cup

PERTH, Australia (AP) ó Lleyton Hewitt beat Attila Savolt 6-2, 6-2 Sunday to help Australia beat Hungary 3-0 in the opener at the Hopman Cup, a mixed-teams tournament featuring eight nations.
Alicia Molik defeated Petra Mandula 4-6, 7-6 (7-5), 6-2 to put Australia up 1-0. Molik and Hewitt downed Mandula and Savolt 7-6 (7-5), 6-1 in mixed doubles.

Hewitt, a former No. 1 player, stopped Savolt in 54 minutes.

"I thought I was pretty aggressive," Hewitt said. "Even though I hit a few more unforced errors I am still pushing and dictating points a lot more. Off the court, my fitness has always been pretty good and I am trying to take that to another level."

Belgium plays Slovakia and Russia faces France on Monday. The defending champion Americans, featuring James Blake and Lindsay Davenport, play the Czech Republic on Tuesday.

Kim Clijsters, who became engaged to Hewitt before Christmas, will open for Belgium against Daniela Hantuchova. Australia and Belgium meet Wednesday, putting Clijsters and Hewitt across the net from each other in mixed doubles.

The top teams in two round-robin groups play in the final Saturday.
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Hewitt hell-bent on return to the top

Sunday, 04 January , 2004, 19:32

Perth, Australia: The world number one spot couldn't matter less to Lleyton Hewitt. The Australian's eyes flash defiantly when he says it.

But as the 2004 tennis season explodes into action Down Under, Hewitt's preparations for the year already betray a very different feeling.

2003 was a year in which he was toppled from his place at the head of the rankings and left without a grand slam title in his possession. Now the 22-year-old is determined to put things right.

While the rankings may not be paramount in his mind, major success is - and with grand slam titles comes ranking points.

In the last few months, Hewitt has packed more power into his 1.80 metres frame, adding bulk to his wiry body.

While he says he does not care about being top of the rankings, he is certainly determined not to be blown off court by the present incumbent of that exalted position Andy Roddick.

Hewitt will not be cowed by Roddick. Not by the American nor anyone else.

"A ranking's just a ranking, mate," he said in the western Australian city of Perth on Sunday as he fine tunes his game for an assault on the Australian Open in two weeks' time.

"I couldn't care less about that."

The ATP's current list shows Hewitt at number 17 in the world but that is not a position which worries the Australian.

"I know how well I can play when I want to," he smiled. "And I have been training hard."

Beefed-up Baseliner

The beefed-up baseliner certainly has his focus firmly on success. A disappointing 2003 season was saved at the death by a Davis Cup triumph for Hewitt.

But the blond battler has no intention of leaving it so late this season before winning another big one. The Australian Open is in his sights.

Listed in the official ATP guide as weighing 68 kilograms, Hewitt has added "maybe four" kilograms to that weight as he looks to make himself tougher to beat.

A smouldering serve and rattling groundstrokes guided Roddick to the U.S. Open in September.

Andre Agassi won the Australian Open by being Andre Agassi while Roger Federer won Wimbledon by producing a game of such sublime touch and intuition that perhaps only the Swiss could draw on.

Hewitt knows what he is good at. He knows the game which lifted him to the Wimbledon and U.S. Open crowns and the world number one spot.

It is a game based on strength, both physical and mental, and it is that strength the Australian has been working on.

Hewitt is in Perth for the ITF Hopman Cup, a mixed team competition guaranteeing plenty of match play before the Open.

He is in good company. Former world number one Marat Safin is also in the western Australian city as well as James Blake of the U.S. and Czech Jiri Novak.

Blake's friend and Davis Cup team mate Roddick is heading to the Gulf to kick off his season.

The American, a strong favourite for the event, is drawn against Russia's Nikolay Davydenko for his opening match of the $1 million Qatar Open in Doha.

Roddick flies into Australia next week for a couple of explosive clashes at Kooyong, the former venue for the Australian Open.

These days it acts as a warm-up event for the Melbourne Park extravaganza and Roddick will be joined by Federer and Agassi on the old club's hard courts.
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Re: Miscellaneous Lleyton articles 2004

Beefed-up Hewitt overpowers Attila

Digby Beacham

A BULKED-up Lleyton Hewitt said he wanted to become more aggressive on court after combining with Alicia Molik to sweep qualifier Hungary 3-0 in the Hopman Cup at the Burswood Dome yesterday.

Hewitt needed just 54 minutes to dispose of 175th-ranked Attila Savolt 6-2 6-2, securing the tie after Molik had climbed from the canvas to defeat Petra Mandula in three sets.
The South Australians then accounted for the Hungarians 7-6 (7-5) 6-1 in the mixed doubles, adding further spice to Wednesday's clash against Belgium, represented by Hewitt's fiancee Kim Clijsters, and the unpredictable Xavier Malisse.

Hewitt's ranking has slipped to 17 because of his light schedule in the second half of last year and his inability to progress past the quarter-finals in any of the four grand slams in 2003.

He has since worked tirelessly with coach Roger Rasheed to improve his physical condition, adding 4kg to his 68kg frame, and he is hellbent on making use of it.

"I've hardly had a day off (since the Davis Cup final) so I've been training really hard," Hewitt said. "Probably trying to be a little bit more aggressive, I think.

"That's probably the last five or six months, not the last couple. You've got to keep doing it in practice and sometimes it doesn't pay off at all.

"In a couple of my biggest matches in the Davis Cup, it did pay off, and I felt like I was pretty aggressive out there today. Even though I hit a couple more unforced errors, I'm still pushing and dictating points a lot more.

"Off the court, I'm trying to get a little more strength."

Molik proved her 2003 achievements were not a flash in the pan when she rallied from a set and 5-2 down in the second-set tiebreaker to defeat world No. 40 Mandula.

Molik, who became the first Australian woman to win a WTA Tour event in eight years when successful in Hobart in January last year, never quit and, as Mandula tightened, the 22-year-old pounced to claim the second set.

She careered away with the third, eventually prevailing 4-6 7-6 (7-5) 6-2 in 1hr 45min.

Molik and Hewitt are making their third successive appearance at the $1 million mixed teams championship and are aiming to go one step better than last year when beaten by the US in the final.

Molik announced her arrival here 12 months ago courtesy of victories against Daniela Hantuchova, Silvia Farina-Elia and Daja Bedanova, all of whom were ranked above her, before heading to Hobart and winning the Moorilla International.

She would make two more finals (Sarasota and Budapest) and, while beaten, her disappointment on those occasions was outweighed by two foot injuries at either end of the year, the latter finishing her commitments for 2003.

"The crowd really pulled me through that second set," Molik said. "It has been a while since I've played one set, let alone three sets, so hopefully I'll be better for Kim on Wednesday.

"I was not looking too good, but as long as you are in the match, you are a chance."

Belgium begins its campaign today against Slovak Republic.
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post #28 of 375 (permalink) Old 01-11-2004, 09:54 PM
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Re: Miscellaneous Lleyton articles 2004

This is about Lleyton at the end. It's pretty humorous.

It was posted in GM

Court hunks too sexy for their shorts
Comment by Jeff Wells
January 12, 2004

WE'VE got the drugs. We've got the sex. Now let's rock 'n roll.

We're talking, metaphorically, about men's tennis 2004. Not hoping that John McEnroe or Pat Cash ever reappear with a guitar.

The drugs is the easy headline. Greg Rusedski, like a legion of athletes in different sports, has tested positive to the steroid nandrolone and claims 46 other players have done the same. It goes back to last July and ATP trainers had been unwittingly guilty of handing it out in supplements and tablets.

He has his hearing next month and could get two years. He is innocent until the tribunal finds him guilty. Yesterday at the adidas International Lleyton Hewitt said he wasn't a great mate of Greg's but would still "say hello". Rusedski came in and wasted time by making a statement to the same effect and refusing to answer questions - like what was his lawyer's phone number.

But it looks like we're stuck with the story, like a bad smell.

Now the sex. Sadly I came off a bad second best in a bruising interview room encounter with Hewitt on the subject. I was wearing a hat very popular along Oxford St and most of the local and international media left the tent thinking that I had become the gay lover of tennis media hunk John Thirsk - not that there's anything wrong with it -- who was sitting very close to me, baring his famously tanned thighs, in a very fetching pair of polyester-spandex Nike Andrew Ilie-autograph shorts with the little AFL cutaway on the sides.

My point was very simple. For years the WTA had been getting away with marketing their players as sex symbols, including some very strange people like Serena Williams, who is straight out of one of those R.Crumb "let's boogie" style comics from the 60s. We're talking about some big bulges, baby.

Now the women are fading fast and the Julios are taking over the men's tour. At number one we have Randy Andy Roddick. Great name. Then Big Roger Federer, who now has his own brand of RF Cosmetics, inspired by the pet cow he milked after winning Wimbledon. Then there is Juan Carlos "El Gel" Ferrero, and the great knob-head Mr Steffi Graf, who also has his own cologne called Andre Agassi's Aramis Life, named after a famous swordsman.

Lleyton is, unfortunately, spoken for but we can also parade The Poo. Is there a better looking man on the planet? Personally, he has grave doubts. American James Blake used to have the dreadlocks because he hated combing his hair. Now he still doesn't comb. He's bald as a billiard ball and the girls are going wild.

Frankly it is not even a contest any more. The boys are everywhere. RA Rod has made his acting debut on Saturday Night Live and magazines like Elle, GQ and Vogue - let alone the wristier sweaty body rags - have been queuing up for any male who can hold a racquet. Woman's Day may be doing a Fred Stolle centre spread.

The new ATP guide even has a picture of Ferrero at Real Madrid up close and personal with David Beckham and holding one of Becks' ... well, it appears to be some kind of soccer ball.

On and on it goes. The new ATP magazine Deuce has been described as more Vanity Fair than Sports Illustrated. Tim Henman is forever on the catwalk. And probably falling off. The WTA is in shreds. It's all over when there ain't no Kournikova.

Clearly, I put it to Hewitt, the challenge to the women had been well and truly issued. The women had been blatantly peddling sex.

"Do you like that?" he sneered, noting my very close proximity to the pulsating Thirsk.

"Certainly not," I said. Big mistake. I only meant that I'd always figured tennis ought to be promoted on talent alone.

"Thirsky does," he said.

"Thirsky and I are very close," I said. Bigger mistake. Now he had me pegged all right. Everybody had. So I droned on with a list of the top players and what a bunch of spunks they all were.

"All very sexy guys," I said. "Have the men really caught up with the women?"

"Are we? I don't know mate," he said. He didn't know, he said, if marketing sexy men, if talking about men's sex appeal, would be a positive, or draw bigger crowds. 'Someone like yourself," he winked, "you prefer not to see it." Obviously he was hinting that I couldn't see past a certain colleague.

Well, there you go. The ATP goes to extraordinary lengths to portray its new young guns as the ultimate hornbags. And this little goose, just because he has this fabulous fiancee Kim - who is a lot better than Kath - and loves nothing more than annoying the ATP won't give me a decent story and ruins my reputation into the bargain.

So he got up and left. And I noticed one thing. Thirsky had better legs anyway.


The Daily Telegraph
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post #29 of 375 (permalink) Old 01-11-2004, 10:12 PM
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That is very funny. Thanks for posting it. It's true that the men's tour does resemble a whacked-out male modelling agency.
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post #30 of 375 (permalink) Old 01-17-2004, 09:54 PM
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For lovers of romance, charity or just plain bling...

Hewitt bids for Delta's charm
January 18, 2004 - 12:00AM
The Sun-Herald

With a decidedly British air to the evening, Sydney's premier party crowd at the Barefoot and Black Tie cocktail party at Palm Beach again kicked up its heels for charity.

Setting the pace was tennis star Lleyton Hewitt, who won the bidding by phone with $16,000 for an 18-carat gold charm he bought for his fiancee, Belgian tennis star Kim Clijsters.

The jewellery made in the shape of a miniature envelope was adapted from an original design by Louis Vuitton's Paris-based creative director Marc Jacobs with the help of singer Delta Goodrem.

Goodrem has struck up a friendship with Hewitt's Davis Cup teammate Mark Philippoussis.

Topping the VIP guest list was British model Jodie Kidd.

In Australia as a member of the British Women's Polo Team, Kidd at least knew a few faces in the crowd with countrymen such as club entrepreneur Robert Gorman and social prince Oscar Humphreys among the big names.

The chic fund-raiser, which marks the start of Sydney's social calendar, has set a standard in partying since it began three years ago.

Louis Vuitton, the event's chief sponsor, has been so impressed by Sydney's pedigree in the party department it has considered rolling out the concept for its rich and famous clientele in Malibu and St Tropez.

While it may be a marketing triumph for LV, the night's biggest winner is the Cure Cancer Australia charity, which last night aimed to top the $250,000 pay-cheque from 2003.

With the battle of the TV airwaves looming as the fierce fight of 2004, Seven's chief executive David Leckie led his channel's early charge, supported by glamour vet Katrina Warren and newsreader Anne Fulwood.
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