2004 Australian Open - Page 4 - MensTennisForums.com
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post #46 of 93 (permalink) Old 01-22-2004, 11:26 AM
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Re: 2004 Australian Open

Thanks a lot Tara!
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post #47 of 93 (permalink) Old 01-22-2004, 11:38 AM
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Re: 2004 Australian Open

L. HEWITT/K. Kucera

1-6, 6-1, 6-4, 6-1

An interview with:


Q. Bit of a slow start today?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah. I got off to a slow start. Karol played extremely well there. You know, I didn't feel like I played that badly at the start. I had a few chances in the second and third game, and just -- even in the fourth game, and didn't quite take my opportunities on the big points.

He played a pretty faultless first set, though.

Q. How important was the national anthem at 5-Love?

LLEYTON HEWITT: That's always important to hear your national anthem. But, yeah, they were great out there today. They gave me a lot of support, even when I was down. You know, I think, you know, especially those guys have seen enough Davis Cup matches to know that I was probably going to get on the board sooner or later.

But, yeah, he was playing extremely well at that stage. I just knew that I had to keep plugging away. Got off to a rough start against him last week in Sydney, as well. I was able to turn that first set around, which took me a little bit longer today, but I still got through it.

Q. The Fanatics energized the crowd. Did you feel that?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, no, it's great. They're a big help out there. You know, I enjoy that support. I think everyone knows that.

You know, it seems like I guess why Flip and I have played so well in Davis Cup ties in the past. The Fanatics have had a lot to do with that.

Q. Do you want them there in future matches?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah. It would be great. It's a great atmosphere out there. Even for the opposition, I think. It brings a bit more of a buzz into Centre Court there.

You know, I guess the situation that we had in the semi and final of Davis Cup, you're not going to emulate that every time at a normal tournament, but it was a pretty awesome feeling. The closer you can get back to that feeling, all the better.

Q. Nadal, your next opponent, what do you know about him?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Very talented young player. Yeah, what I've heard, what I've see - little bits I've seen - he's a hell of a prospect coming up. It's going to be a tough match. I've got to go up to another level, I think. I look forward to the challenge, though.

Q. There's a bit of talk about him. Is there talk amongst the players about him coming up?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, I think so. Probably more so -- you know, I probably heard a little more from the media, whatever, maybe last year sometime when he had some pretty good wins over Moya and I think Costa maybe on clay, as well. So clay's his number one surface at the moment. But he had a pretty good run at Wimbledon. I watched a couple of his matches there on TV. He played pretty well on grass, for his first time on grass.

He seems like he's got a really good head on him, as well. He's handled the expectation and the pressures very well. You know, he's just one of the next Spaniards coming up. There's a lot of them.

Q. Is it hard to keep your rhythm when you're playing someone like Kucera, seems to drift in and out of matches?>

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, it's very tough. He returns extremely well. Yeah, he can have service games like the last one he had where he hit four double-faults, I guess. But, you know, that's not that normal. But he plays some loose service games, but then he'll be able to come out and break you back straightaway.

I broke him first game of the fourth set there, then he came out and played a great game to break me straight back the next game. It's awkward because he does float in and out of matches. Like in the first set, he hardly made a mistake and was attacking everything. In the start of the second and third, he was a bit more erratic.

Q. How hard is it to keep your concentration?

LLEYTON HEWITT: It's tough. You can't get too down on yourself, keep plugging away, wait for your opportunities. I played him the last two weeks. I knew a little bit what I was getting, but he played even better the first set than what he did the last two weeks, as well.

Q. It's safe to say last year didn't go exactly the way you would have preferred. Any pressure on yourself this year, taking it as it comes?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, just taking it as it comes. I'd be happy to win another Davis Cup.

Q. No pressure to try to win another Grand Slam?

LLEYTON HEWITT: I'll see what happens. My goal is obviously to perform as well as possible, and I'm going to do everything in my control to prepare myself, you know, as well as I can for all four of the majors. You know, I'm not putting a huge expectation to go out there and have to win one. I think if I'm playing well enough, you know, I'll have opportunities at it, though.

Q. Did he play better than he played in Sydney?

LLEYTON HEWITT: In patches, yes. You know, I think he's -- as we spoke before, he's a little bit hot and cold sometimes. The first set, obviously, he played great today. There were patches in the third set where he played well. The start of the fourth set when he broke back, he played well.

In Sydney he played the first four games great. In Perth, he played the second set great. He's been very in and out in all my matches that I played against him.

But at least I knew what I was getting a little bit.

Q. Could you comment for us on Todd Reid's great victory today, what it means for Australian tennis?

LLEYTON HEWITT: No, it was great. It's great for Australian tennis to have another guy, not just knocking on the door now, but, you know, contender on the tour. He's still got to get his ranking up there to be on the tour week in and week out. But this has been a great start for him this summer. Obviously, Adelaide, Sydney, now Melbourne.

Pretty gutsy effort out there today because he was obviously hurting. I don't think he would have played a five-set match before. To come through those conditions, it's only going to help him, experience.

Q. He talked about the experience of hitting with you, Davis Cup, training. Is it something that you noticed when you were practicing with him, that he was being lifted a bit by being out there with you and Mark?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, he first came to Sweden, and then after that tie I really felt like the next time -- I invited him to the World Team Cup to play a bit of doubles with us there. I noticed a huge difference just in those six or seven weeks after Sweden. I think he took huge steps forward after that first Davis Cup tie being sort of the orange boy there, and getting to know everyone, seeing what we do to prepare for matches.

He was hitting the ball a lot heavier when he came back in World Team Cup. Then he came for obviously the Switzerland tie, then the final, as well. He's been great around the team. You know, he's not so much the orange boy anymore, I guess. He's really a part of the team. Won't be that long before he's actually playing for Australia, which is a good thing,

Q. If, God forbid, you or Mark were unable to play singles, do you think he'd be next in line?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Well, there's obviously him, Scott Draper, Wayne Arthurs. It's hard to drop Scott Draper and Wayne Arthurs because they've got that experience, as well. But it's definitely between the three of them.

Todd really put his hand up. The thing about Davis Cup, you just don't know how that person reacts to playing Davis Cup until they're thrown in it. And that's something that Fitzy and Wally, you know, they're going to have to give him a shot sooner or later at some stage, if Flip or I get injured. You're just not going to know until that situation comes.

But the way he's handled the pressure of playing in Australia the last three weeks with wildcards, it's been pretty good.

Q. Have you ever brought your lunch up on court?

LLEYTON HEWITT: No, I haven't. Wasn't a lot of lunch, I don't think. Looked like a lot of water.

Q. A lot of young guys in your position would be taking advantage of it, maybe be a party-type person, playing the field. You seem very committed and kind of mature. Can you talk about what having a committed relationship with Kim does for your career, keeps you settled?

LLEYTON HEWITT: It's been, yeah, I guess very settled the last four years. You know, obviously being 22, it's just been great for both of us. Because she obviously saw what I was going through, the pressures of being a top player maybe a year or so before she got into the Top 5, Top 2 in the world. We've both just been really able to help each other out when we need to throughout the year.

Q. It's good that you have a similar career?

LLEYTON HEWITT: I think so. We don't talk about tennis most of the time. But if we do need anything, I think we both know when to talk about tennis and when not to, as well.

Q. What kind of stuff will you talk to about to get away from tennis? Movies?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Anything, yeah.

Q. Crows?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Crows, yeah. Andrew McLeod and his family.

Q. She's talking about a wedding all the time.

LLEYTON HEWITT: I don't know any of that stuff, mate.

Q. You'll just show up?

LLEYTON HEWITT: I'll just rock up. She can organize it.

Q. And your bucks, you got to organize that?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Someone will have to organize that. It won't be me.

FastScripts by ASAP Sports...
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post #48 of 93 (permalink) Old 01-22-2004, 12:18 PM
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Re: 2004 Australian Open

That was a good interview.

A bit rude to ask who was going to pay for a wedding.

And did I mention Pim-Pim???
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post #49 of 93 (permalink) Old 01-22-2004, 12:23 PM
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Re: 2004 Australian Open

lol - he's got a typical blokeish attitude to organising a wedding hasn't he. He seems in quite a good mood.
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post #50 of 93 (permalink) Old 01-22-2004, 12:51 PM
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Scratchy win, one of apparently many on the day...but nevertheless...sounds like Kucera was the recipient of a few bad calls, but maybe he needs to focus more on the fourteen double faults he made. There can never be too many mentions of Pim-Pim, Christina.

Line calls prompt claims of bias
By Linda Pearce
January 23, 2004

Lleyton Hewitt's opponent, Karol Kucera, yesterday accused the Australian Open line judges of deliberate pro-Hewitt bias in their second-round match on Rod Laver Arena. "Even the linespeople helped him," Kucera said after his 1-6, 6-1, 6-4, 6-1 loss. "I think it was a little bit on purpose."

And in the night match, Fabrice Santoro also felt aggrieved at a line judge in his clash against Mark Philippoussis. Early in the fourth set, Santoro appeared to spit in the direction of the line judge after a close call had gone against him and was rebuked by the chair umpire.

Kucera said he had asked chair umpire Norm Chryst, an American, to intervene after three dubious calls, claiming there had been up to six line-call "mistakes". The Slovak said it was the worst treatment he has experienced in 10 visits to Melbourne Park, but added that, then again, he "hadn't played Hewitt before".

Kucera said replays confirmed several of the errors, witnessed by fellow players in the locker room. His only consolation was that he did not believe they affected the result of the match. "I don't think I was close today," he said.

Kucera faces a potential fine from the ATP if his comments are deemed to be detrimental to the sport. "We encourage players to speak openly in their press conference, but with that freedom comes responsibility," ATP communications manager Paul Macpherson said.

Hewitt's concern, meanwhile, is already with his next opponent. He knows a bit about precociously talented teenagers, having famously been one himself, and what he knows of his next opponent, the gifted Rafael Nadal, suggests to Hewitt that his next challenge will be his greatest so far.

"Very talented young player," said Hewitt of the 17-year-old Spaniard, already ranked 41st in the world. "What I've heard, little bits I've seen, he's a hell of a prospect coming up. It's going to be a tough match. I've got to go up to another level, I think. I look forward to the challenge, though."

Hewitt has never shirked one, and early in yesterday's match against Kucera it seemed that his latest challenge had come earlier, and perhaps a little more threateningly, than expected. Hewitt took more than 20 minutes to win his first game, but about two hours later had won the match, to reach the Open's third round for the fourth time.

"I got off to a slow start," admitted Hewitt, who was down 5-0 in 19 minutes. "Karol played extremely well there. You know, I didn't feel I played that badly at the start. He played a pretty faultless first set, though. I knew I had to keep plugging away."

The problem for Kucera, and hopeful glimmer for Hewitt, was always going to be the Slovak's ability to maintain that standard, and to shore up a serve that can be woefully brittle at times. Witness the 14 double faults yesterday, so many of them on break points, and the last, which almost reached the courtside backdrop on the full, to almost comically end the match.

Yet, for Hewitt, the earlier priority was to avoid his first 0-6 grand slam set, and he duly held serve for 1-5. Kucera closed out the set 6-1, but Hewitt was in the match, if only by a fingernail.

He rarely needs more, and yesterday was no exception. The sense of the turnaround came early in the second set, as Hewitt settled into more of a rhythm, and gradually began to work his way on top.

The day's hard-luck Australian story belonged to Wayne Arthurs, who led Spanish veteran Albert Costa two sets to one, and was up a service break in the fifth set, before falling 6-7 (5-7), 7-5, 4-6, 6-4, 8-6 in a match that lasted four hours 18 minutes.

Arthurs' singles career has not kept pace with his doubles in the past year, but he is determined to persevere, as he did throughout his two long five-setters over the past three days.

Success came in round one against Croatian qualifier Roko Karanusic, and although the Costa challenge proved too great, Arthurs showed enough to suggest his singles life is not yet over.

- with AAP
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post #51 of 93 (permalink) Old 01-22-2004, 12:51 PM
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Re: 2004 Australian Open

Yes he does.

Kucera is a bit of a though.
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post #52 of 93 (permalink) Old 01-22-2004, 12:56 PM
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Re: 2004 Australian Open

Q. Has Lleyton told you you have to barrack for the Adelaide Crows?

KIM CLIJSTERS: No. Because I know so many guys now, that's why I go for them.

Q. Would you be allowed to barrack for anybody else?

KIM CLIJSTERS: Sure. I've got my own leanings, too (laughter).
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post #53 of 93 (permalink) Old 01-22-2004, 01:40 PM
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Clijsters rules the roost
By Jeff Wells
January 23, 2004

THE news that Kim Clijsters has taken up boxing has unleashed unbridled speculation about the sexual politics of the love double.

Lleyton Hewitt is supposed to have the new aggression reverberating through his skinny body for his first Australian Open win.

But Kimmy is now pounding the heavy bag and there are those who suggest from time to time that if Lleyton doesn't give himself an uppercut then somebody else should. And who better than the bride?

But in these days of unchallenged gender equality - not that there is anything wrong with it - serious questions remain. Like, who really wears the pants? And who does the dishes while the other one watches videos of the Crows?

Going on yesterday's performances on Centre Court there could be no question if Kim learns to work a decent right cross off her jab.

The results read Clijsters d. Maria Elena Camerin 6-0 6-0. Hewitt d. Karol Kucera 1-6 6-1 6-4 6-1.

Hewitt is also carrying the weight like an anvil strapped to each ankle - of certain cursed wagers. Kimmy is suddenly looking the fat cheque favourite in this one.

Unreliable sources emerging from the locker rooms have concocted the theory that true to Australian tradition, and probably Belgian, the biggest breadwinner reigns and never does the mowing.

And those big shoulders Kimmy is developing are from taking out the garbage.

And while Lleyton has racked up $US11.7million in prizemoney he won only $US873,000 last year while Kim became the first woman ever to bank more than $US4million in a season to take her to $US8.1 million.

It might not be long before Lleyton is consigned to the supermarket and washing the Land Rover. And if a little one arrives Kim will be getting the beauty sleep while he is on the poop deck. Yesterday, in one of the great embarrassments of an embarrassing tournament, in the first leg of the love double, No.2 ranked Kim, in a fetching blue number, obviously surfie influenced, with white waves breaking on it, played Italian dumpling Maria Elena Camerin, of Venezia, dressed in plain white by Millers of Milano, with a matching thigh bandage.

Her ranking was 92 after she had made noises in San Luisi Potosi and Coatzacoalcos in Mexico last year. To get to this farce of a second round she had beaten the Venezuelan Volcano Milagros Sequera in the first round. Don't buy shares in Milagros.

Maria Elena could hit the ball, but not, to the consternation of the paying public, always in the direction of the other end.

She won 23 points in her double bagel to Kim's 54. Five winners to 25. Kim was supposed to have an ankle problem. She looked like she could have dragged a Mack truck strapped to each ankle, even though she claims she still has to ice them after the match.

There was, however, high drama in the last game, on Camerin's serve. Kim - like someone used to the dishes - went to water.

There was a hint of another sensational collapse like in last year's semi when she had eventual winner Serena Williams 5-1 in the third set with two match points and still managed to lose - and had to paint the garage.

She hit three backhand errors to waste match points. Then an air swing on a 137km/h ace. It went to five match points.

It looked like Mundine versus Ottke, before she could put the Italian away. It had taken 50 minutes. Many rose to applaud.

Then Hewitt came out and lost the first set to Kucera 6-1. The new aggression consisted of standing three metres behind the baseline against the robotic baseliner who had taken just five games off him in Sydney last week.

HEWITT snapped out of it in the second set as the Kucera winners dried up and the double faults - 14 for the match - mounted.

He could feel Hewitt on him and was broken twice - second time on a double fault - and suddenly looked demoralised.

He broke back as Hewitt lost it again, but the fire was gone. But don't be fooled by the scoreline. This was not grand slam-winning form by Hewitt.

Maybe the Sydney form, against the second-raters, while the biggies like Agassi and Federer were playing an exhibition in Melbourne, was deceiving. And next up he faces the hottest kid on tour, 17-year-old Rafael Nadal of Spain, who lifted his ranking last year from 235 to 27. Kim faces Marat Safin's smarter - but unknown - sister Dinara Safina.

Meanwhile, Kim was asked if she was being forced by the man of the house to follow the Adelaide Crows against her will - a sadistic proposition if ever there was one.

No, she said, she did it because she knew some of the players and had learned the rules and loved the game.

But she reserved the right to change her mind - might I suggest the mighty Swannies - if she wishes.

Trouble in paradise? If she gets a few tips on body punching from Kostya Tszyu there will be only one pants wearer.

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post #54 of 93 (permalink) Old 01-22-2004, 02:07 PM
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HEHEHE I love reading interviews with Lleyton because he is so cheeky with his answers - the press really do try and get in and ask questions even though they know they wont get the answer they are looking for.

Its also pretty funny how Lleyton always expresses his love for the crows - I mean who could forget when he wore his Adelaide footy jumper onto court during the davis cup against Switzerland haha good lil Aussie!!!

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post #55 of 93 (permalink) Old 01-22-2004, 02:46 PM
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Re: 2004 Australian Open

Well done Lleyts after that shaky first set. But what a disasterous ending for Kucera
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post #56 of 93 (permalink) Old 01-22-2004, 02:48 PM
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Re: 2004 Australian Open

Q. She's talking about a wedding all the time.

LLEYTON HEWITT: I don't know any of that stuff, mate.

Q. You'll just show up?

LLEYTON HEWITT: I'll just rock up. She can organize it.

Lleyton, typical man
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post #57 of 93 (permalink) Old 01-22-2004, 07:24 PM
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Well done Lleyton!!!
I think the reporters have to stop with all the wedding questions now.
And I think, he doesn't like to talk much about personal matters.
But his answers are

I'm very proud to be a Lleyki!!!

Wheter she would prefer to see Lleyton or herself in the Wimbledon final,she was asked last year."Lleyton,because I don't like to see him unhappy."(Kim)
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post #58 of 93 (permalink) Old 01-22-2004, 09:31 PM
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Re: 2004 Australian Open

star (and anyone else), I think they meant his "bucks night" which is an Aussie stag/bachelor party.

Still, all a bit irrelevant to a tennis match as I don't think the media will be invited.
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post #59 of 93 (permalink) Old 01-22-2004, 09:34 PM
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Re: Re: 2004 Australian Open

Originally Posted by Number1Kim
star (and anyone else), I think they meant his "bucks night" which is an Aussie stag/bachelor party.

Still, all a bit irrelevant to a tennis match as I don't think the media will be invited.
Thanks for the info Jane! I was actually wondering about that as well.
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post #60 of 93 (permalink) Old 01-23-2004, 10:03 AM
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Re: 2004 Australian Open

That was a really weird article paint the garage???? er...yeah...i'm sure
thaks for posting it though

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