2005 Articles [Archive] - MensTennisForums.com

2005 Articles

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Socket
01-07-2005, 01:27 PM
I hope I didn't duplicate a thread!

Beauty and the beast within Hewitt
January 8, 2005

Take this: critics believe Lleyton Hewitt operates with a me-against-the-world mentality, a state of affairs that encourages friction with the media but galvanises the South Australian on court.

One is loved and respected, the other mistrusted and bellicose: but if Lleyton Hewitt can combine his personalities to good effect at the Australian Open, he will unite a nation, writes Eleanor Preston.

You had to feel for Tennis Australia president Geoff Pollard this week as he tried to find a polite way of reacting to Lleyton Hewitt's singeing attack on the court surface at Melbourne Park, where the Australian Open will begin on Monday week. The last thing Pollard needs is to have the nation's No.1 player (and his entourage) as an enemy ahead of the first grand slam of the season, or to have an unwinnable argument with Hewitt on how fast the Rebound Ace courts may or may not be playing this year. Whatever Pollard does, though, it seems there is little he can do to placate the feisty South Australian.

Hewitt feels he should have been consulted when the court surface was being laid to make it more sympathetic to his playing strengths, and has decided he's had a gutful of his needs being ignored.

It's a lot like the time he had a gutful with the ATP, the governing body of men's tennis, who attempted to fine him $135,000 after accusing him of failing to fulfil a mandatory interview request; or the time he had a gutful of the black line judge at the 2001 US Open who called in favour of Hewitt's black opponent James Blake. Hewitt has also had a gutful of the media, which, save for one or two carefully chosen journalists, he insists have treated him unjustly throughout his career.

Are you beginning to detect a theme here?

Watching Hewitt in the player lounges, hotels and practice courts where he spends much of his time week-in, week-out on the travelling tennis circuit, it is hard reconcile the snarling, cantankerous hard nut of popular perception with the smiling young man often seen joking around with his fellow players.

Staff on the WTA Tour, who got used to Hewitt travelling on the women's circuit to watch his then fiancee Kim Clijsters, describe him as far more polite and unassuming than many less- famous hangers-on. In the days when they were still an item he could frequently be seen waiting dutifully for Clijsters, arranging transport or chatting to female players and coaches and doing his best to quietly blend in.

Hewitt's colleagues in the men's locker room don't just respect his talent and tenacity, they actually rather like him. Foreign journalists lucky enough to snatch five minutes in a rare one-on-one interview report that he is eloquent and knowledgeable about the game he loves and respectful to fellow sportsmen and their achievements.

"I've listened to him in interviews and I think he speaks very, very well," says Tim Henman, one of Hewitt's many mates on the tour. "He's articulate and he knows what he's all about. He's really got a lot of respect for other players and the players of the past, if you like. He's definitely got a sense of a history of the game.

"A lot of players ask why he's got such a bad image and a bad rapport with the media. It's unfortunate because he really isn't a bad guy. I'm sure he's partially to blame but I just wonder whether he's had bad advice or what, because I just don't think that's necessarily him. I've got nothing but good things to say about him."

Most of the fans who jostle for Hewitt's attention at tournaments would concur. He has happily signed autographs this week for the fans who flocked to Memorial Drive in Adelaide to see their home-town hero, even to the point where his new girlfriend, actress Rebecca Cartwright, has been forced to wait in the car for him.

Cartwright has been accompanied courtside this week by Adelaide Crows star Andrew McLeod, representatives from Hewitt's agents Octagon and the ever-present Hewitt parents Glynn and Cherilyn, who maintain what might politely be called an active interest in their son's career. Not many 23-year-olds take their mum and dad to work with them, but the Hewitts - known to many on the circuit as the Griswolds after Chevy Chase's travelling family in the National Lampoon's movies - don't just watch his matches, they watch his practice sessions and are often present when he does coaching sessions with kids.

Hewitt's parents even watch him watching other people play. A tennis journalist covering a relatively minor Fed Cup tie in Clijsters' home town of Bree (this, of course, was in the days when the pair were tennis's golden couple) was surprised to see Hewitt's parents waiting for a lift back to their hotel after one of Clijsters' practices. The same journalist was even more surprised to see Mrs Hewitt and Mrs Clijsters, Kim's mother, heading off to London afterwards for a cosy shopping trip.

As the whole world knows, those days are gone and tittle-tattle on the circuit suggests that one of the reasons for the demise of the relationship was Hewitt's parents' disapproval of their decision to get married so young. There was similar gossip around the time that Hewitt split from Darren Cahill, the coach who had taken him from the practice courts in Adelaide to being US Open champion and world No.1. Locker room chatter suggested at the time that Cahill had fallen out with Hewitt's father.

Cahill was replaced by Roger Rasheed, a long-time friend of the Hewitt family, in a move that was widely criticised because of Rasheed's perceived lack of experience in coaching world class players.

The closeness of "Team Hewitt", their distrust and disdain for the media and, it seems, the organisations under whose auspices Hewitt earns his living, has led many in tennis to suggest there is a siege mentality in the camp, an us-against-the-world chippiness which Hewitt needs to inspire his ferocious competitiveness.

It would not be the first time such tactics had been used to gee-up a sportsman. Gloria Connors used it to great effect on her son Jimmy, one of the few players in the history of tennis to be even more competitive than Hewitt.

When coaching him as a boy, Gloria would frequently remind Jimmy that the rest of the world was out to get him and would fire winners past him in practice to remind him that no one in life - not even his own mother - would do him any favours.

Alex Ferguson, manager of Manchester United since 1986, has used the same technique with great success to persuade his players of the need to prove themselves to a hostile world.

Like Hewitt, Ferguson will not speak to journalists or media outlets who criticise him or his team, and is renowned in the English Premier League for whingeing about refereeing decisions that do not go his team's way.

"There are a lot of people who would not have a clue about me or my family," says Hewitt.

"At the end of the day, I know the people who care about me, not only on the court but off the court. There have been times when I have struggled with a lot of media and the most disappointing thing is when people are always trying to find a negative, always trying to bag me and write negative articles."

There will be nothing negative about the coverage Hewitt will receive if he can channel all of that venom successfully into winning the Australian Open title in three weeks' time.

Until he does, you can bet that those poor folks at Tennis Australia will be trying their best to stay on the right side of a man who seems to be forever spoiling for a fight.

Socket
01-07-2005, 01:28 PM
Odd couple make for good fit
January 8, 2005

Dan Oakes looks at how the relatively anonymous Roger Rasheed came to be Lleyton Hewitt's mentor.

When Lleyton Hewitt took on Roger Rasheed as his full-time coach in June 2003, eyebrows were understandably raised. His previous coach Jason Stoltenberg quit two weeks before Hewitt defended his Wimbledon title (to spend more time with his family, as they say), and the decision by the former world No.1 to promote his conditioning coach to the top job was not an obvious one.

Rasheed had played professional tennis, reaching the top 200 on the ATP rankings and holding the record of the youngest man to qualify for an Australian Open, before Hewitt assumed that mantle in 1997. He also played seven games in the SANFL for Sturt.

But by the time Hewitt came knocking in 2003, Rasheed was best known for his work as a ground announcer at Adelaide's Football Park. His finest moment in that capacity was when Collingwood president Eddie McGuire accused him of inciting the crowd during a qualifying final between the Magpies and the Power in 2002.

It was a baptism of fire for Rasheed when his new charge crashed out in the first round of Wimbledon to lowly Croat Ivo Karlovic in one of the great grand slam shocks. Hewitt defended Rasheed, claiming that the coach's scouting had been impeccable and insisting that his work ethic was second to none.

Hewitt chose to take a break from competitive tennis between the US Open in September and the Davis Cup final against Spain in November, sending his ranking plummeting to No. 17 by the year's end.

His - and Rasheed's - rehabilitation began in that Davis Cup final, when he beat Juan Carlos Ferrero to help Australia clinch its 28th title. Since then, the former No.1 has lost only 12 matches, picking up four titles along the way and hauling himself up to No.3.

The confidence Hewitt has in Rasheed, and their rapport, was demonstrated in February last year, when Hewitt dragged his coach out of a decade-long retirement to play doubles at Rotterdam.

The pair shocked the Dutch Davis Cup team of Raemon Sluiter and Martin Verkerk in the first round, winning in straight sets. The experiment was so successful that Rasheed came back for a second dose at Memorial Park this week for the Australian hardcourt championships, although he and his boss went out in the first round.

Hewitt has lauded Rasheed for his motivational powers and his love of football. Rasheed has said there is no reason why he cannot coach the world No.3 through to the end of his career, citing his friendship with and respect for Hewitt. They might be the odd couple on the court but, off court they seem to fit like hand in glove.

raeesa301
01-07-2005, 07:41 PM
Tangling with 'Team Hewitt'
January 8, 2005

Lleyton Hewitt's tilt at the Australian Open began this week with a serve at tournament organisers. As Eleanor Preston reports, siege mentality is a common state for tennis' "Griswalds".

You had to feel for Tennis Australia president Geoff Pollard this week as he tried to find a polite way of reacting to Lleyton Hewitt's singeing attack on the court surface at Melbourne Park, where the Australian Open will begin on Monday week.

The last thing Pollard needs is to have the nation's No. 1 player (and his entourage) as an enemy ahead of the first grand slam event of the season, or to have an unwinnable argument with Hewitt on how fast the Rebound Ace courts may or may not be playing this year.

Whatever Pollard does, though, it seems there is little he can do to placate the feisty South Australian.

Hewitt feels he should have been consulted when the court surface was being laid to make it more sympathetic to his playing strengths, and has decided he has had a gutful of his needs being ignored.

It's a lot like the time he had a gutful of the ATP, the governing body of men's tennis, who tried to fine him $135,000 after accusing him of failing to fulfil a mandatory interview request; or the time he had a gutful of the black line judge at the 2001 US Open, who called in favour of Hewitt's black opponent James Blake.

Hewitt has also had a gutful of the media, which, save for one or two carefully chosen journalists, he insists has treated him unjustly throughout his career.

Are you beginning to detect a theme?

Watching Hewitt in the player lounges, hotels and practice courts where he spends much of his time week-in, week-out on the travelling tennis circuit, it is hard to reconcile the snarling, cantankerous hard nut of popular perception with the smiling young man often seen joking around with his fellow players.

Staff on the WTA Tour, who got used to Hewitt travelling on the women's circuit to watch his then-fiancee Kim Clijsters, describe him as far more polite and unassuming than many less-famous hangers-on.

In the days when they were still an item, he could frequently be seen waiting dutifully for Clijsters, arranging transport or chatting to women players and coaches and doing his best to quietly blend in.

Hewitt's colleagues in the men's locker room do not just respect his talent and tenacity, they actually rather like him. Even foreign journalists lucky enough to snatch five minutes in a rare one-on-one interview report that he is eloquent and knowledgeable about the game he loves and respectful to fellow sportsmen and their achievements.

"I've listened to him in interviews and I think he speaks very, very well," says Tim Henman, one of Hewitt's many mates on the tour. "He's, you know, articulate and he knows what he's all about. He's really got a lot of respect for other players and the players of the past, if you like. He's definitely got a sense of the history of the game.

"A lot of players ask why he's got such a bad image and a bad rapport with the media. It's unfortunate, because he really isn't a bad guy. I'm sure he's partially to blame but I just wonder whether he's had bad advice or what, because I just don't think that's necessarily him. I've got nothing but good things to say about him."

Most of the fans who jostle for Hewitt's attention at tournaments would concur. He has happily signed autographs this week for the fans who flocked to Memorial Drive in Adelaide to see their home-town hero, even to the point where his new girlfriend, actress Rebecca Cartwright, has been forced to wait in the car for him.

Cartwright has been accompanied courtside this week by Adelaide AFL star Andrew McLeod, representatives from his agents Octagon and the everpresent Hewitt parents, Glynn and Cherilyn, who maintain what might politely be called an active interest in their son's career.

Other members of the usual Hewitt cheersquad are his best friend Hayden Eckerman, sister Jaslyn and her boyfriend, rising Swedish player Joachim Johansson.

Not many 23-year-olds take their mum and dad to work with them, but the Hewitts - known to many on the circuit as the Griswalds after Chevy Chase's travelling family in the National Lampoon movies - do not just watch his matches, they watch his practice sessions and are often present when he does coaching sessions with kids.

It is worth noting that both Pollard and Australian Open tournament director Paul McNamee both used the word "they", rather than "he", when responding to Hewitt's criticism of the Melbourne Park courts. It is as if Hewitt's career is regarded as a group effort.

Hewitt's parents even watch him watching other people play. A tennis journalist covering a relatively minor Fed Cup tie in Clijsters' home town of Bree (this, of course, was in the days when the pair were tennis' golden couple) was surprised to see Hewitt's parents waiting for a lift back to their hotel after one of Clijsters' practices.

The same journalist was even more surprised to see Mrs Hewitt and Mrs Clijsters, Kim's mother, heading off to London afterwards for a cosy shopping trip.

As the whole world knows, those days are gone and tittle-tattle on the circuit suggests that one of the reasons for the demise of the relationship was Hewitt's parents' disapproval of their decision to get married so young.

There was similar gossip around the time that Hewitt split from Darren Cahill, the coach who had taken him from the practice courts in Adelaide to being US Open champion and world No. 1. Locker-room chatter suggested at the time that Cahill had fallen out with Hewitt's father.

Cahill was replaced by Roger Rasheed, a long-time friend of the Hewitt family, in a move that was widely criticised because of Rasheed's perceived lack of experience of coaching world-class players.

The closeness of "Team Hewitt", their distrust and disdain for the media and, it seems, the organisations under whose auspices Hewitt earns his living, has led many in tennis to suggest that there is a siege mentality in the camp, an us-against-the-world chippiness that Hewitt needs to inspire his ferocious competitiveness.

It would not be the first time such tactics had been used to gee-up a sportsman. Gloria Connors used it to great effect on her son Jimmy, one of the few players in the history of tennis to be even more competitive than Hewitt.

When coaching him as a boy, Gloria would frequently remind young Jimmy that the rest of the world was out to get him and would fire winners past him in practice to remind him that no one in life - not even his own mother - would do him any favours.

Alex Ferguson, long-time manager of rampantly successful Manchester United, pioneered the same technique when persuading his players of the need to prove themselves to a hostile world.

Like Hewitt, Ferguson will not speak to journalists or media outlets who dare to criticise him or his team and is renowned in the English Premier League for whingeing about refereeing decisions that do not go his team's way.

"There are a lot of people who would not have a clue about me or my family," said Hewitt. "At the end of the day, I know the people who care about me, not only on the court but off the court.

"There have been times when I've struggled with a lot of media and the most disappointing thing is when people are always trying to find a negative, always trying to bag me and write negative articles."

There will be nothing negative about the coverage Hewitt will receive if he can channel all of that venom successfully into winning the Australian Open title in three weeks.

Until he does, you can bet that those poor folks at Tennis Australia will be trying to stay on the right side of a man who seems to be forever spoiling for a fight.

Eleanor Preston is a freelance journalist who covers the ATP and WTA tours.

NOMAD
01-08-2005, 07:42 AM
thanks for the articles and the new thread :worship:

Molik and Hewitt draw well
January 8, 2005 - 3:09PM
http://www.smh.com.au/news/Sport/Molik-and-Hewitt-draw-wells/2005/01/08/1104832343835.html

Alicia Molik's Australian Open preparations received another boost when she was handed a relatively trouble-free draw for next week's Medibank International in Sydney.

The sixth-seeded South Australian will meet Italian Francesca Schiavone in the first round and has landed on the opposite side of the draw to world No.1 Lindsay Davenport.

Davenport is the only player in the world's top six that Molik hasn't beaten but will only come up against Australia's big white hope if the two reach the final of the grand slam lead-up event.

The in-form Molik, who has won 26 of her last 30 matches, including three straight to open the year with a bang at the Hopman Cup in Perth, is projected to meet fourth seed Vera Zvonareva in the quarter-finals and fellow Russian Anastasia Myskina in the semi-finals.

Molik upstaged Myskina, the French Open champion and current world No.3, in the bronze medal playoff at the Athens Olympics and would relish another showdown with the ITF's international player of 2004.

Advertisement
AdvertisementThe two other Australians in the red-hot women's field also received good draws for the $1.25 million Medibank International.

Teenage wildcard Sophie Ferguson will meet Bulgarian veteran Magdalena Maleeva, while Samantha Stosur - fresh off her maiden appearance in a WTA final on the Gold Coast - will play Croat Jelena Kostanic.

Defending champion Justine Henin-Hardenne was a late scratching with a knee injury that places her Australian Open participation in serious doubt.

The former world No.1's withdrawal elevated Japan's Ai Sugiyama to eighth seeding behind Davenport, Myskina, Dementieva, Zvonareva, Nadia Petrova, Molik and Gold Coast winner Patty Schnyder.

Men's top seed and three-time champion Lleyton Hewitt should have few problems opening his title defence against Slovak Karol Beck, whom the Australian demolished en route to last year's final of the US Open in their only previous career meeting.

Hewitt's first big test is likely to come in the semi-finals against either Taylor Dent, the serve-volleying American who upset the world No.3 in Adelaide on Friday night, or his part-time Swedish hitting partner Joachim Johansson.

Mark Philippoussis, on the other hand, faces trouble early after being pitted against fourth-seeded Romanian Andrei Pavel in the opening round - should he be fit enough to play.

Any draw these days is a tough one for Philippoussis, who hasn't won a match since June and whose Australian Open build-up suffered a further setback last week when he was forced to pull out of the Hopman Cup with a groin tear.

Australian Wayne Arthurs drew Italian Filippo Volandri first up, while fellow Australian wildcard Todd Reid will take on fifth-seeded Spaniard Feliciano Lopez.

The week-long tournament gets underway on Sunday at Sydney's Homebush Bay.

Danni
01-08-2005, 10:02 AM
Any draw these days is a tough one for Philippoussis
:rolls:

dagmar7
01-08-2005, 02:15 PM
Article from the Herald Sun with Pat Rafter's and Rod Laver's thoughts on the competition. Not surprisingly, they both pick Federer as the favourite. Some thoughts on Lleyton. I agree with Laver that it is too late to change the surface.

Rafter tips Roger
By PAUL MALONE
09jan05

PAT Rafter believes Roger Federer can become the greatest tennis player of all time.

"I never played Roger at his best, thank God," Rafter said.
"Federer has the opportunity now to go down as the greatest player of all time. To me, he's the smoothest player.

"Tony Roche will make Roger an even better player. But he already has the most complete game I've ever seen."

Federer's three grand slam titles in his $7.9 million 2004 took his total to four by the age of 23 -- 10 short of Pete Sampras's men's record of 14.

Rafter, 32, won all three matches he played against Federer in 1999 and 2001.

By that stage, Federer had played three full years on the tour and entered the top 20, but was yet to reach a grand slam semi-final.

Most of Rafter's career-defining battles were against Sampras and Andre Agassi, winner of eight major titles.

Yet even they did not make Australia's former world No. 1 marvel in the same the way Federer has in performances such as his two "love" sets against Lleyton Hewitt in last year's US Open final.

"There's a lot that makes up a winning formula in players," the dual US Open winner said.

"In terms of Pete and Andre, they all have different attributes that makes them champions in their own right.

"Confidence was the difference with Roger as a player, then and now. He's different to Lleyton. Lleyton believed in himself from the start and would rip your head off to win a match.

"Federer wasn't like that. He had to get the belief and his game has fallen into place, too."

Federer's winning streak against opponents ranked in the top 10 has risen to 23 matches.

The only man to win the Grand Slam twice, Rod Laver, said Federer was equipped to become the third man to achieve it, although the French Open, the one major title he was yet to claim, would be difficult.

Laver said Federer was "head and shoulders" above his rivals last year, but was at his most vulnerable in the first week of a grand slam event.

"He's got great talent and desire -- he's such an instinctive player," said Laver, who will come to the Australian Open for the event's centenary year celebrations.

"If he really gets into a tournament, he's so hard to beat these days. But there are a lot of good players and he might need to be playing well in the second or third round."

Laver declined to say how his game from the 1960s would have gone in a time-tunnel match against a 2005 model Federer.

"I'd say give Roger an old racquet, then we're looking at equal things," he said.

"You shouldn't compare players from different eras in my book. The amount of spin and power they get with the composite racquets now makes it even harder to compare people from this era with Don Budge (1938 Grand Slam winner)."

Rafter said there was good reason to believe world No. 3 Hewitt would go further into this month's Australian Open than he had done previously in a tournament in which his best result so far has been the fourth round.

"He's prepared better than any other year and I think he's really excited about the Australian Open," he said.

"Lleyton's really given himself a good chance. We'll wait and see how the (speed of the) courts pan out."

Laver said Australian Open officials were right to no longer tinker with the speed of courts to maximise Hewitt's winning chances, as European players criticised them of doing when Rafter and Mark Philippoussis were given faster conditions to win at Melbourne Park.

"You shouldn't do it to prove a point and get your player a win, which some tournaments have done in the past," he said.

"It has to be level for everyone, and I thought Rebound Ace was a fairly good court anyway."

Agassi, 34, a four-time Australian Open winner with a determination for off-season training some of his contemporaries have lacked, has accepted he needs to lift his performance level to challenge Federer.

Agassi lost both his clashes with Federer in last year and has an unusual complaint about the Swiss star's effect on men's tennis.

"Most of the time he's making it look too easy to enjoy," said Agassi with a smile.

"His biggest weapon is his forehand and his movement. He's a really explosive mover and his forehand's just a nasty shot.

"He does a lot of things really well and he does a few things really great."

dagmar7
01-08-2005, 02:25 PM
Odd couple make for good fit
January 8, 2005

Dan Oakes looks at how the relatively anonymous Roger Rasheed came to be Lleyton Hewitt's mentor.

Hewitt has lauded Rasheed for his motivational powers and his love of football. Rasheed has said there is no reason why he cannot coach the world No.3 through to the end of his career, citing his friendship with and respect for Hewitt. They might be the odd couple on the court but, off court they seem to fit like hand in glove.

A few coaching thoughts... I still have my doubts about Rasheed's tennis acumen. It seems like it takes Lleyton longer now to find his form after any kind of extended lay-off. Also, I think Roger is an excellent physical trainer, but sometimes I wonder if he is too obsessed with adding muscle. Tennis players don't need to look like Rafael Nadal in order to have success, and I hope this added strength - visually appealing for many though it may be ;) - doesn't hamper Ll's flexibility.

On the positive side, the personal side seems to be great and Ll seems determined to make this relationship work.

Murkofan
01-08-2005, 04:11 PM
Dagmar :eek: Glad to see you're not dead :p

dagmar7
01-08-2005, 06:02 PM
Thanks Marly :kiss:

No I'm not dead but I will say that prison was just like the movies. :eek:

No, really, I changed jobs, got married, the usual...nice to see some of the old gang.

Just to keep on topic, I really like articles. That first one seems particularly well written. Very nice words from good old Tim Henman.

;)

Murkofan
01-08-2005, 06:04 PM
Did you seriously get married? :p

sprinterluck
01-08-2005, 09:56 PM
Woody backs Hewitt at Open
By Dan Oakes
Adelaide
January 9, 2005

http://www.theage.com.au/news/Tennis/Woody-backs-Hewitt-at-Open/2005/01/08/1104832356229.html


Twelve-Time grand slam doubles winner Mark Woodforde has strongly backed Lleyton Hewitt to put his Australian hardcourt championships disappointment behind him and take the Australian Open by storm next week.

Hewitt's preparation for the Open was knocked off course when he crashed out in straight sets to American serve-volleyer Taylor Dent in the quarter-finals. Dent will now play Sweden's Joachim Johansson in today's final.

But Woodforde, the Adelaide tournament's director, said Australia's world No. 3 was mentally stronger than he had seen him and that the shock loss to Dent did not point to more fundamental problems with Hewitt's game.

"I don't think I've seen him as relaxed before in other years," Woodforde said. "He seemed very confident of how he's played this week, even though it was a loss last night. I think he's maturing now."

Woodforde also stuck his neck out and predicted that the one-time US Open and Wimbledon champion would put in his best performance at Melbourne Park, where he has not progressed beyond the fourth round.

"I would be very surprised if he doesn't better his best result. I would be shocked if he didn't pass the fourth round," Woodforde said.

Hewitt said after his loss that he had had three rounds of valuable match practice at Memorial Drive and that he had been hitting the ball well in training, so he was not pressing the "panic button" yet.

"When you've been No. 1 in the world for a couple of years and you've won a couple of slams or whatever, you look at the big picture and what motivates you and that's the grand slams, and Melbourne's the one for me of any of the four," he said.

Hewitt heads next to the Sydney International, which he has won three times.

Mark Philippoussis was included in the draw, but if he declares himself fit to play despite injuring his groin muscles in Perth last week, he faces a tough task against fourth-seeded Romanian Andrei Pavel in the opening round.

Philippoussis has requested a late start to the tournament after injuring his groin last Wednesday.

Of the other Australian men, Wayne Arthurs drew Italian Filippo Volandri first up, while fellow wildcard Todd Reid will take on fifth-seeded Spaniard Feliciano Lopez.

Alicia Molik's Australian Open preparations received a boost when she was handed a relatively trouble-free draw. The sixth-seeded South Australian will meet Italian Francesca Schiavone in the first round and has landed on the opposite side of the draw to world No. 1 Lindsay Davenport, the only player in the world's top six that Molik hasn't beaten.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------

Favourable draw for locals in Sydney
By Darren Walton
January 9, 2005
The Sun-Herald

http://www.smh.com.au/news/Tennis/Favourable-draw-for-locals-in-Sydney/2005/01/08/1104832353779.html

Alicia Molik's Australian Open preparations received another boost when she was handed a relatively trouble-free draw for the Medibank International in Sydney this week.

The sixth-seed will meet Italian Francesca Schiavone in the first round and has landed on the opposite draw to world No.1 Lindsay Davenport.

Davenport is the only player in the world's top six that Molik hasn't beaten but they will play each other only if they reach the final of the grand slam lead-up event.

Molik has won 26 of her past 30 matches, including three straight to open the year at the Hopman Cup in Perth.

The two other Australians in the women's field received good draws for the $1.25 million tournament.

Teenage wildcard Sophie Ferguson will meet Bulgarian veteran Magdalena Maleeva, and Samantha Stosur - fresh from her maiden appearance in a WTA final on the Gold Coast yesterday - will play Croat Jelena Kostanic.

Defending champion Justine Henin-Hardenne withdrew yesterday with a knee injury that puts her in doubt for the Australian Open. The former world No.1's withdrawal elevated Japan's Ai Sugiyama to eighth seeding behind Davenport, Anastasia Myskina, Elena Dementieva, Vera Zvonareva, Nadia Petrova, Molik and Gold Coast winner Patty Schnyder.

Men's top seed and three-time champion Lleyton Hewitt should have few problems opening his title defence against Slovak Karol Beck, whom the Australian demolished on the way to the 2004 US Open final in their only previous meeting.

Hewitt's first big test is likely to come in the semi-finals against either Taylor Dent, the serve-volleying American who upset the world No.3 in Adelaide on Friday night, or his part-time Swedish hitting partner Joachim Johansson.

Meanwhile, Mark Philippoussis faces trouble early after being pitted against fourth-seeded Romanian Andrei Pavel in the opening round - should he be fit enough to play.

Any draw these days is tough for Philippoussis, who hasn't won a match since June and whose Australian Open build-up was set back during the week when he pulled out of the Hopman Cup with a groin tear.

Wayne Arthurs drew Italian Filippo Volandri and fellow Australian wildcard Todd Reid will take on fifth-seeded Spaniard Feliciano Lopez.

Socket
01-09-2005, 01:24 AM
I guess this goes to show that the most important aspect of a coach-player relationship is the personal one. Nice to see Lleyton be so open in his praise.

Hewitt heaps praise on coach
By Darren Walton
January 9, 2005

LLEYTON Hewitt has declared rock-like coach Roger Rasheed the foundation on which to build his Australian Open campaign.

As Hewitt casts his steely eyes on a breakthrough national title at Melbourne Park this month, the 23-year-old credited Rasheed as a major player in his return from world No.19 to the game's top echelon.

Hewitt's decision to split with fellow South Australian Jason Stoltenberg after the 2003 French Open and appoint Rasheed, his former conditioner, as head coach raised eyebrows worldwide.

When their player-coach relationship opened with an inglorious first-round exit from Wimbledon when Hewitt was the world No.1, top seed and defending champion it was the little-known and unproven Rasheed who copped most of the flak.

But Hewitt insists the stinging criticism of his new right-hand man was unfair and undeserved.

"It was obviously tough at the start when people wanted to hop on and stick a few knives into his back and it's been fantastic to see us bounce back well over the last year and a half and just keep the knockers down for a while," Hewitt said as he prepared for his title defence at the Medibank International in Sydney this week.

Hewitt was lavish in his praise of Rasheed, saying the meticulous 35-year-old's work ethic surpassed even that of Stoltenberg and former coach Darren Cahill, who guided the South Australian counter-puncher to his maiden grand slam title and the world No.1 ranking in 2001.

"I've really enjoyed every minute I've spent with Roger. I love his company. He's a great guy, a great guy to have around and he's really been a pleasure to work with," Hewitt said.

"He's worked harder than any other coach that I've ever trained with and I can just see it in his eyes - every time I go out there to play how much he wants me to do well out there and just succeed."

The former Wimbledon and US Open titleholder said he shared a telepathic understanding with Rasheed, a former touring professional himself.

"I think quite often we both have the same ideas going through our minds when we're out there. You don't have to talk about," Hewitt said.

"When it comes to shot selection that we've spoken about off the court so many times, he knows what I'm thinking quite often when I'm out there on the court.

"We have a great relationship. We speak a lot off the court about what I'm feeling on the court and it's really paid off well."

Hewitt will once again rely on Rasheed and his close-knit family to help galvanise him during his high-pressured bid to end the 29-year foreign domination of the Australian Open.

Rasheed believes, contrary to some opinion, Hewitt's omnipresent parents play an important role in their son's career and do so without overstepping the mark.

"Glynn and Cherilyn, they come along, they watch and they support as a family unit and we do what we're there to do," he said last month.

"I'm there to coach him, he's there as a player to produce a product on the court and we do our business and they're there as a support system.

"A lot of people have talked about that and whether it's good or bad and (that) they do follow the tour around a bit. I think it's a positive.

"It's a lonely existence out there and when Lleyton's playing in countries where the home crowd is against you and going for the other player, if you've got a little entourage that is behind you, you can look up there and know you've got the support when it's getting a little ugly on the court.

"That's what he enjoys and we think it works well."

Hewitt will open his quest for a fourth title in Sydney tomorrow against Slovak Karol Beck and will head to Melbourne next weekend hoping to become the first local to win the Australian Open men's championship since Mark Edmondson in 1976.

AAP
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Lisbeth
01-09-2005, 02:38 AM
Thanks for posting these articles - the pre-AO rush seems to have begun!

I am one of the few who thinks that parental support has helped LLeyton, but a few of these stories are a bit :unsure: Like watching him watching Kim :lol:

They need a hobby that isn't LLeyton. Anyone want to chip in and buy the Hewitts a nice pottery course or something?!

Socket
01-09-2005, 02:47 AM
You know, at the Legg Mason, they had Lleyton do one of these promos after one of this matches, helping kids from the crowd hit serves onto a target to win free plane tickets, silly stuff like that. Kim and his mom left the stadium after the match, but his dad stayed and even came down lower in the stadium to watch Lleyton. He seemed to get such a kick out of watching Lleyton fool around. It was actually quite nice to see him laughing and applauding his kid. I'm with you that his parents have helped him a lot in his professional and personal life, so I'm happy to just let things be with them. Lleyton will no doubt find a g/f who can handle this kind of family life (or who maybe thrives on it), and they'll all live happily ever after.

Socket
01-09-2005, 03:05 AM
This is a very interesting article from a Brit newspaper about what Lleyton might be thinking about having Roche coach Federer.

January 09, 2005

Helping hand
BARRY FLATMAN
Tony Roche delivers a hammer blow to Lleyton Hewitt’s Australian Open hopes by agreeing to coach the world No 1

Rule No 1 in the Australian code of sporting ethics and life in general: look after your mate. Play the game hard and fair, and feel free to tell your opponents exactly what you think of them if you reckon it’s going to help. But never do anything that might harm the chances of one of your own.

Consequently, the silence Lleyton Hewitt has maintained over fellow Australian Tony Roche’s decision to lend counsel to Roger Federer has been curious. Never a person to keep quiet if he feels anything less than preferentially treated, the feisty young man in the back-to-front baseball cap has not shied away from attacking the organisers of the Australian Open for laying a playing surface so pedestrian that it does nothing to help his cause.

Yet any insight and advice that could strengthen Federer’s domination in tennis is potentially far more damaging to Hewitt’s chances of becoming the first Australian to win the calendar’s opening Grand Slam for 29 years than the rubbery compound laid at Melbourne Park. Hewitt makes no secret that his overriding aim is to lift the trophy this month. By agreeing to becoming Federer’s coach, albeit in a 10-weeks-a-year consultancy capacity, Roche could be accused of treason in some quarters.

There is not a player on the men’s ATP Tour who does not feel intimidated by the top-ranked Swiss when he walks on court beside him. And for good reason. Incredibly, the last time that Federer lost to a top-10 opponent was on October 18, 2003, when Juan Carlos Ferrero beat him in the semi-finals of the Masters Series in Madrid. Since then he’s beaten Hewitt six times out of six, scored four victories over both Andy Roddick and Andre Agassi and proved too accomplished for Marat Safin on three occasions.

Although Tim Henman beat him twice before returning to the top 10 last March, he has lost their past two confrontations. Henman delivered a succinct appraisal of Federer’s superiority after losing to him in the US Open semi-final last year: “If you take Roddick’s serve, Agassi’s returns, my volleys and Hewitt’s speed and tenacity, you’ve probably got a good chance against Roger. That’s a lot of people involved in beating one player.”

In Doha this past week, Federer has terrified the opposition in the Qatar Open. Spain’s Feliciano Lopez has been nominated as a potential outsider for Grand Slam contention this year. Some say the 23-year-old from Madrid has as much talent as his compatriot, Rafael Nadal. But after losing to Federer, he could only say: “He will win everything and there’s nothing anyone can do. He knows he can do anything on a tennis court and nobody can hurt him.” Federer cruised to victory in yesterday’s final, defeating Ivan Ljubicic of Croatia 6-3 6-1.

Even players who have long since laid down their competitive rackets are in awe. More than 3Å years have passed since Patrick Rafter last faced Federer across a net. Roche was sitting in Rafter’s coaching corner that day and Federer, although still a teenager, had begun to show signs of achieving his potential by breaking into the top 10. In much the same way as the agreement with Federer has been struck, Rafter worked with Roche only on an occasional basis. But the veteran’ s knowledge contributed hugely to the consecutive US Open titles Rafter won in 1997 and 1998, as well as his brief tenure of the world’s No 1 spot in 1999.

“When you get to that level, it’s up to you whether you want a coach around all the time,” recalled Rafter. “It’s not imperative, because you pretty much know how to play the game, and I didn’t want or need anyone there every day of every week. Maybe Roger’s the same. He seemed to have things pretty much worked out when he was on his own last year.

“He’s the most complete player I have seen, and I have never set eyes on anybody who hits the ball better. The scary thing — and Lleyton knows this better than anyone — is just a week here and there with Rochey, particularly at the Grand Slams, will tighten up a few things in Federer’s game and make him better. I know a lot of players have tried to hire Rochey, and it’s a huge feather in both guys’ caps that they agreed on this partnership.”

Roche is 59. A strenuous itinerary is not high on his list of priorities. He was Ivan Lendl’s full-time coach in the mid- to late 1980s and early 1990s, and before that he guided New Zealander Chris Lewis to an unlikely Wimbledon final in 1983. He served as Australia’s Davis Cup coach in tandem with his old doubles partner, John Newcombe, and was inspirational to Hewitt’s maintenance of composure throughout the potentially explosive final against Spain in Barcelona four years ago.

More recently, the Sydney-based coach has chosen to stay home in Australia, turning down job offers from Safin, Pete Sampras, Anna Kournikova and Henman, who saw the Australian as the best option to replace David Felgate in 2001 before making do with Larry Stefanki and then Paul Annacone. Roche is still technically employed by Tennis Australia as part of a junior development initiative and feels an obligation to continue working with junior Sophie Ferguson, whose brother was killed on a trip to Asia during the tsunami disaster.

Arthritis has caused the former French Open champion to undergo a hip replacement operation, and he requires another. On top of that, his parents died last year and his in-laws are in poor health.

Federer has long felt an affinity with Australian coaches after working with Peter Carter during his formative years. The pair parted company before Carter was killed in a road accident in 2002.

Hewitt maintains that Federer is not paramount in his thoughts as he prepares for the Australian Open, which begins in eight days’ time. But late last year he conceded that Federer had taken men’s tennis to another level.

Having somebody in the opponent’s camp who knows his own game intimately can hardly be conducive to Hewitt’s belief that he is about to make up lost ground.

ally_014
01-09-2005, 04:21 AM
They might not be watching him at the moment :eek: Glynn and Chezza were watching Pim PIm with his parents today and I guess Lleyton is in Sydney now. Do you think he'll be alright? :p

sprinterluck
01-09-2005, 04:30 AM
You know, at the Legg Mason, they had Lleyton do one of these promos after one of this matches, helping kids from the crowd hit serves onto a target to win free plane tickets, silly stuff like that. Kim and his mom left the stadium after the match, but his dad stayed and even came down lower in the stadium to watch Lleyton. He seemed to get such a kick out of watching Lleyton fool around. It was actually quite nice to see him laughing and applauding his kid. I'm with you that his parents have helped him a lot in his professional and personal life, so I'm happy to just let things be with them. Lleyton will no doubt find a g/f who can handle this kind of family life (or who maybe thrives on it), and they'll all live happily ever after.

Heheh. This is exactly what Mary Carillo was referring to at the Master Cup Houston when the subject of Lleyton and his breakup with Darren Cahill came up. The laughable Cliff Drysdale flat out said that Lleyton "dumped" Darren Cahill and M.C. quickly corrected him saying that it was "mutual" just as the split with Kim Clijsters was mutual. M.C. said that the Hewitt's come in a package. You don't just get one of them. You get a whole "squad" as M.C. put it. As long as Lleyton's still relying on his parents this way I don't think he'll be getting married at least not while he's still playing. Really what girl could stand marrying someone who isn't completely his own man? If Lleyts does manage to find a GF who wants to be with the Hewitt parents that much then maybe it could work out, but I doubt it.

They might not be watching him at the moment :eek: Glynn and Chezza were watching Pim PIm with his parents today and I guess Lleyton is in Sydney now. Do you think he'll be alright? :p
OMG, Chezza actually was wearing a normal looking shirt--no track suit and cap :eek: ;) but the sunglasses are still there. She probably didn't appreciate the article from the British press describing Glynn and Chezza as the Griswolds in matching track suits and Chezza's peroxide bleached hair beneath the Nike cap. :D I'd rather watch PimPim than watch Jaslyn too.

Socket
01-09-2005, 04:59 AM
From what I've read, the split with Cahill wasn't mutual at all. He and Glynn starting feuding over the summer over what Glynn saw as Darren's interference in the non-tennis, business side of Lleyton's career, and by the time of the US Open, Darren was barely on speaking terms with Glynn. I remembering reading that Lleyton was in tears when Darren told him he was leaving.

I did find it richly ironic to read that one reason that Brad Gilbert got fired was that he didn't get along with Roddick's father. The Roddicks may not show up at as many tournaments as the Hewitts do, but they are obviously just as involved in their son's career.

sprinterluck
01-09-2005, 06:49 AM
From what I've read, the split with Cahill wasn't mutual at all. He and Glynn starting feuding over the summer over what Glynn saw as Darren's interference in the non-tennis, business side of Lleyton's career, and by the time of the US Open, Darren was barely on speaking terms with Glynn. I remembering reading that Lleyton was in tears when Darren told him he was leaving.


That's what I've read too, that the split between Lleyton and Darren was not mutual, but the official word from Lleyton's camp is that the split was mutual. Darren did not confirm or deny that the split was mutual, but rather sidestepped it saying I'm still mates with Lleyton yadda yadda. Mary Carillo was just clarifying the official statement that the split was mutual.
Interestingly enough, when Jason Stoltenberg abruptly split with Lleyton, he had similar rhetoric as Darren's--never blaming Lleyton, i.e. Lleyton's still my mate, we'd still go play golf when he's at my place. I think the rhetoric from both ex-coaches makes people think that the coaches' grievance is not with Lleyton, but with father Glynn.

NOMAD
01-10-2005, 02:06 PM
Hewitt hoping bigger is better
By Richard Hinds
January 11, 2005

As Lleyton Hewitt pounded balls bare-chested on the practice courts at the Sydney International Tennis Centre over the past few days, one thing has been perfectly obvious: there is a lot more of him to love.

And, contrary to its usual use, this is not a euphemism relating to the excessive intake of seasonal dietary evils such as Christmas pudding and festive drinks. Rather, it is a flattering assessment of the imposing physique the one-time waif of the men's tour has built during the past 18 months.

Banished forever is the image of the boy Hewitt with shorts and shirt flapping over a skinny body, looking more like a punk skater kid than a tennis star. The Bart Simpson of the courts has been brushed aside by Super Lleyton, a muscular, confident and perhaps even more relaxed character now ready to confront his own version of kryptonite, world No.1 Roger Federer.

Hewitt has worked harder than ever in the off-season, pumping the iron and pounding the pavement with his friend and housemate Andrew McLeod of Adelaide Crows fame. However, he says the sudden and obvious change in his body shape is the result of a long-term strategy.

"It's been something Roger [coach Roger Rasheed] and I have really built up, I think, the last 18 months or so," says Hewitt, who also trained hard between the Davis Cup semi-final and final in 2003. "But it's probably showed more the last six months or so."

Hewitt's achievements - particularly two grand slam titles and his time as world No.1 - have been even more laudable because he has spent most of his time fighting out of his weight against hulking opponents in a game that seems to get more powerful each year. Yet, while he has obviously added muscle in an attempt to compete with the game's giants, he does not think it will help him crush the ball like Marat Safin or even his recent conqueror in Adelaide, Taylor Dent.

Rather, he hopes it will improve his already renowned movement on the court. "In tennis, I think core stability is very important," he says. "If you're very strong through your mid section then you're going to be out there, especially on clay. That's where you have to slide and hit the ball. That's only going to help in the future."

In the next three weeks, starting with today's match against Slovakian Karol Beck in the Medibank International, Hewitt will have to be very strong. With Mark Philippoussis in doubt for the Australian Open and no other Australian man ranked inside the top 100, never has the weight of national expectation fallen so heavily on his shoulders.

Hewitt denies that home-country pressure has helped account for his disappointing Australian Open record. As he was quick to point out, a bout of chicken pox, a freak match by Younes El Aynaoui and, last year, the might of the brilliant Federer are among the valid reasons for not being able to do at Melbourne Park what he has at Wimbledon and Flushing Meadows. "I think I've played enough big matches in Australia that the pressure of playing in Australia doesn't bother me," he said.

But if pressure is not a concern, Federer obviously is. While he claims he suffered no mental scars from six consecutive losses to the Swiss last year, including a 6-0, 7-6 (7-3), 6-0 whipping in the US Open final, even Hewitt's enormous confidence must have been dented. The mere fact that Hewitt continues to state that Federer is clearly the best in the world is significant given that, usually, he would not concede a tug of war to an elephant.

Instead of brave statements about conquering the world No.1, Hewitt for once offers mild cliches about beating other players first and focusing on his own game. "[If you] come and just think that you've got to worry about Roger Federer, then at the end you probably won't get to have a crack at him anyway," he says.

What seems obvious is that, should he fail to win here or at the Australian Open, a broken heart won't be added to the list of reasons. Time heals all wounds, they say. And Hewitt's new girlfriend, actress Bec Cartwright, seems to be doing a fair job, too.

"Did splitting with Kim [Clijsters] have any effect on your tennis?" he was asked. "Did it look like it did?" he replied.

"No."

"Then there you go."


-----------------------------------------------------------

Pressure on Federer: Hewitt
By Leo Schlink
11jan05
LLEYTON Hewitt yesterday predicted runaway world No. 1 Roger Federer's greatest obstacle now would be on-going expectation – and the Swiss maestro agrees.

Hewitt is looking to engineer the downfall of the Australian Open champion at the centenary staging of the event next week – and to halt Federer's six-match winning streak against him.

"There's no shame right at the moment in losing to Roger," Hewitt said yesterday before his first-round match today against Slovakian Karol Beck at the Medibank International.

"He's a hell of a player and he's going to go down as one of the greatest.

"You've still got to work on your game, though. That still drives you more than any anything, to try and come out and find a way to beat him (Federer).

"And, you know, obviously he's going to have a lot more pressure on him as well this year to try and back up what an incredible year he had last year.

"That's not going to be an easy thing for him to do, but he started all right in the first week of the year."

The winner of 11 titles, including three of the four majors, last season, Federer has not lost a match since the Athens Olympics, where he was beaten by Czech Tomas Berdych.

The reigning Australian Open, Wimbledon and US Open champion, Federer agrees with Hewitt's prediction, despite opening the new season in a familiar blaze of glory with victory in Doha.

"The mental challenge is going to be hard," he said before travelling to Australia to link up with coach Tony Roche in search of his fifth Grand Slam title.

Hewitt, 23, was beaten three times at the majors by Federer, once in Hamburg and twice at the Tennis Masters Cup in Houston.

But despite the chronic setbacks, he is not obsessed with Federer, nor improving his 7-8 win-loss record against the silky right-hander.

"I've never made it past the round of 16 at the Australian Open," Hewitt said. "So if I was to lose in the round of 16, I wouldn't be losing to Roger Federer.

"So I really don't have to worry about that at the moment.

"You've really just got to go out there and not worry about one guy. At the end of the day if I get to a semi or final, Roger might not be there anyway.

"You've just got to focus on your game at the moment and get your game as good as possible, do all right preparations, stay positive, stay confident and then, hopefully, when the time's right . . . "

Declaring personal pre-tournament pressure was not an issue, Hewitt defended his inability to prevail at home while triumphing at Wimbledon and the US Open.

"There's a lot of reasons," he said. "One's called chicken pox. Another is called Roger Federer. Two years ago, I lost to (Younes) El Aynaoui, who played a freak match.

"There's not too many matches where I don't break serve for four sets of tennis – that's been the last three years when I've probably been in the best condition to do well at the Australian Open."

Hewitt, bidding for a fourth Sydney title, would trade almost all his 23 career titles if it meant he could wear the Australian crown.

"Now that I've been able to get a couple of them (Wimbledon and the US Open), the Australian Open would definitely be the next one I'd love to get," he said.

"A national title at Melbourne Park, no Australian's won at Melbourne Park before, it would obviously mean a lot.

"But you don"t want to start looking too far ahead."

Hewitt said he was relaxed about his status as the only Australian male with a serious title shot in the wake of Mark Philippoussis's groin injury.

"Not too many people are talking about Mark winning the tournament either right at the moment," he said.

"I think people are seeing maybe myself as the main Australian chance anyway.

"So, you know, that comes with it. There's not a whole heap I can do about it.

"I like having a whole nation behind me anyway."
-------------------------------------------------

Hewitt muscles in on history
Patrick Miles
January 11, 2005
AN early summer of cross-sport training has resulted in a markedly more muscular Lleyton Hewitt, who yesterday declared himself as ready as he has ever been to become the first home player to win the Australian Open at Melbourne Park.

The physical transformation of Hewitt, a late developer in stature if not ability, has been reflected in the appearance of his great friend, Andrew McLeod, the match-winning midfielder for the Adelaide Crows.

The pair, both recently estranged from their partners, have been cohabiting at Hewitt's house in Adelaide and training together with Hewitt's coach, Roger Rasheed, himself a former footballer and tennis player whose emphasis is on conditioning.

While Hewitt has a talent for the team sport, inherited from his father, Glynn, and uncle, Darryl, who both played at the highest level, McLeod's abilities on court remain untested, although Hewitt did remark recently that his friend was "the best X-Box tennis player I've ever seen".

Early sightings of McLeod suggest the work has paid dividends for him too. Like Hewitt, his physique has hardened impressively.

Hewitt's love of Australian football and passion for the Crows, for whom he is the No1 ticket-holder, has led him to a bond with the AFL team's best player.

Hewitt suggested yesterday a background steeped in football brought about his off-season regime and, in turn, his bigger body.

"I don't know if it's happened all of a sudden, within two weeks," Hewitt said yesterday.

"It's been something Roger and I have really built up the last 18 months or so.

"But it's probably showed more, I'd say, the last six months or so.

"We've just tried to build it up a little bit more through this season because you don't get to do that much, especially weight work, throughout the year.

"It's coming from a football background, I guess, more than a tennis background.

"You don't get to do that training throughout the year that much, so it's good when we get a couple of weeks off and we can afford to do it."

It is that time of year again - the time when the name of Mark Edmondson is mentioned most frequently.

As the last home winner of the Australian Open, in 1976 when it was held on grass at Kooyong, Edmondson is still waiting for his star to be eclipsed.

Once again, the onus is on Hewitt, who has actually achieved better results at the other three grand slam tournaments, to fulfil home hopes.

He has returned to Sydney Olympic Park this week to defend his crown at the Sydney International, a tournament he has won three times already.

"I've done all the right things off the court training-wise," Hewitt said during his preparation for today's first-round match against Slovakia's Karol Beck. "I couldn't be happier.

"I'm looking forward to this week and hopefully, to get some more matches under my belt and try to

get on a roll going into Melbourne."

Hewitt is the first to note that he has yet to advance beyond the fourth round of the Australian Open but, at the age of 23, he has "got a few more cracks at it".

"A national title at Melbourne Park - no Australian has won at Melbourne Park before - it would obviously mean a lot," he said.

Hewitt's main concern this week will be to stay healthy. He wants hard match practice in Sydney but without the risk of injury or over-expenditure of energy.

"I'm not going to be disappointed if I win the title, that's for sure," Hewitt said. "To have winning form going into a slam is a good thing.

"But then again, if you can get, say, three matches under your belt and you feel confident in the way that you're hitting the ball, I don't think that's a bad thing."

Socket
01-10-2005, 02:36 PM
Great articles! Thanks, Tara. :kiss:

Socket
01-11-2005, 02:40 PM
Jaslyn left out in cold
By Leo Schlink
12jan05

AUSTRALIAN Open organisers last night threw a lifeline to Chris Guccione and Todd Reid, ushering the pair into the centenary main draw with wildcards.

But there was controversy when Jaslyn Hewitt was overlooked by selectors despite being ranked higher than Monique Adamczak, who was spirited into Monday's multi-million tournament.
Hewitt, younger sister of dual world champion Lleyton Hewitt, is ranked higher than Adamczak - 346th to 360th - and holds a winning record against her.

Jaslyn Hewitt was devastated on being told by national coach Peter McGraw the decision was based on rankings, results, matches played and attitude.

Last week she held a service break over Czech world No. 46 Klara Koykalova in the third set.

Tennis Australia sources were adamant her omission was unrelated to her brother's criticism of the Open's court speed.

Socket
01-11-2005, 02:42 PM
Lleyton's tailor-made claims leave his opponents bemused
Chip Le Grand and Patrick Miles
12jan05

LLEYTON HEWITT's free-speaking start to the year was greeted with bemusement by two of his rivals yesterday.

Andy Roddick and Roger Federer placed little stock in Hewitt's public comments in the lead-up to next week's Australian Open.
Roddick was unwittingly drawn into Hewitt's spat with Open organisers over the speed of this year's courts.

Arguing that the courts should have been tailored to his playing strengths, Hewitt claimed Roddick would expect similar preferential treatment when playing in New York.

Asked yesterday whether he had been consulted about court preparation for the US Open, Roddick's response was as direct as one of his thunderbolt serves.

"I've never been asked about the court surface at the US Open in my life," world No.2 Roddick said.

Hewitt yesterday refused to be drawn further on the speed of the Rebound Ace courts.

Speaking after his first-round match at the Sydney International, which is also played on Rebound Ace, Hewitt said the surface at Sydney Olympic Park was "probably slower again than Adelaide".

"I've only had one hit on centre court, though," Hewitt said. "But from what I've heard from a lot of the players, they're saying it's a lot slower."

Asked for his reponse to Tennis Australia's claim that the surface at Melbourne Park had been made quicker this year, Hewitt said: "I'm not going to coment on that anymore.

"I think everyone knows how I feel about it."

Federer was polite, if perplexed, to hear that Hewitt had mused about the pressure the Swiss would have backing up from his extraordinary 2004 season and how this would make life difficult this year.

"It might be, but I prefer to be playing well and coming into the Australian Open with a great season of 2004 and a good start to 2005," Federer said.

NOMAD
01-11-2005, 03:05 PM
about why he wears sleeveless shirts ;)

Pumped Hewitt rolls up his sleeves
Patrick Miles
January 12, 2005
THE serve is there - propelled by more muscle than before - the returns are as relentless as ever, the speed around the court has not diminished one iota and the determination to overpower opponents still knows no bounds.

All is in readiness for Lleyton Hewitt to launch his annual assault on the Australian Open, where he has so far failed to advance beyond the fourth round.

All that is required now is the right frame of mind and the self-belief that has highlighted his remarkable career to date.

Slovakia's Karol Beck was yesterday's victim in the first round of the Sydney International at Sydney Olympic Park.

Hewitt was in no mood to tarry, winning 6-1 6-2 to set up a meeting with Arnaud Clement, the Frenchman who was the Australian Open runner-up in 2001.

Hewitt sees no need to go changing.

"You just want to keep your confidence up more than anything, keep your rhythm there," Hewitt said.

"You've done pretty much all the hard work leading into the two tournaments coming into the Australian Open. You're not going to be tweaking that much when you're actually out there now.

"It's just a matter of getting your confidence to that level where you want it to be going into Melbourne next week."

After three matches in Adelaide and another chance to find his rhythm in Sydney this week, Hewitt is on track to take his No.3 world ranking deep into the Australian Open, conscious that he has actually performed better at the other three Grand Slam tournaments.

The biggest difference this year is in his physique, which is showing the benefits of hard, football-style training.

To better display his buffed torso, he has taken to wearing sleeveless shirts in matches, although he denied he was wearing them to show off his muscles.

"I've been training in sleeveless shirts pretty much throughout December, so I just got used to it," he said.

"It's only come in in the last two years on tour that you're actually allowed to wear them."

Yesterday's shirt carried colours that looked suspiciously similar to those of the Port Adelaide AFL team, but Hewitt, an avid Adelaide Crows supporter, said that was coincidental.

"I wouldn't have chosen that, would I?" he said. One of the pioneers of the 'muscle shirt' was Carlos Moya, but no amount of sartorial freedom could help to raise the Spaniard's arms yesterday.

The No.2 seed, who lost to Hewitt in last year's final when an ankle injury cut short his challenge, did not react well to the journey from India and he was beaten 2-6 6-4 6-2 by Radek Stepanek, of the Czech Republic.

Not for the first time at this tournament, a leading light was extinguished in the first round.

Moya, who had successfully defended his title in Chennai on Sunday, blamed "heavy legs" for his loss.

"Since I played the final in India two days ago, I didn't have much time to recover," Moya said.

"The good thing - if there is a good thing - is that I can go sightseeing in Sydney tomorrow."

Another man in form, Joachim Johansson, kept it up yesterday, defeating Britain's Greg Rusedski 6-4 6-3.

The Swede, who dates Hewitt's younger sister Jaslyn, won the Adelaide tournament on Sunday and he claims in all innocence that he did not know why Australian crowds had taken to him so warmly.

"I don't know what the reason is, but it feels like I have some support from the Australian people actually," Johansson said.

But he drew the line at being called 'Aussie Joachim' in the same vein as another European tennis player, once closely connected to the Hewitt family, whose given name once carried the same adjective.

Yasmine
01-11-2005, 03:54 PM
Yesterday's shirt carried colours that looked suspiciously similar to those of the Port Adelaide AFL team, but Hewitt, an avid Adelaide Crows supporter, said that was coincidental.

"I wouldn't have chosen that, would I?" he said. One of the pioneers of the 'muscle shirt' was Carlos Moya, but no amount of sartorial freedom could help to raise the Spaniard's arms yesterday.

What is wrong with choosing a colour of shirt for that reason??? I think he needs to choose one he likes whether because of the colour or because it reminds him or something he likes (in that case the AFL team)... Pfff journalists are looking for any reason to pick on things. :rolleyes:

ally_014
01-12-2005, 01:36 AM
What is wrong with choosing a colour of shirt for that reason??? I think he needs to choose one he likes whether because of the colour or because it reminds him or something he likes (in that case the AFL team)... Pfff journalists are looking for any reason to pick on things. :rolleyes:

I don't think they would have been really picking on him Yas, probably just teasing cos the Adelaide Crows and Port Adelaide Power are very, very fierce cross-town rivals in the AFL. The thought of Lleyton voluntarily supporting Port over the Crows is pretty unlikely, so they're just having a bit of fun I reckon. :)

Lisbeth
01-12-2005, 01:48 AM
"as direct as a serve" is a pretty stupid metaphor when you consider that even the best only get about 50-60% of them in first try ;) And "Chip Le Grand" can't be a real name, can it? :confused:

Thanks for the articles though :)

Lisbeth
01-12-2005, 01:50 AM
I wonder how old Adamczak is? That might have something to do with it.

Edit: just looked it up and she's a month older than Jaslyn. So that's not it.

Socket
01-12-2005, 02:16 AM
How much time does Jaslyn spend on the tour? I get the impression that she seems to spend a fair amount of time touring with JJ, rather than playing events herself. Maybe that was the reason?

Lisbeth
01-12-2005, 03:06 AM
Maybe - I guess with a ranking like that she's limited in what she can play and I don't really follow the challengers etc. Still, if you're going to give wild cards to 21 year old battlers (rather than say, prodigies and crowd favourite veterans) then I think it should go to the higher ranked one without subjective stuff like "attitude". I thought they had a competition for the AO wild cards, which I think is a great idea, but apparently that's not for all of them.

Socket
01-12-2005, 02:17 PM
Maybe - I guess with a ranking like that she's limited in what she can play and I don't really follow the challengers etc. Still, if you're going to give wild cards to 21 year old battlers (rather than say, prodigies and crowd favourite veterans) then I think it should go to the higher ranked one without subjective stuff like "attitude". I thought they had a competition for the AO wild cards, which I think is a great idea, but apparently that's not for all of them.
Yeah, I think she have gotten one. I find it a bit of a reach, though, to think that she was denied a WC she deserved because of Lleyton. If anything, she would likely to be given one she did NOT deserve because of him, since her name will sell tickets (if they sell tickets to qualies).

Lisbeth
01-12-2005, 09:37 PM
[WARNING: Dent mention :devil: ]

http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/common/story_page/0,5744,11923609%255E2722,00.html

Not my fault, says hot Hewitt
Patrick Miles
January 13, 2005
AS is customary at this time of year, Lleyton Hewitt is putting his best foot forward in an attempt to become the first home winner of the men's singles at the Australian Open for 29 years.

The only problem is he is putting it forward a fraction too far, at least according to the besieged line judges at the Sydney International this week.

Hewitt advanced to the quarter-finals at Sydney Olympic Park with alacrity, yesterday dispatching Frenchman Arnaud Clement 6-2 6-4.

But the ferocity of his game was diminished slightly by a rash of double faults - 10 in all - half of which were committed by an errant foot.

The previous day, after he beat Karol Beck, Hewitt was at pains to explain a series of foot-fault calls, claiming he doubted the judgments as they had all been made at the same end.

The same situation occurred against Clement and, again, Hewitt was quick to dismiss the calls.

The first came in his opening service game, when he had to save four break points, and later in the first set, he felt it necessary to discuss the problem with Swedish umpire, Lars Graff.

"I just asked whether it could be, only because ... if it had happened at both ends, then I can fully understand," Hewitt said.

"But if it's only happening up one end ... and then when all the linespeople changed, I didn't get foot-faulted again.

"It's not like I changed my action during a match."

Some of the foot-faults came at significant moments, although ultimately, it did not have any bearing on the outcome of the match.

Hewitt said he had mentioned the problem to his coach, Roger Rasheed.

"We laughed about it a bit," he said, "only because, once again, it only happened down one end. And after yesterday, I even stood further back today than I did yesterday."

The baseline shuffle aside, it was a determined Hewitt who won the first set with two breaks of serve, then fought back from 1-4 in the second to take the last five games in succession.

Hewitt, the top seed, is relishing the heat in Sydney as well as looking forward to a quarter-final with the 2002 Australian Open champion, Thomas Johansson of Sweden, who beat Wayne Arthurs in - surprise, surprise - two tiebreaks.

"I've got a lot of time for him; he's a hell of a player," Hewitt said of the Swede.

The other Johansson, Joachim, was a sore loser yesterday, forced to retire from his match against Max Mirnyi, of Belarus, with a hamstring strain in his right leg.

Johansson said he had felt the injury in his previous match against Greg Rusedski.

"I tried to go out there for a few games but I felt I couldn't give 100 per cent," Johansson said.

He made his way to Melbourne last night, hopeful that treatment and a few days' rest would rekindle his challenge at the Australian Open, which starts on Monday.

Hewitt remains on course for the Grand Slam - the most important date in his tennis calendar, along with the Davis Cup. It turns out that Hewitt and his American rival Taylor Dent shared a dream as children that one day they would play Davis Cup.

As budding tennis players, that would have come as no surprise - except for the fact Dent's dream was to play for Australia.

After reaching the quarter-finals with a 7-6 (7-4) 6-1 win over compatriot Mardy Fish, Dent - whose father, Phil, played for Australia - said his feelings for the country of his father's birth "haven't dwindled in the slightest bit".

"It's a shame that I couldn't play Davis Cup for Australia; it was one of my dreams when I was a kid," Dent said as he prepared to face Mirnyi today.

"But just the way I grew up in the States, playing tennis in the States ... they did so much for my tennis that it really would have been kicking dirt in their eyes to go and play Davis Cup for Australia."

Dent, who beat Hewitt in the quarter-finals at the men's hardcourt in Adelaide last week, has played just one dead rubber for the US so far.

"I'd love to play Davis Cup for America," Dent said. "As soon as captain (Patrick) McEnroe wants to throw me a bone, I'll be here."

Lisbeth
01-12-2005, 09:41 PM
It's interesting - at the heart of the matter they are really all saying the same thing: that the courts should be consistent.

http://www.smh.com.au/news/Tennis/Play-fair-Lleyton-says-Federer/2005/01/12/1105423557433.html?oneclick=true

Play fair Lleyton, says Federer
By Karen Lyon
January 13, 2005

Page Tools

In a surprising attack on Lleyton Hewitt's criticism of the playing surface at Melbourne Park, defending Australian Open champion Roger Federer said yesterday the courts must be prepared for all players and not just the local hope.

The usually mild-mannered Federer said it would be unfair for the open's organisers to radically alter the speed of the courts to suit the needs of the best Australian player. "I know [Hewitt] likes it quicker but he shouldn't forget there are 500 or 600 other players playing the tournament as well," said Federer.

"[With] 'qualies' and main draw, women's and men's, for everybody the same, it's just not the one court where he is going to play on," added Federer, who won Wimbledon and the US Open last year on much quicker surfaces than he will experience at the Australian Open.

The 23-year-old Swiss, who yesterday won his first match at Kooyong, 5-7, 6-1, 6-4 against Gaston Gaudio, will have his first practice session at Melbourne Park today.

Last year's Australian Open champion believes he should be allowed to defend his crown in similar conditions to which it was obtained.

dagmar7
01-12-2005, 09:55 PM
Thanks for the articles.

Maybe it was the tone of his comments, but these Federer comments don't really sound like an "attack" to me. I appreciate, however, any and all journalistic attempts to stir the pot.

I do think that all the surfaces are becoming sort of similar, offering a very high regular bounce. It's especially noticable at Wimbledon, where players like Goran Ivanisevic complained that the former serve-volley advantage is gone.

Maybe these changes were supposed to eliminate the perceived short-point problem of men's tennis, but they are removing some variety from the game.

Roger F. does sound a bit self-righteous to me, but maybe it's just the headline, and, of course, my simmering resentment of his genius. ;)

Edit: Just read the article with the Woodbridge quotes. Yay Todd. :angel:

Socket
01-12-2005, 10:25 PM
I posted the article with the Woodbridge commnets in GM, because the Federer article had been posted there, and I didn't want people to think that Lleyton was on his own on this issue. What I find ironic is that Federer wants the surface to stay the same, which is really no different than Lleyton wanting the surface to change. Both he and Lleyton perceive some kind of advantage to having the surface one particular way.

Lisbeth
01-12-2005, 10:32 PM
:lol: that's a good point.

Jackie
01-13-2005, 11:04 AM
Federer won last year. Of course he wants the surface to be the same. Regardless of what the players want, Rod Laver is going to be slow as hell after re-laying the court [probably slower than last year, which would piss off Federer as well as Hewitt]. I'll be there on Monday to see this crazy court for myself

Socket
01-15-2005, 01:41 PM
I had a feeling that this public feud over the surface speed was part of something bigger:

Hewitt camp in feud with officials
By Andrew Webster
January 16, 2005
The Sun-Herald

Winning form: Lleyton Hewitt rejoices after triumphing in the Sydney International final against Ivo Minar yesterday.

Lleyton Hewitt begins his Australian Open assault tomorrow but another battle is raging - between Team Hewitt and tournament director Paul McNamee.

Hewitt rounded off his open preparation with a 7-5, 6-0 victory over Czech Ivo Minar in the final of the Sydney International at Homebush yesterday, but behind the scenes, the Hewitt camp has been drawn into a bitter factional war that has divided Australian tennis on the eve of its showpiece event.

Tennis circles were abuzz during the week with news of a heated mobile phone conversation between Hewitt's coach Roger Rasheed and McNamee about the Melbourne Park playing surface.

During the call, Rasheed is believed to have told McNamee his job was on the line.

"Who told you that? The IRA?" Rasheed asked when The Sun-Herald contacted him.

While Rasheed would not confirm or deny he had spoken to McNamee, he said the Hewitt camp had little to do with the Australian Open chief executive. "We don't have a relationship [with McNamee]," Rasheed said. "I don't care if we do. Paul will do what's best for him and we'll do what's best for us."

McNamee has been reluctant to comment on the feud enveloping Tennis Australia and could not be contacted yesterday.

The drama flared when Hewitt labelled the Melbourne Park surface "cowshit" and when his sister Jaslyn missed out on a wildcard to another Australian, Monique Adamczak, despite having a higher ranking.

But the acrimony runs far deeper than spats about sticky surfaces and wildcards. It extends from a bitter rift that has engulfed Tennis Australia in the past six weeks.

Newly appointed TA board member Peter Ritchie and former and current Davis Cup captains John Newcombe and John Fitzgerald are leading a push for a drastic overhaul of tennis administration in Australia after a damning government-backed report released in early December.

Ritchie helped pressure Tennis Australia chairman Geoff Pollard into relinquishing his role as chief executive and said publicly that McNamee should not be his replacement. Ritchie has also publicly backed Fitzgerald as the director of player development.

Fitzgerald has said he would like to combine the job with his role as Davis Cup captain but many at Tennis Australia believe the two positions would be incompatible.

Hewitt has gravitated towards the Ritchie faction because of his allegiance to Newcombe and Fitzgerald through the Davis Cup.

"Lleyton's a valuable pawn in all this," a Tennis Australia insider said. "Lleyton would prefer to have someone in place who is more favourable towards him when he comes to play the Australian Open. But those behind this push aren't stupid - there's a lot to gain in having the country's best player on their side."

Some at Tennis Australia believe Hewitt wants to align himself with officials more sympathetic to his cause than McNamee as he was angry that he had not been consulted on the playing surface.

"It's a very good surface," Pollard said. "Rebound Ace has been able to tweak its surface a little this year and we're quite comfortable with it. It would appear we haven't done enough for what Lleyton wants."

Hewitt has directed several barbs at the tournament boss, who is widely credited with transforming the Australian Open during his 10-year tenure. Apart from declaring that he's "had a gutful" of trying to convince McNamee to quicken the surface, Hewitt is believed to have incensed McNamee when he bypassed this year's Hopman Cup, which McNamee also runs, and dismissed it as an "exhibition".

Murkofan
01-15-2005, 01:47 PM
The drama flared when Hewitt labelled the Melbourne Park surface "cowshit" and when his sister Jaslyn missed out on a wildcard to another Australian, Monique Adamczak, despite having a higher ranking.

Wait wait wait. I thought he said he'd play ON cowshit to win the AO, not that the courts at MP WERE cowshit.

kim-fan
01-15-2005, 01:56 PM
Wait wait wait. I thought he said he'd play ON cowshit to win the AO, not that the courts at MP WERE cowshit.

yep, you're right

those journalists :rolleyes:

Socket
01-15-2005, 02:03 PM
Wait wait wait. I thought he said he'd play ON cowshit to win the AO, not that the courts at MP WERE cowshit.
Subtle differences like that are simply lost on the masses. And the Hewitt haters in GM.

kim-fan
01-15-2005, 02:06 PM
the hewitt haters are so annoying, I mean, they're still discussing the whole surface thing over there, can't they just leave it?

Murkofan
01-15-2005, 02:06 PM
Never fear, Marly is here :p I shall make sure everyone in GM knows the truth :p

kim-fan
01-15-2005, 02:08 PM
you go girl :p


Hewitt says Federer can be beaten, and he knows how
Sat Jan 15, 2005 06:44 AM GMT

By Julian Linden


SYDNEY, Jan 15 (Reuters) - Sydney International winner Lleyton Hewitt has rejected the notion that Roger Federer is a sure bet to win the Australian Open.

Hewitt knows better than most how good Federer is after losing their last six matches but the Australian said he knew the secret to beating Federer, although it was easier said than done.

"He's definitely the favourite, there's no doubt about that ...and someone's going to have to play extremely well to beat him," Hewitt said.

"But he's human and there are guys like (Andy) Roddick and (Marat) Safin and (Andre) Agassi in his half of the draw so if he's slightly off it's not going to be that easy for him."

Hewitt, whose losses to Federer last season included the finals of the U.S. Open and the Masters Cup, said the key to beating the Swiss was not to let him open up a big lead.

"If you look at the past where he's played his best tennis over probably the last 18 months he's been able to get off to flying starts against pretty much everyone," Hewitt said.

"So I think you need to stay with him early in matches.

Hewitt, 23, has won the U.S. Open and Wimbledon titles but has never made it beyond the fourth round at Melbourne in eight attempts.

As Australia's highest-ranked player in the tournament, which starts on Monday, the pressure is on Hewitt but he said the weight of expectation was not a burden.

"I think I've played in enough big matches -- Davis Cup semis and finals -- in Australia to be able to handle the situation," he said.

"I try to thrive on it more and use it more as a positive than a negative.

Hewitt has been in great form leading into the first grand slam of the year. He reached the quarter-finals of the Australian hardcourt championships in Adelaide last week then won the Sydney International for the fourth time in six years beating Czech qualifier Ivo Minar 7-5 6-0 in the final.

"I feel physically strong at the moment. I've come through some tough matches this week and I'm feeling confident where my game's at," he said.

"But grand slams are different as well, playing over five sets. You really just have to focus on one match at a time so that will be my mindset next week.

"Very rarely do you go through two weeks of a grand slam and every match is comfortable so it's a matter of getting through the tough matches and then trying to get on a bit of a roll."

Socket
01-15-2005, 02:10 PM
the hewitt haters are so annoying, I mean, they're still discussing the whole surface thing over there, can't they just leave it?
Well, I haven't helped things by posting the "feud" article there, but you can expect the Hewitt hate to grow during this year, because now he's back in contention with the elite of the elite. When he was out of the top 10 and not threatening everyone's favorites, there was no need to slap him around.

kim-fan
01-15-2005, 02:13 PM
Well, I haven't helped things by posting the "feud" article there, but you can expect the Hewitt hate to grow during this year, because now he's back in contention with the elite of the elite. When he was out of the top 10 and not threatening everyone's favorites, there was no need to slap him around.

yeah, I guess you're right :)
they're just scared of him :p

Murkofan
01-15-2005, 02:14 PM
you go girl :p

Why thank you :p I rarely go into GM, since I invariably end up feuding with people, but for my love of Lleyton, I will sacrifice myself :p

Socket
01-15-2005, 02:18 PM
I have so many idiots in GM on my ignore list that it's hard for me to actually feud with anybody now. Except the new idiots, of course. :p

sprinterluck
01-15-2005, 02:19 PM
Hewitt has directed several barbs at the tournament boss, who is widely credited with transforming the Australian Open during his 10-year tenure. Apart from declaring that he's "had a gutful" of trying to convince McNamee to quicken the surface, Hewitt is believed to have incensed McNamee when he bypassed this year's Hopman Cup, which McNamee also runs, and dismissed it as an "exhibition".

Lleyton likes to make veiled references, jabs at his enemies. Take the Hopman Cup reference (directed towards McNamee) and the publicity photos with Bec on the boat in Sydney (directed at Kim and all the tabloid press).
It's his way of getting back at people. I hope he stops and just focuses on the tennis instead of these petty fights.

Murkofan
01-15-2005, 02:24 PM
Maybe he'll stop now that he's buffer and can just punch the people he dislikes and be done with it :p

Socket
01-15-2005, 02:28 PM
Lleyton's playing some really great tennis right now, so I think that making these comments and getting involved in these feuds is actually quite conducive to his match play. That's seems to be how he focuses (much like Connors and McEnroe).

Murkofan
01-15-2005, 02:29 PM
I have so many idiots in GM on my ignore list that it's hard for me to actually feud with anybody now. Except the new idiots, of course. :p

I only have one person on ignore, stemming back from an incident, gosh, at least two years ago, if not longer. I just try not to go in GM very much, because I know I'll get incensed and want to argue, and I try to limit my falls to the Dark Side :p

sprinterluck
01-15-2005, 02:29 PM
Maybe he'll stop now that he's buffer and can just punch the people he dislikes and be done with it :p

Yeah, if he didn't need to save all his punches for Roger Federer. LMAO when a smirking Ivo Minar wished Lleyton good luck in Melbourne, mostly against Roger. Lleyton just smiled and the audience laughed. Everyone on the tour knows that Roger Fed is Lleyton's daddy right now. :p

Murkofan
01-15-2005, 02:31 PM
But oooh, maybe he'll have a breakthrough on a big stage, like the Red Sox and Pedro did with their daddy, the NYYs :D :p

dagmar7
01-15-2005, 05:20 PM
It's my impression that the relationship between Hewitt inc. and Tennis Australia has never been a harmonious one. I'm not completely sure, but I think they had very little to do with Ll's development as a player. The association's failure to develop a substantial base of talent in such an affluent and sport-obsessed country is pretty shocking, especially considering all the coaching talent in Aus, the popularity of Pat Rafter, Ll's success etc.

If McNamee decided not to give Jaslyn a main draw wildcard just because of some feud, then I think that's a bit cheap.

Maybe he should be replaced. :devil:

dagmar7
01-15-2005, 05:22 PM
But oooh, maybe he'll have a breakthrough on a big stage, like the Red Sox and Pedro did with their daddy, the NYYs :D :p

I loved that press conference where Pedro said he liked the 'Who's your Daddy?' chants. The press laughed and then he deadpanned, "Why are you laughing?"

;)

Yasmine
01-15-2005, 08:50 PM
I only have one person on ignore, stemming back from an incident, gosh, at least two years ago, if not longer. I just try not to go in GM very much, because I know I'll get incensed and want to argue, and I try to limit my falls to the Dark Side :p
Well glad to see we al lhave the same point of view... :devil: I tend to react when it's not worth it sometimes so better be safe and stay away... And we're surrounded by nice people here why go anywhere else :p :angel:

NOMAD
01-16-2005, 10:52 AM
I have so many idiots in GM on my ignore list that it's hard for me to actually feud with anybody now. Except the new idiots, of course. :p


I never know if I add someone on my ignore list I can't read their messages :eek: that's convenient :lol: maybe i should try it sometimes :D

bad gambler
01-16-2005, 11:15 AM
i think this feud and public attention is working to hewitt's favour - he loves the idea if the world v him scenario as seen in US open 2001

let's hope he gets his range first up against clement and we'll take it from there

sprinterluck
01-16-2005, 06:44 PM
David Wheaton (remember Amercian flag bandana man from Minnesota?) picks Hewitt and Mauresmo to win 2005 Australian Open.

Is this right...Australians call Lleyton by the nickname "Nasty"? I never heard of that before. I know people call him Rusty, but "Nasty"? :confused:

Last update: January 16, 2005 at 7:07 AM

First slam can warm you up
David Wheaton, Special To The Star Tribune
January 16, 2005 WHEA0116
http://www.startribune.com/stories/503/5187489.html


Pull the shades, close your eyes, and visualize sweaty and suntanned athletes scampering around tennis courts under the summer sun.

While it might be hard for us tundra-bound Minnesotans to imagine this scene, be assured that two seasons away on the under side of the globe, the best tennis players in the world are primed to perspire and persevere their way through a scorching fortnight of tennis at the year's first Grand Slam event--the 2005 Australian Open.

Indeed, the tennis season has arrived Down Under, and in the words of a local radio talker, it's time for American tennis stars to "make a move."

For our top racqueteers, 2004 is finally over, as in: a Wimbledon final for Andy Roddick and Serena Williams, an Olympic final for Mardy Fish, and a Davis Cup final for the U.S. team.

American tennis fans, brace yourselves for this: Last year was the first since 1988 that America has gone a calendar year without at least one male or female Grand Slam titleist.

Blame it on the Russians ... at least for our ladies. To say the Russians are coming would be both tardy and misleading. They arrived last year, winning the French Open (Anastasia Myskina), Wimbledon (Maria Sharapova), and U.S. Open (Svetlana Kuznetsova). Anyone with visions of Grand Slam grandeur will have to negotiate through one or some of them (including '04 French and U.S. Open bridesmaid, Elena Dementieva--yes, the one with the sidearm, cupcake serve).

Strangely enough, Californian Lindsay Davenport garnered the year-end No. 1 ranking in 2004 without surpassing the semis of a major. With a waning ability to carpe diem in the latter rounds of a slam, more than just the ranking system needs to be retooled for her to win in Melbourne.

Which leaves us with the Williams sisters. Remember them? The ones who virtually traded off winning majors for a couple of years? "You take this one, Serena. Oh, no, Venus, wouldn't think of it--you take it." Now, what appeared to be an impending decade of dominance is becoming an increasing duration of disappearance.

Slamless since 2001, Venus' confidence has been badly shaken, her ranking now residing just within the top 10. Perhaps even worse, her peers have confidence that Venus is conquerable.

Serena, not much higher in the rankings at No. 7, seems more to suffer from a case of tennis-attention deficit disorder, the remedy for which reads backwards: Re-order surplus attention to tennis. In other words, "stick to your day job and leave Hollywood for later." My breath is not held.

Andy and Andre

As for our men, America's best hopes on the rubbery, bouncy, sticky Rebound Ace courts of Melbourne Park are Andy Roddick, with his high-kicking serve and heavy forehand, and Andre Agassi, with his know-how of four Aussie Open crowns. Amazingly proficient, if not a slight bit unpredictable, my money would be on the 34-year-old to dazzle rather than fizzle in his southern hemispheric home.

The younger gun, Roddick, perhaps in an attempt to solve the Roger Riddle (i.e. one win, eight losses vs. Federer), recently evicted one coach, Brad Gilbert, and invited another into his camp, Dean Goldfine (who is the former coach of Todd Martin, who, by the way, is now working with Minnesota-born Mardy Fish, who should be helped by the aforementioned professionalism and on-court intelligence). Got all that?

This year will be telling for Roddick. Capturing a second Slam will top his "to do" list, but after a long and majorless 2004 campaign that ended with December Davis Cup disappointment in Spain, the quick turnaround to the Aussie Open might not have afforded enough rest for the weary. Don't count him out, though--he has plenty of game, and even more importantly, he's a gamer.

Roger's reign

The Americans might be glad that 2005 has arrived, but there is one man who certainly wishes last year never ended. As a matter of fact, reports out of China have 2004 being appropriately renamed "The Year of Roger Federer." Fitting, for sure, as the displaced "Wood Monkey" didn't garner three Grand Slams, eight other titles, including the year-ending Master's Cup, amass a 74-6 record, and finish the year No. 1 by the length of the Great Wall. That's a Hall of Fame career, for goodness sake, not one year.

All of it done with the appearance of ease, it was also done coachless. That will change this year, as Roger has now teamed with Roche--as in Tony, the Aussie tennis legend. (My advice to Tony: Bring him water, bring him towel, shut up.) Then again, Roger couldn't possibly duplicate, or, dare I say, improve on last year, could he? Let me put it this way: Samson proceeded to struggle after his hair was cut; Federer is 10-0 since being shorn in November.

Yet picking Federer to win the first slam of the year would be like saying Randy Moss will create controversy any given Sunday. The odds are not long. I'm going with Aussie Lleyton Hewitt, a former No. 1 (and now, a former fiancé of Kim Clijsters) who resurfaced last year, reaching the final of the U.S. Open (where you-know-who spanked him) and the Master's Cup (where you-know-who spanked him again). If the Swiss clock somehow goes out of rhythm, look for "Nasty," as his compatriots call him, to gain his first title in his homeland. (When in doubt, go with spurned love, I always say.) And just for the record, I'll take fit Frenchwoman Amelie Mauresmo to win her first Slam.
A new year, a new beginning. A turn of calendar, a turn of fortune. These are the dreams dancing in the heads of players Down Under. Dreams that annually come true in a land called Oz.

Yasmine
01-16-2005, 07:58 PM
Yet picking Federer to win the first slam of the year would be like saying Randy Moss will create controversy any given Sunday. The odds are not long. I'm going with Aussie Lleyton Hewitt, a former No. 1 (and now, a former fiancé of Kim Clijsters) who resurfaced last year, reaching the final of the U.S. Open (where you-know-who spanked him) and the Master's Cup (where you-know-who spanked him again). If the Swiss clock somehow goes out of rhythm, look for "Nasty," as his compatriots call him, to gain his first title in his homeland. (When in doubt, go with spurned love, I always say.) And just for the record, I'll take fit Frenchwoman Amelie Mauresmo to win her first Slam.
:worship: :worship: :worship:
Youhou!!! :woohoo: that's my pick too! :bounce: good luck to both of them :angel:

Lisbeth
01-16-2005, 08:37 PM
Nasty????? Don't his compatriots call him "Rusty"????!!!!

Lisbeth
01-16-2005, 08:38 PM
I hope Amelie or Alicia win :)

Lleyton goes without saying :lol:

star
01-16-2005, 09:37 PM
Wheaton :rolleyes:

Just shows how far out of the loop he is. I've never heard "nasty" as a nickname for Lleyton. That's the name for the one and only bad boy of tennis..... Nastase. :)

Lisbeth
01-16-2005, 09:49 PM
I think they misheard Rusty. At Sydney, the announcer introduced Lleyton as "from Adelaide, South Australia, Australia ... Lleyton Rrrrusty Hewitt". It was pretty funny - more like a local comp than an international one though ;)

ally_014
01-17-2005, 02:26 AM
Nasty :rolleyes: Lleyton thanked Craig Willis (the announcer) in his speech - said he loved how he said Rusty out there :lol:

ally_014
01-17-2005, 02:32 AM
Article from The Times Online

Maturing Hewitt ready to go back under microscope
From Neil Harman, Tennis Correspondent, in Melbourne
January 17, 2005

HE HAS given up worrying about the state of the Rod Laver Arena court on which he must endure the fervour of Australian expectations — and if you think Tim Henman gets it bad at Wimbledon, Lleyton Hewitt’s every move here is subject to minute surveillance — but there is not a shred of doubt that the conditions are slower than Hewitt would want.

When the court zinged in 2000 and Alex Corretja, having been beaten 6-0, 6-0, 6-1 by Hewitt in the second round, suggested to Tennis Australia that no European clay-court player would want to return if it stayed that way, the Rebound Ace surface was appreciably slowed. What Hewitt wanted was one that was halfway between what it was and what it is now, a compromise to suit all tastes. He played for 90 minutes on it yesterday and his view had not altered.

Now, though, he was keeping his thoughts to himself, except to say: “I’m playing the tournament, nothing is going to change. I cannot worry about outside influences. I feel like I’m good enough to go out there and do well on any surface at the moment.”

For that to be the case, so many things have to be in place. Hewitt has to be content with his team, for he is more a team player than anyone else in a sport that rewards selfish excellence above all. Rebecca Cartwright, the actress of Home and Away fame, has replaced Kim Clijsters, the tennis player of freezing in grand-slam finals fame, in the girlfriend’s seat and Hewitt has never looked happier with life.

There have been three previous coaches in Hewitt’s career: Peter Smith, who helped him to graduate to teenage prodigy; Darren Cahill, who helped him to win a grand-slam title and become world No 1; and Jason Stoltenberg, for whom the pressures became too much. Now it is Roger Rasheed, once a decent state player in South Australia.

Rasheed knows that several judges look down their noses at him. “Could it be jealousy, I wonder?” he said. “You don’t have to have played tennis like Lleyton or any other of these greats to be able to do a good job. You can have a world- beating horse on your hands, but if the trainer is lousy it is not going to fulfil that greatness.”

Rasheed fits exactly what Hewitt wants and the way the world No 3 struck the ball at times last year — he played well at Wimbledon until coming across Roger Federer, played really well at the US Open until he came across Federer and was in fabulous form at the Masters Cup until, once again, he came across Federer — bodes well for his prospects here. Hewitt is increasingly relaxed.

“He is growing up,” Rasheed said. “He is getting towards 24, he is maturing just as anyone would. This job can be very intense and you can lose the enjoyment factor pretty quickly, but Lleyton has learnt to love what he does.

“He likes playing to a group and that is especially important here because the attention is on him all the time — he is out there, facing another guy with 15,000 people watching his every move. That can be a pretty lonely place to be and it’s good to look up and know there is a group that is right there for you.

“The Aussie public have witnessed his evolving and have grown to like him. At the outset, because he was always so fired up, maybe he turned 50 per cent of the people off and there are probably about 5 per cent now who will never like him. But I think the rest admire him as a tennis player and a man.”

Those who demean Hewitt by labelling him “Little Lleyton” will have to change their tune. He has put on 13lb (6kg) in the past year but has not left all his strength in the gym. “We know he is stronger and he is just as fast, if not quicker,” Rasheed said. “His weight of shot is a lot better.

“I believe we won’t see the best of Lleyton for another couple of years. I know he has been the world No 1 and won two grand-slams and the Masters, but he is still developing physically, his game will only get better. I feel he has only touched the surface of what he can achieve as a player and athlete.”

Although Hewitt, who starts his challenge against Arnaud Clément on day two, has not been beyond the fourth round of the Open here in eight years, there is a belief that that record is going to change. Being in the opposite half to Federer helps — Guillermo Coria and David Nalbandian are the highest seeds in his quarter of the draw.

“I feel like I’ve been as good as anyone, bar Roger, in the last year or so,” Hewitt said. It would be apt, for once, if what he did in his home grand-slam tournament matched that perfect impression of himself.

ally_014
01-17-2005, 02:37 AM
The Daily Telegraph:

Lleyton's flex appeal for Bec
By Vanessa McCausland
January 17, 2005

Sporting matching tans, Bec Cartwright watched on as her boyfriend performed bare-chested pushups on court and took obvious delight watching him flex his abs in the Melbourne sun yesterday.

After victory in Sydney at the weekend Hewitt said he could not be better prepared for his ninth tilt at his home championship.

"Both physically and mentally, I feel good, feel fresh coming into the tournament," he said.

"But you've still got to go out there and get the job done."

With newly sculpted arms and chest, Hewitt was clearly not shy about strutting his buff body yesterday.

Hewitt was photographed in full flirtation mode with his new love, arms flexed over his head as he chatted to her during breaks.

Hewitt is tipped to have Cartwright courtside when he kicks off his campaign against Arnaud Clement tomorrow.

The Home and Away star seems set to be Hewitt's not-so-secret weapon in the lead up to the Australian Open.

Hewitt, yet to progress past the fourth round, said he felt no added pressure given the withdrawal of Mark Philippoussis. "Every time I go out to a Davis Cup match in Australia or wherever I am around the world, a lot of focus is on me anyway, going out there and playing for your nation," he said.

Competition gets under way this morning from 11am.

Lisbeth
01-17-2005, 03:43 AM
Thanks for the articles Ally :)

Socket
01-17-2005, 04:07 AM
Lleyton's attitude just seems to be the best I've seen in years. Let's hope he can follow through with some great play!

Lisbeth
01-17-2005, 04:10 AM
Yes I agree - and the Aussie media's attitude to Lleyton has been good too ;)

Socket
01-17-2005, 04:31 AM
Dare I say it? Maybe it was a good thing that he and Kim broke up.

Yasmine
01-17-2005, 07:54 AM
For that to be the case, so many things have to be in place. Hewitt has to be content with his team, for he is more a team player than anyone else in a sport that rewards selfish excellence above all. Rebecca Cartwright, the actress of Home and Away fame, has replaced Kim Clijsters, the tennis player of freezing in grand-slam finals fame, in the girlfriend’s seat and Hewitt has never looked happier with life.
I am a huge Kim fan but nevertheless I have to agree there! :tape: So yeah Marlene, I dare saying it as well! :eek:

ally_014
01-17-2005, 08:11 AM
Much as it was a little hard to comprehend at the time it seems like the best choice from his point of view. He certainy seems to be a lot more relaxed and happy than ever before while still maintaining that killer edge and spirit on the court. On 'Talking Tennis' (a chat-type show on the other day) he was laughing and joking with Bruce McAvaney, who he seemd really comfortable with, and talking openly about Bec and his lack of dancing ability :lol: in front of a room full of people. Just hope that translates into success over teh next two weeks! :)

Danni
01-17-2005, 08:20 AM
He does look so much more happier now, and I guess that's the main thing. And he seems to enjoy talking about Bec and being with her, whereas he didn't seem to like talking about Kim, he was always kinda standoffish about her.

Socket
01-17-2005, 12:58 PM
Because he just decided that it would cost him less mental energy to simply answer a few questions about Bec than have to fend them off all the time. Although when he opens the door to answering questions about their relationship, it'll never close when he wants it to.

raeesa301
01-17-2005, 02:15 PM
Hewitt yet to peak – coach
Leo Schlink and Scott Gullan in Melbourne, tennis
18jan05

ROGER Rasheed believes Lleyton Hewitt is still two years from reaching his peak – despite Australian Open defending champion Roger Federer declaring the South Australian his main threat.

Overseeing Wimbledon and US Open winner Hewitt's final preparations for his opening-round clash with Frenchman Arnaud Clement tonight, Rasheed predicts the world No. 3 will continue to improve.

"I believe we won't see the best of Lleyton for another couple of years," Rasheed said.

"I know he has been the world No. 1 and won two Grand Slams and the Masters (twice), but he is still developing physically.


"His game will only get better. I feel he has only touched the surface of what he can achieve as a player and athlete."

Rasheed says Hewitt, now second favourite behind arch rival Roger Federer to triumph at Melbourne Park, is maturing.

"He is growing up," Rasheed said. "He is getting towards 24, he is maturing just as anyone would.

"This job can be very intense and you can lose the enjoyment factor pretty quickly, but Lleyton has learnt to love what he does.

"He likes playing to a group and that is especially important here because the attention is on him all the time – he is out there facing another guy with 15,000 people watching his every move.

"That can be a pretty lonely place to be and it's good to look up and know there is a group that is right there for you.

"The Aussie public have witnessed his evolving and have grown to like him.

"At the outset, because he was always so fired up, maybe he turned 50 per cent of the people off and there are probably 5 per cent who will never like him.

"But I think the rest admire him as a tennis player and man."

Rasheed has been credited by Hewitt as a key factor in his tennis evolution, a journey which has carried the once skinny baseliner from No. 1 to 17th in the world – and then back to No. 3.

Much of that gain will be obliterated – at least, temporarily – if Hewitt happens to ruin a perfect record against Australian Open finalist Clement today.

Hewitt leads Clement 6-0, having made the Frenchman's Australian campaign something of a misery by inflicting a second-round defeat in Adelaide and a first-round loss in Sydney in successive weeks.

Todd Reid was all the rage at the Australian Open last year after he made it through to the third round on the back of a memorable five-set marathon against the dangerous Sargis Sargsian.

Though his run ended at the hands of eventual champion Federer, a bright future seemed assured for the plucky Sydney teenager.

For a variety of reasons – mainly a bout of glandular fever – the Reid bandwagon has never really got rolling since. Yesterday it ground to a halt with the young Australian crushed by Slovakian Karol Beck 6-2, 6-2, 6-1.

Earlier, Melbourne's Peter Luczak let slip an opportunity against 2002 Open champion Thomas Johansson when his game collapsed in the fifth set.

For nearly three hours Luczak was strongly in contention and when he took the fourth set there was a serious whiff of a major upset, but it all went pear-shaped with Johannson racing through the final set in 26 minutes to win 7-6, 4-6, 6-3, 4-6, 6-0.

Scott Draper, armed with playing rights for golf and tennis, moved a step closer yesterday to chasing the small white ball rather than the fluffy yellow ones.

Draper lost 5-7, 6-2, 6-4, 6-2 to 13th seed Tommy Robredo, of Spain.

The 30-year-old Queensland left-hander has a protected tennis ranking for eight events following knee surgery.

A right-handed golfer, he will play next week's Victorian Open at Woodlands as the start to a nine-week tournament schedule.

sprinterluck
01-17-2005, 02:20 PM
He does look so much more happier now, and I guess that's the main thing. And he seems to enjoy talking about Bec and being with her, whereas he didn't seem to like talking about Kim, he was always kinda standoffish about her.

I think Kim and Lleyton are under a microscope because they are international stars, both high-profile, successful tennis players which magnified the media attention. It's like dating someone from the workplace. I'm sure they didn't want other tennis players gossiping about them in the locker room, or journalists writing about their personal life. In contrast, Bec's career thrives on media attention and because she's popular in Oz the cameras can focus on her. I'm sure she doesn't mind if cameras focus on her because it only helps her celebrity.

In a UK interview Lleyton himself said media focus should be on the tennis, not their personal life because that was just for him and Kim. He didn't even want to give any details of his proposal last year just saying it was a special evening we couldn't have asked for more. In the past he treated his personal life like private property, not to be shared or trespassed on by the public. But after the media storm that followed his breakup with Kim I think Lleyton realizes that no matter what, especially in Australia, his personal life will continue to be under the microscope. I think at this point he's resigned to the idea that it's better to give an answer to questions otherwise the media will make up stories that are untrue.

Yasmine
01-17-2005, 03:15 PM
In the past he treated his personal life like private property, not to be shared or trespassed on by the public. But after the media storm that followed his breakup with Kim I think Lleyton realizes that no matter what, especially in Australia, his personal life will continue to be under the microscope. I think at this point he's resigned to the idea that it's better to give an answer to questions otherwise the media will make up stories that are untrue.
Very well said sprinterluck :wavey: ! I think that for his sake, that was the best way to react. As a tennis star there is no wy the media attention is gonna go away (especially when he's gonna beat roger this year :p... sorry couldn't help it :tape: ) and it just shows that living with it allows him to be happy and to play well! :cool: so :hatoff:

Lisbeth
01-17-2005, 09:34 PM
Apologies if this was already posted (hard to keep up at this time of year!) The bit I've put in bold made me laugh ;)

http://www.smh.com.au/text/articles/2005/01/16/1105810776003.html?oneclick=true

Hewitt prepares to be first knight
Date: January 17 2005


Lleyton Hewitt won't rest until he has the one grand slam title he craves most. Now he begins his ninth Australian Open campaign, Richard Hinds reports.

It used to be that Pat Rafter, all good looks and blokey charm, was the man everyone wanted to be. But as an Australian Open in which the local hopes are burning brightly gets under way, being Lleyton Hewitt right now would not suck, either.

Hewitt's summer has had the makings of a fantasy story from Ralph magazine. When he has not been driving the streets of Adelaide in his new Ferrari, hanging out with his footy-playing buddy Andrew McLeod, discussing matters of global interest with celebrity girlfriend Bec Cartwright or pumping up his newly buffed body in the gym, Hewitt has been completing what seems the perfect preparation to win the title he craves most.

Even his defeat in an awkward match to Taylor Dent in the quarter-finals in Adelaide, which looked like a setback at the time, seemed like a blessing in Sydney, where the 23-year-old was as fresh, confident, relaxed - by his standards - and as physically imposing as he has ever been.

That perception was reflected in his performances. There was a tenacious recovery from a set down against the awkward Max Mirnyi, a confidence-boosting second consecutive victory over Arnaud Clement, his first opponent in the Australian Open, and a comfortable 7-5, 6-0 win over qualifier Ivo Minar in the final that did not take much juice out of his tank before he hopped on the plane to Melbourne.

Other than the bulging biceps, we had seen this all before. This was Hewitt's fourth consecutive Sydney title, the fourth time he had steamrollered his way through the field and marched on to Melbourne with murderous intent in his hawkish eyes.

Yet not once in eight attempts has Hewitt been beyond the fourth round at Melbourne Park, his worst record at any of the four majors. In the past, there have been valid reasons, such as injury and illness, and reasonable excuses, such as the invincibility of his conqueror last year, Roger Federer, to explain this strangely poor return.

This time, Hewitt has already offered up the slow speed of the courts as a possible reason for his potential demise. However, even if they lay molasses on the Rod Laver Arena, it seems there will be only one reason for him failing to have broken the 29-year local drought: he will simply not have been good enough on the day.

Or, his many fans will hope, on the night. Because Hewitt's appearance in the historic first night final in the Australian Open's centenary year is the storyline most crave. More so if he encounters Federer.

Much has been made of the Swiss star's hold on Hewitt - a 6-0 record last year, including a 6-0, 7-6 (7-3), 6-0 whipping in the final of the US Open. Such is Federer's dominance, the entire tennis world is musing about his prospect of winning all four majors. The Australian Open has been promoted not as the first title of the year, but as the first leg of the slam - or, if you like, the third leg of the "Roger slam" given Federer could hold all four majors if he wins here and at Roland Garros.

Federer completed his faultless build-up by going undefeated at Kooyong. At the Australian Open last year, he dropped just two sets on his way to the title and, with new coach Tony Roche in his corner, there is nothing to suggest the European winter has diminished his powers.

With Federer, one thing is guaranteed: if he gets to the last match, he wins. Last year, he compiled a faultless 11-0 record in finals. His path to this year's final begins with the unorthodox Fabrice Santoro. If it leads to anything but a handshake with Rod Laver, who will present the men's trophy, something will have gone awry.

Most likely to create an upset? Andre Agassi is battling a leg injury, hardly ideal in such an arduous campaign. Andy Roddick's ferocious best was good enough to challenge Federer for only one memorable set at Wimbledon - then the Swiss shrugged him off. Perhaps Marat Safin, who finished last year strongly and who is drawn to meet Federer in the semi-finals, is the best chance. Twice an Australian Open finalist, he likes the courts here almost as much as the nightclubs.

Choosing a women's champion is like trying to pick the winner of the Melbourne Cup using the form from Dapto greyhounds. In both cases, throwing a dart at the form guide is probably the most reliable method.

The defending champion Justin Henin-Hardenne is a scratching, the Williams sisters have not played a meaningful match this year, although Venus was said to be in good nick in an exhibition event in Hong Kong, and world No.2 Amelie Mauresmo has not fired a shot in anger, either. In Sydney, top seed Lindsay Davenport played just one match before withdrawing because of bronchitis, French and US opens runner-up Elena Dementieva was stricken by "heat exhaustion" after her second match and No.3 Anastasia Myskina lost her first match to Chinese qualifier Shuai Peng.

All of which adds to the uncertainty and has helped fuel seemingly premature predictions that Australian Alicia Molik could prevail. But what has inspired local hopes most is Molik's astonishing form at the Hopman Cup and in Sydney, where she performed some Williamsesque disposals of her opponents. Molik's ruthlessness on her way to the title was not just at the expense of the usual flimsy fodder, but also more accomplished opponents, such as world No.22 Fabiola Zuluaga.

While Molik has long been considered a major talent, she has undergone a transformation. Her once big but erratic strokes are now crunched with powerful conviction. She talks not with the false bravado of her early days, but with earnest self-confidence.

But winning at Melbourne Park with the added weight of expectation on her would be something else. Perhaps more realistic would be to hope she can ride her 10th seeding into the quarter-finals.

Samantha Stosur, who gave Molik such a torrid battle in the three-set Sydney final, has a tough opening match tonight against Mauresmo. Despite a stomach muscle injury, she displayed an attacking game that could unsettle Mauresmo.

And so three Australians enter their home grand slam with hopes high. What would you give to be in their sneakers now?

star
01-17-2005, 09:58 PM
"discussing matters of global interest with celebrity girlfriend Bec Cartwright "

:haha: :haha:

Murkofan
01-17-2005, 10:37 PM
Like what, whether her career will ever branch out of Oz? :rolleyes:

panda7
01-17-2005, 11:49 PM
I think Kim and Lleyton are under a microscope because they are international stars, both high-profile, successful tennis players which magnified the media attention. It's like dating someone from the workplace. I'm sure they didn't want other tennis players gossiping about them in the locker room, or journalists writing about their personal life. In contrast, Bec's career thrives on media attention and because she's popular in Oz the cameras can focus on her. I'm sure she doesn't mind if cameras focus on her because it only helps her celebrity.

In a UK interview Lleyton himself said media focus should be on the tennis, not their personal life because that was just for him and Kim. He didn't even want to give any details of his proposal last year just saying it was a special evening we couldn't have asked for more. In the past he treated his personal life like private property, not to be shared or trespassed on by the public. But after the media storm that followed his breakup with Kim I think Lleyton realizes that no matter what, especially in Australia, his personal life will continue to be under the microscope. I think at this point he's resigned to the idea that it's better to give an answer to questions otherwise the media will make up stories that are untrue.

I completely agree with you on everything you just said. Where you use the workplace reference, I was thinking that Kim and Lleyton's relationship was similar to dating someone within a close circle of friends or even family (a bit like dating your brother's best mate).

The fact that they were both part of what I see as a very small and almost incestuous tennis community where everybody knows of everybody, surely made their relationship very different than the ones they find themselves in now. I would imagine that both Lleyton and Kim feel a weight has been lifted off their shoulders in terms of the scrutiny they were under and are now able to conduct more normal relationships.

Even though there is an inordinate amount of interest, and rightly so, in Lleyton and Bec at the moment, I would think that eventually things will calm down (especially once the Australian part of the season is over) and they can settle into a more 'normal' relationship.

One last thought - I agree with everyone who says that Lleyton looks and sounds happy. I had the chance to see one short minute of a Lleyton interview last week on one of our local sports programs and I was struck by how relaxed and calm he sounded. It was very obvious. Having said that, and I am referring to the post by another member who mentioned that Lleyton never looked that happy when he was with Kim, I do not think it is particularly productive or healthy to start comparing Lleyton's present state of happiness to his demeanor prior to the break up. Let's face it, everybody is in a state of euphoria at the beginning of a new relationship, very few people display that same sense of euphoria 5 years into a relationship. I would not read too much into it.

star
01-18-2005, 12:01 AM
I thought Lleyton was VERY happy after he got engaged to Kim. He looked completely smitten. :)

I think Lleyton has been through a refining fire. That changes people. He might have come out of it embittered, but instead he seems to have taken what is positive from a bad experience and used it to his advantage. To me it just shows what a great guy he is.

Lisbeth
01-18-2005, 12:07 AM
I agree Christina. I also think that being in Australia makes him happy. Hopefully it will last when he has to go overseas :)

sprinterluck
01-18-2005, 04:35 AM
Having said that, and I am referring to the post by another member who mentioned that Lleyton never looked that happy when he was with Kim, I do not think it is particularly productive or healthy to start comparing Lleyton's present state of happiness to his demeanor prior to the break up. Let's face it, everybody is in a state of euphoria at the beginning of a new relationship, very few people display that same sense of euphoria 5 years into a relationship. I would not read too much into it.

I agree. I don't see the point in comparing his current state of happiness to his demeanor prior to the break up. Different situations.

In 2003 when Lleyton was going through a rough patch in his career his father was quoted as saying the problem is that his son is "too happy." Honestly he was really happy and smitten with Kim otherwise he would not have proposed marriage to her.
Once there's a question of marriage, there are lots of serious issues to deal with such as: location of wedding, residence, getting along with your in-laws, pre-nup agreements, Belgian and Australian legal matters.
Besides playing matches, training for tournaments, having wrist surgery and rehab (Kim), to have to deal with all those marriage issues had to be a huge strain on both Kim and Lleyts...but not on Lleyton if he really truly just meant to "rock up and let her organize it." :p

I hope Lleyton just prefers to date different people and stays in a non-commital relationship for a while so he can focus more on tennis without having any major commitments to a steady girlfriend. Unless he has a steady girlfriend like Federer's who follows him around the world, I don't see a steady relationship working. Long-distance relationships are really difficult to maintain especially for Aussie tennis players because most of the year they're so far from home.

Yasmine
01-18-2005, 12:54 PM
here is an article from the AO website after Lleyton won his 1st round match! I only put a part of the article, the one where they talk about Lleyton. :)

Hewitt Opens Campaign in Style
by Paul Gough
Tuesday, 18 January, 2005

Lleyton Hewitt has kicked off his Centenary Australian Open campaign in fine style as he attempts to become the first local men's winner since 1976.

The No.3 seed drew a tough first-round opponent in 2001 finalist Arnaud Clement, but in the evening's feature match at a packed Rod Laver Arena, Hewitt was in blistering touch as he swept past the Frenchman in three dynamic sets, winning 6-3 6-4 6-1.

Earlier on Day Two, it was the forgotten man of the men's draw, No.2 seed Andy Roddick, who went from strength to strength in demolishing Georgian Irakli Labadze 7-5 6-2 6-1, booking a second-round meeting with veteran Briton Greg Rusedski.

Rusedski downed 32-year-old Swede Jonas Bjorkman 2-6 6-4 6-0 7-6 (9-7), but will need to be at his best if he is to challenge Roddick, who has enjoyed a low-key preparation to the first Grand Slam of 2005.

The American has watched on as all the attention in the build up to this year's championships has been on Hewitt and reigning Australian, Wimbledon and US Open champion and world No.1 Roger Federer.

"Obviously being in Lleyton's home country that's not surprising and with Roger playing the way he has, he definitely deserves all the spotlight," Roddick said.

NOMAD
01-18-2005, 01:26 PM
http://www.heraldsun.news.com.au/common/story_page/0,5478,11981739%255E3162,00.html
Tickets spark new dispute
Leo Schlink
19jan05

LLEYTON Hewitt's prickly relationship with Tennis Australia has deteriorated further with a dispute over tournament ticketing.

Hewitt's friends and management have been forced to buy tickets amid claims the official Australian Davis Cup support group, the Fanatics, has been barred from sitting in Hewitt's allocated area.
Hewitt is furious over the issue, having been blocked in his move to have the Fanatics seated together at his centenary Open matches.

The South Australian is puzzled over the snub, given his standing as Australia's best male hope of winning the singles title -- and Tennis Australia's reliance on him for Davis Cup.

Hewitt's family and friends are understood to have outlaid more than $10,000 on tickets to buy extra seats for sessions Hewitt might not even contest to accommodate his most passionate supporters.

The latest confrontation, which is understood to have been simmering for several weeks, flared when Hewitt was told the Fanatics could not sit in his box.

Hewitt is understood to be bemused at how easily groups of Swedes, Croatians and Slovakians are able to gather at matches involving their compatriots.

Murkofan
01-18-2005, 03:19 PM
I agree. I don't see the point in comparing his current state of happiness to his demeanor prior to the break up. Different situations.

In 2003 when Lleyton was going through a rough patch in his career his father was quoted as saying the problem is that his son is "too happy." Honestly he was really happy and smitten with Kim otherwise he would not have proposed marriage to her.
Once there's a question of marriage, there are lots of serious issues to deal with such as: location of wedding, residence, getting along with your in-laws, pre-nup agreements, Belgian and Australian legal matters.
Besides playing matches, training for tournaments, having wrist surgery and rehab (Kim), to have to deal with all those marriage issues had to be a huge strain on both Kim and Lleyts...but not on Lleyton if he really truly just meant to "rock up and let her organize it." :p


Maybe if he'd done more, Kim wouldn't've gotten so stressed and become so unhappy :p

Yasmine
01-18-2005, 03:36 PM
Maybe if he'd done more, Kim wouldn't've gotten so stressed and become so unhappy :p
I don't think we should make judgments like that and start saying and if such and such... it's over now.

Murkofan
01-18-2005, 03:52 PM
You're probably right, but picking on Lleyton is just so easy and so fun :p If he dumps B-List I'll try and behave :angel: :p

Goonergal
01-18-2005, 05:28 PM
You're probably right, but picking on Lleyton is just so easy and so fun :p If he dumps B-List I'll try and behave :angel: :p

Beebs, tsk tsk :p :tape: :lol:

Yasmine
01-19-2005, 11:14 AM
Another article previous to LLeyton's second round match against J. Blake. (from the AO website)

Hewitt Holds the Edge
by Sandra Harwitt
Wednesday, 19 January, 2005

No. 3 Lleyton Hewitt (Aus) vs. James Blake (USA)

Lleyton Hewitt heads into this second-round match against American James Blake with a distinct advantage: he holds an impressive 5-1 winning record over Blake.

What stands out, however, in their head-to-head is that the two times they've played at a Grand Slam - in the second round of the 2001 US Open and the third round of the 2002 US Open - they've battled to five sets.

Blake arrives at Melbourne Park with a very determined frame of mind. For the most part, his 2004 season was a washout with injury and illness. The most serious of these injuries was suffering a fractured vertebra in his neck while practicing in May, which kept him sidelined for two months. Blake hasn't played a Grand Slam since reaching the fourth round here last year and he is hoping to play serious catch up in 2005.

The real question to be pondered is whether Blake's determination to rejuvenate his career can usher him to a victory over Lleyton Hewitt?

If Hewitt wasn't playing as well as he is these days, it might not be out of line to give Blake a real fighting chance in the match. But, unfortunately, for Blake, Hewitt's back to approaching all matches as if they are all-or-nothing brawls that he must win. This was the attitude that won Hewitt his trophies at the 2001 US Open and 2002 Wimbledon, and also helped him to end those years as the world No.1.

Hewitt, who reached his first Grand Slam final since winning Wimbledon at the 2004 US Open, is amazingly comfortable and confident after scoring the Medibank International title in Sydney last week. And he's definitely on a mission to become the first Australian since Mark Edmondson in 1976 to win the Australian Open.

And it's fair to say Hewitt is not about to let Blake spoil the fun.

Blake played an excellent first-round match here against Florian Mayer and can walk away from the Australian Open feeling he's on the right track to rekindling his career. But unless Hewitt gets up on the wrong side of the bed Thursday morning, Blake will be benched in the second-round.

raeesa301
01-19-2005, 05:34 PM
Hewitt's dad opens fire over ticket costs

20jan05

LLEYTON Hewitt's continuing Australian Open tickets dispute has prompted his father Glynn to scathingly criticise the organisation's business practices.

"It would have been cheaper for us to buy a corporate box the way they (Tennis Australia) handle their sponsorship dealings," Hewitt said. "They let Ford out of the Australian Open sponsorship and let Kia in for comparatively nothing, costing them millions of dollars." Hewitt's friends and management have outlaid more than $10,000 on tickets to accommodate his supporters.

The world No. 3 is upset over claims the Australian Davis Cup support group, The Fanatics, are not allowed to sit in his support box.

The Fanatics, a group of supporters welcomed to the sport by Pat Rafter and John Newcombe, have long claimed they are not welcome to congregate at Melbourne Park.

But a Tennis Australia spokesperson yesterday said Hewitt was entitled to 32 guest tickets for each of his matches -- twice the number provided to defending champion Roger Federer.

The spokesperson said The Fanatics are allowed to sit in Hewitt's support box -- a claim later denied by Hewitt's management.

Security guards last year attempted to remove some of The Fanatics, forcing the embarrassing intervention of Lucy Hopman, widow of famed Australian Davis Cup captain Harry Hopman.

Hewitt is understood to be bemused at how easily Swedes, Croatians and Slovakians are able to gather at matches involving their compatriots.

The ticketing issue has simmered since despite discussions involving TA president Geoff Pollard and tournament chief executive Paul McNamee.

Hewitt's management last year scrounged tickets from other players for his matches.

raeesa301
01-19-2005, 05:41 PM
I know it's a Blake article, but he mentions Lleyton quite a lot :p .

Blake looks at bigger picture
Leo Schlink
20jan05

JAMES Blake no longer agonises over faulty forehands or flawed footwork.

Nor will he quibble if, as expected, he falls victim to Lleyton Hewitt today.
The amiable American last year lost his father Thomas to cancer.

He also fractured neck vertebrae, suffered temporary paralysis on one side of his face and contracted Zoster, a condition that affects hearing and sight.

But, at 25, Blake's travails have left him with invaluable perspective and the ability to reconcile professional tennis for what it is -- a privilege rather than a punishment.

"It's definitely a year I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy," Blake said.

"All you can do is try to find silver linings and find reasons to improve or find ways to improve. The only thing I got out of it is a different perspective on life."

Which is not to say Blake is not eager to thump Hewitt today and post his first victory in six attempts against the Australian in a rivalry that includes two torrid US Open encounters.

"There's nothing you can do badly and still win the match against Lleyton," Blake said.

"If I serve badly, he's going to chew that up and return great. He's one of the best returners in the game.

"I still definitely feel like there are days where I can play with the best in the world . . . but I doubt I have the same consistency that took me to 20 in the world. I don't doubt the fact I can go out and beat a Lleyton Hewitt on a given day. But I think my chances might not be as good as when I was playing at this level much more consistently."

Blake knows Hewitt too well to expect any sympathy today, but regardless of the outcome of the match, he will walk away unaffected by the result.

"It makes me smile a lot of times now when I hear people complain about their hotel room not being too big or their girlfriend just dumped them," Blake said.

"Things like that I don't think are as important any more.

"For me to complain after him (his father) going through a year of chemotherapy and after a lot of pain and losing weight and surgeries without complaining, it makes me think twice.

"I'm back on tour and I'm having a great time. I'm doing what I love for a living."

Hagar
01-19-2005, 06:44 PM
How old was James' father? He can't have been very old if James is only 25.

Turkeyballs Paco
01-19-2005, 07:11 PM
...But, at 25, Blake's travails have left him with invaluable perspective and the ability to reconcile professional tennis for what it is -- a privilege rather than a punishment.

"All you can do is try to find silver linings and find reasons to improve or find ways to improve. The only thing I got out of it is a different perspective on life."

Blake knows Hewitt too well to expect any sympathy today, but regardless of the outcome of the match, he will walk away unaffected by the result.

"It makes me smile a lot of times now when I hear people complain about their hotel room not being too big or their girlfriend just dumped them," Blake said.

"Things like that I don't think are as important any more.

"For me to complain after him (his father) going through a year of chemotherapy and after a lot of pain and losing weight and surgeries without complaining, it makes me think twice.

"I'm back on tour and I'm having a great time. I'm doing what I love for a living."

What a great attitude. It's nice to see that.

Knows Hewitt too well to expect sympathy? Probably just the journalist's ideas, but tell me who would go easy on him because of these things? Federer? I doubt it.

Yasmine
01-20-2005, 09:16 AM
Here is an article from the AO site after Lleyton won his second round match :yippee:

Hewitt Overcomes Blake Challenge
Thursday, 20 January, 2005
by Scott Spits

The great local hope, Australian world No.3 Lleyton Hewitt, has survived a massive scare from American James Blake to progress to the round of 32 after an engrossing second-round encounter.

Hewitt, who defeated 2001 Australian Open finalist Arnaud Clement in the first-round, lost the opening set to the dangerous Blake but won a dramatic second set in a tie-break.

Thereafter, Hewitt was in complete control and went on to win 4-6 7-6 (10-8) 6-0 6-3.

The pressure was on Hewitt in the second set as Blake, whose 2004 season was a washout with injury and illness, took the match right up to the Australian before a boisterous crowd at Rod Laver Arena.

Having overcome a tough early draw, Hewitt - who has never progressed beyond the fourth-round at Melbourne Park - enters the third-round with a fresh dose of confidence.

sprinterluck
01-20-2005, 06:37 PM
I only included the part about Lleyton. It's funny the media's making a big deal out of the Blake vicht/come on and Lleyton turning his back on Blake when he applauded one of Lleyton's shots. Just take it off the court and duke it out boys. :devil: :p

Wednesday, January 19, 2005
Updated: January 20, 11:44 AM ET
Hewitt turns tide in tiebreak

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
ESPN.com news services

MELBOURNE, Australia -- Lleyton Hewitt rallied to beat James Blake 4-6, 7-6 (8), 6-0, 6-3 to advance to the third round of the Australian Open on Thursday.

The tense center-court match, which turned after Blake cut his racket hand, was the highlight of the a day.

Seventh-seeded Tim Henman of Britain and ninth-seeded David Nalbandian also advanced, while No. 2 Andy Roddick beat Greg Rusedski 6-0, 3-6, 6-2, 6-3 in a matchup of two of the game's fastest servers. There were few long rallies as the two players combined for 23 aces at up to 137 mph. Roddick had 49 winners and only eight unforced errors.

Hewitt lost the first set against Blake, who broke vertebrae in his neck when he ran into a net post during practice last May, then contracted Zoster, an illness that affected his sight and hearing and temporarily paralyzed part of his face. After reaching the fourth round here last January, he missed the other three Grand Slams as his ranking slipped to 76th.

Blake was serving for the second set after breaking the Australian at 5-5. But Hewitt broke back to force a tiebreaker in which both players had set points.

Hewitt converted his third with a sharply angled volley that Blake made a desperate dive for, flicking the ball back while landing on his racket hand and opening a cut between his ring finger and pinkie that required several treatments.

With Hewitt pumped up and shouting encouragement to himself, Blake was never the same and also suffered from several close line calls that went against him.

"I see that as a learning experience," Blake said. "I've been off tour for a while. That's what I missed, being in a tiebreaker with one of the best players in the world. The crowd is into it. You get chances. You're a little nervous. That's what's fun. And I missed that."

Hewitt, urged on by the center-court crowd, clenched his fists and bellowed his trademark "c'mon" every time he won a crucial point. In return, Blake mocked Hewitt's salute when he saved a set point with a perfect backhand winner.

The Australian third seed said he did not see the incident and was not bothered that Blake might have mocked him.

"A few people told me they'd seen it ... but it doesn't bother me too much," Hewitt said.

Blake said he was not offended when Hewitt turned his back on him when he was applauding one of his shots.

"I felt like he played a great point so I applauded. If he doesn't want to acknowledge it, he doesn't have to," Blake said.

"He's doing what he can to win the match. Obviously it worked. But I'm definitely not offended."

The pair shook hands only briefly at the net but Hewitt insisted there was no problem.

"We get along well. We've practiced together in the past," Hewitt said. "He's a pretty down-to-earth guy as well. He's very easy to get along with."

Blake added: "We probably don't call each other on holidays or hang out all the time, but we're friendly when we see each other."

When Hewitt, the last Australian man left in the singles draw, raced away with the final two sets, he set up a third-round clash with Juan Ignacio Chela after the Argentine beat Gregory Carraz of France in straight sets.

Hewitt expects another tough battle.

"Get ready for a long match, I'd say -- about as long as his name," he said.

Socket
01-20-2005, 06:59 PM
I think it's the media who should take onto the court and duke it out. The two players seem to have left it all behind them.

Blake has to realize that he's on Lleyton's home court, and take what comes with that. If he wants to invite the crowd to boo him when he mocks Lleyton's salute, that's his choice. Maybe that pumps him up. Lleyton took the high road on that in his interview, which is just fine.

Socket
01-20-2005, 08:39 PM
Bec to head back

ACTOR Bec Cartwright is expected to return to Melbourne late tomorrow if boyfriend Lleyton Hewitt is still competing.

She flew back to Sydney this week to meet a demanding schedule on the Home and Away set

Reader Shane from Richmond told us he shared a restaurant with Hewitt and Cartwright for three hours last Saturday night and they "seemed really happy".

The couple was also joined at the South Yarra Mexican eatery by Lleyton's parents, his sister Jaslyn, boyfriend Joachim Johansson, Lleyton's coach and other friends.

"They looked like they were having a ripping time," Shane said. "They were obviously in a happy mood because Lleyton had won in Sydney that day."

Turkeyballs Paco
01-20-2005, 08:51 PM
This thing is lasting longer than I thought... she could be around awhile, may be a keeper. Who knows?

Lisbeth
01-20-2005, 08:52 PM
It was amusing this morning compare thise article from SMH with the one headed "Hewitt serves notice" in the Daily Telegraph (Sydney's other (tabloid) paper!) I am stull looking for the other one online but it was basically a testament to Ll's fighting spirit and great form.

Not wishing to draw a comparison between SMH expectations than tennis should be all la-di-da country club whereas Tele readers like a bit of biff ;) , I can only assume Richard Hinds is one a one man missions to ensure that Lleyton gets so riled he wins the whole thing. Thanks Richard :)

http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2005/01/20/1106110883028.html

Hewitt divides and rules
January 21, 2005

Stretching the point: Lleyton Hewitt's single-mindedness helped him into the third round of the open last night, but a second-set controversy led some to question his behaviour.
Photo: Sebastian Costanzo

Lleyton Hewitt's Australian Open challenge is marching on, but last night he may have left sportsmanship in his wake. By Richard Hinds.

Opinions of Lleyton Hewitt have always been fiercely divided between those who - like his slavishly devoted cheer squad, the Fanatics - are interested only that the Australian flag continues to fly, and others who are not so convinced that the ends always justify the means.

In his second-round victory over James Blake, Hewitt's opponent in a controversial match at the 2001 US Open that polarised opinions about him more than any other, the Australian's behaviour again cast a shadow over a typical fighting performance.

After he had come back to beat Blake 4-6, 7-6 (10-8), 6-0, 6-3, we were once more forced to ask if Hewitt's combative style is merely the stuff of a crazed competitor or whether his behaviour is, even by the elastic standards of modern-day tennis, downright unsportsmanlike.

The point of contention came at the crucial stage in yet another brilliant Hewitt fightback, the type of performance in which you can only admire his indomitable spirit and boundless energy. Having lost the first set, Hewitt had twice been down a break of serve in the second before battling his way into what was a long, exhausting and excruciatingly tense tie-breaker.

Advertisement
AdvertisementAt 7-7, and having already saved a set point, Hewitt produced a superb volleyed lob that left Blake stranded at the net, a shot so perfectly executed the American could merely stand paralysed and clap his hand on his racquet. And there Blake stayed, standing and clapping for what seemed like minutes, waiting for Hewitt to respond - to put up a hand, flash a smile or simply acknowledge he was part of a great match with a worthy opponent.

But Hewitt had already turned his back and was engaged in his traditional fist-waving, heart-thumping orgy of self-congratulation. He turned not to Blake but to the salivating Fanatics occupying the 14 seats Hewitt had provided for them. And so an instant when two athletes could have acknowledged each other's contribution to a special moment became another piece of cheap, jingoistic theatre.

Moments later Blake saved a set point himself with a flashing winner and gave his interpretation of the vicht - the hand gesture borrowed from the Swedish in which Hewitt points his fingers at his head.

Later, Blake, who missed six months of competition last year because of injury and illness, said this was not in response to Hewitt's lack of acknowledgement but because he was excited by executing the perfect shot at a vital moment. "It was emotion I haven't felt in eight months that I let out," Blake said. "Maybe there was a little bit of anger coming out from losing the set point before.


The tide turns against James Blake during his four set loss to Lleyton Hewitt.
Photo:Vince Caligiuri
"[Hewitt and I] are acquaintances. We don't call each other on holidays or hang out all the time, but we're friendly ..."

Blake had given Hewitt the benefit of the doubt after their New York battle, when the Australian was accused of making a racist remark about a linesman. Last night, one wondered whether Blake was again showing his class by keeping his mouth shut. Or did Hewitt, as he claimed, simply not see him?

Yet if Blake had shown his superior class as a sportsman, Hewitt was to demonstrate a clear-cut advantage as a player. With blood in his nostrils, he powered away, aided by the mounting toll of unforced errors that flowed from Blake's racquet. It was just the sort of match in which Hewitt thrives: long, passionate and touched with controversy. A battle of minds and wills as much as strokes.

It was not just Hewitt's resolve that gutted the American. Several times Blake had chances to close out the second set. But his nerve failed him and he committed several appalling errors.

Against Hewitt, missed chances are always fatal. He is the game's Dracula. Fail to drive a stake through his heart when you have the clove of garlic under his nose and you will have puncture marks on your neck before you know it.

That said, for a time during yesterday's match, Hewitt's bite was about as lethal as an ant with a gum infection. His serve mis-fired, his forehand was off target and it took all his renowned resolve to drag himself out of a hole. There are potentially more difficult battles in store. Next is the Argentinian Juan Ignacio Chela.

But as he struggled early yesterday, you could not help but believe Hewitt's major problem in winning the title here - Roger Federer aside - is his self-doubt. His Fanatics can only pump the man up so much. Inevitably, it is his racquet that will have to do the talking.

virgil23
01-20-2005, 09:28 PM
Is it a really slow day for news in Australia? I mean honestly, there is nothing more pathetic than the press trying to create controversy where there is none to be had. Seriously it usually just comes out as stupid and pointless as this latest little issue is proving to be.

For crying out loud, I watched the match point by point and I have yet to see what possible issue these writers are going on about. At the point when Lleyton made that very impressive shot; the match was so close and so intense it was ridiculos. Both players were incredibly wound up and unbelievably tense. So in a pressure moment, Lleyton made an unbelievable shot, kept himself in a very close match and then turned to his box and supporters, thus not paying much attention to his opponent. My god, the utter disgrace of that guy. Seriously I wonder why some of those idiot sports writers get paid.

Incidentally there have been TONS of matches where a player has applauded an opponent and the opponent barely acknowledge it and go right to getting ready for the next point. Oh but of course it is not a good day unless some sports writer tries to make Lleyton into a villian. Honestly these people need to get some actual, oh I don't know "news". Seriously, talk about much ado about nothing.

Lisbeth
01-20-2005, 09:32 PM
I agree completely, Virgil :)

dagmar7
01-20-2005, 09:56 PM
Thanks for posting that, Jane. Love the response from Virgil. :cool:

From what I recall Richard Hinds has a kind of love/hate relationship with Lleyton. Actually, I think Dracula is a big compliment here; although "ant with gum disease"? - that's a bit laboured.

I think he really wants to see Ll succeed and is worried about the fragility overpowering the fiery, thus hopefully stoking the latter with his criticism.

Personally, I think Ll plays "too nice" against James since the incident. He always starts really shaky, whereas JB is typically fired up.

Socket
01-20-2005, 10:35 PM
How old was James' father? He can't have been very old if James is only 25.
According to ESPN, he was born in 1947 (if I read the caption properly).

Murkofan
01-20-2005, 10:38 PM
Hey, same age as my mom :p

Socket
01-20-2005, 10:41 PM
I'd like to "ditto" Jane and Virgil. I read that Hinds article and I just shook my head. I don't think that I've ever seen a player acknowledge his opponent's applause. And what's he going on about with the Fanatics. They were very well-behaved and never disrupted any of James's points. "Cheap, jingoistic theatre?" What match was this dude watching? Who pissed in his Wheaties this morning?

If Lleyton thinks that he can't ever win with the Aussie media, this kind of article makes me think he's right. This guy definitely has a grudge against Lleyton.

Lisbeth
01-21-2005, 03:00 AM
I still don't believe Chip Le Grand is a really name, but here is a nice article from The Australian newspaper :)

http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/common/story_page/0,5744,12002447%255E2722,00.html

Hewitt's theatre of screams
Chip Le Grand
January 21, 2005
AT the very least, Lleyton Hewitt survived a testing second-round match against James Blake late yesterday. But after a fretful two-and-a-half hours on court when so much that could go wrong for Hewitt did, could it be that after a luckless run on Rod Laver Arena for so many years, Australia's best chance of winning a home Grand Slam has finally broken his own Open curse?

Certainly there were times when it appeared fate was conspiring against Hewitt, who has never won through to the quarter-finals in Melbourne in eight previous attempts.

The wait to walk on to centre court must be an intolerable one, and Hewitt and Blake yesterday were forced to cool their heels for a couple of hours more than they might have expected as Mikhail Youzhny and Rafael Nadal fought out an epic five-setter and Venus Williams methodically made her way past China's Peng Shaui.

Blake would have found something to read, but, for someone like Hewitt, there is only so much sitting around the players' lounge and walking the corridors that any player can do.

By the time Hewitt and Blake finally finished their warm-up, the courtside clock blinked past 5pm, dark clouds were hovering above and there was a cool, blustery wind. For a player who thrives under a hot sun, ominous signs indeed.









Then there was Blake, a player who in 2004 survived a year that would break many men, whether tennis players or not. In the space of 12 months, Blake experienced a potentially life-altering injury followed by life-changing grief.

Having decided to return to the tour, Blake played as someone who understands tennis for the game it is. He attacked Hewitt from the first point with inspired gusto, one that comes from having nothing substantial to lose.

Hewitt, on the other hand, was tentative, and without the aggressive zest which, for him, makes the difference between a solid game, and one that is all-conquering on its day.

The first set was played according to Blake's hits and misses, with Hewitt seemingly content to keep the ball in play. Two breaks and the set went to Blake, with Hewitt meekly conceding Blake's final service game to love.

The second set began much the same way. Whether by gust of wind or lapse in concentration, a second serve skewed off the Hewitt racquet and plopped in the middle of the wrong service court. The break came not long after, when another error-riddled game from Hewitt ended in a double fault.

Hewitt smashed the ball high into the stands in disgust. Once again, it appeared that the centre court he had so publicly criticised in recent weeks would be the scene of another ignominious exit.

But those who know Hewitt well say he is at his best when angry.

And so it was as Hewitt began clawing, scratching and fist-pumping his way back into the match. From being flat-footed an hour earlier, Hewitt scrambled madly for every point. Every point became a trial of endurance and each game a test of nerve. For the first time, the match was being played on Hewitt's terms.

And so it came to a tiebreak, one which ultimately decided the outcome of this match. A red haze descended upon Hewitt, who began fist pumping and flexing his newly developed muscles at every point won. Blake tried to stay magnanimous and then became angry when he went out of his way to applaud a Hewitt winner only for Hewitt to turn his back on the American and gesticulate aggressively to his courtside entourage.

The next point, Blake smoked a backhand winner and mimicked the Hewitt celebrations. Hewitt took note, then watched Blake dump a backhand volley into the net to surrender the set and any previous momentum.

From there, the match was only Hewitt's to win. Blake spent 10 minutes on the sidelines with courtside trainers trying to stop the bleeding from a grazed hand, but he could do nothing to stop his game from haemorrhaging once he returned to court.

The third set was a rout, the fourth a formality. The match ended, 4-6 7-6 (8-6) 6-0 6-3, with Hewitt punching the court in triumph and Blake extending the most cursory of handshakes.

Blake was bitterly disappointed with how the match ended after such an inspired start. But after arriving at Melbourne Park already a highly respected player on tour, Blake lost none of it in his two matches this week.

Blake sustained a serious neck injury in practice last May when he tripped and slammed head-first into a net post. The resultant fractured vertebrae paled into insignificance when he lost his father to cancer a month later.

"I definitely don't feel I took things for granted as much as a lot of guys," Blake recently told the New York Times. "But now I am definitely not going to take anything for granted."

Hewitt, meanwhile, has little to ponder but tennis as he plots a course towards his next opponent, Argentina's Juan Ignacio Chela, and an uncertain second week beyond.

Hewitt's history at the Australian Open is fickle at best. Twice he has come to Melbourne as the No.1 player in the world, only to lose in the first round in 2002 and the fourth round in 2003. Last year he came unburdened by a world-beating ranking, only to run into a world-beater in Roger Federer, again in the fourth round.

Anyone who saw Hewitt play yesterday and Federer the night before would have difficulty reconciling one as a serious challenger to the other. Hewitt was unconvincing for much of the match, doing only enough to stay in the contest and allow Blake to combust.

Federer played the kind of tennis only he can, and, along the way, some of the more extraordinary shots seen at this tournament. Hewitt has not beaten Federer since their Davis Cup meeting in 2003; in three of four Grand Slams last year, Federer served as Hewitt's impasse.

But, as Hewitt has said already, there is no need to worry about Federer just yet.

Yesterday had all the signs of another Australian Open disaster for Hewitt. It wasn't, and may yet prove to be a day of considerable significance in Hewitt's illustrious professional career.

Socket
01-21-2005, 03:09 AM
Chip Le Grand must be Richard Hinds's "porn star" name. :p

Lisbeth
01-21-2005, 03:11 AM
Chip Le Grand must be Richard Hinds's "porn star" name. :p

:haha:

Yasmine
01-21-2005, 07:12 AM
Great article, thanks Jane :hug:

lleyki4eva
01-21-2005, 07:25 AM
thanx for the articles!:kiss:

FanOfHewitt
01-21-2005, 08:09 AM
What an absolute tosser Hinds is.

The only moment which was unsportsmanlike came from Blake when he tried to mock Hewitt with the vicht. And Blake still manages to be made to seem the innocent little lamb out of this and Hewitt the villain. Incredible.

To be fair, yes, Blake on many occasions was complimenting Lleyton on his good shots. But Lleyton, whenever he did see Blake applauding, tilted his head in acknowledgement and even gave Blake the nod for some of his good shots.

The fact that Lleyton didn't see Blake clap during that tie break point suggested to me that Lleyton didn't look at Blake after the point as players often do to intimidate them or to stick the boots in, but turned to his corner for support, which is a natural enough and innocent enough reaction.

But regardless of all this, Lleyton was out there to get the job done. There is no need to acknowledge opponents efforts during the game, you can do that when the match is finished. When you are out there its war (within the rules of course) and you shouldn't take any prisoners.

If Blake was such a good sport, how come he didn't give Lleyton a hearty handshake and congratulations after the match? Why? Well I think that partly, Blake was half trying to put Lleyton off during the match by always congratulating him, to take the edge off him becuase he knows Lleyton plays best when he gets vicious and passionate. It was gamesmanship on his part. So I don't think him congratulating LLeyton was so good sportsmanship as it was made out to be. (I could be wrong about this, it might be far fetched, but it just struck me as weird that he was all for clapping Hewitt when the game was on and then when it was over he was as cold as a dead fish. Isn't it meant to be the otherway round?)

Yasmine
01-21-2005, 08:27 AM
The only moment which was unsportsmanlike came from Blake when he tried to mock Hewitt with the vicht. And Blake still manages to be made to seem the innocent little lamb out of this and Hewitt the villain. Incredible.

very good point :worship: ! I didn't see the incident of 2001 that everyone is talking about or the one in that match for that matter but it looked to me as if Lleyton had a very sporty reaction towards "what he didn't see happen" As you so rightly said he went there to play his game and didn't concentrate on anything else. And although Lleyton might have said some things that he shouldn't have regarding Blake in the past, they're there to play tennis not to make politics! Blake obviously still resents him somehow and I think if he wanted to react well to that the best way is to ignore it and be professional on the court. :angel:

SomL.
01-21-2005, 11:03 AM
Thank for the articles :)

kim4eva
01-21-2005, 11:23 AM
If Lleyton thinks that he can't ever win with the Aussie media, this kind of article makes me think he's right. This guy definitely has a grudge against Lleyton.

Yeah me thinks that's true indeed. The pathetic thing is that the media wouldn't judge Lleyton from these things by looking at what really happened.:rolleyes: Instead they'd judge Lleyton by what he's 'made up' to be like by the media. The media judges people by assumptions (dunno if this is the right word for it :o ) made rather than observations at this very moment. Ah well I suppose if they did see what we do then they wouldn't be called 'media' would they. :p

Jackie
01-21-2005, 11:31 AM
I'd like to "ditto" Jane and Virgil. I read that Hinds article and I just shook my head. I don't think that I've ever seen a player acknowledge his opponent's applause. And what's he going on about with the Fanatics. They were very well-behaved and never disrupted any of James's points. "Cheap, jingoistic theatre?" What match was this dude watching? Who pissed in his Wheaties this morning?

If Lleyton thinks that he can't ever win with the Aussie media, this kind of article makes me think he's right. This guy definitely has a grudge against Lleyton.

I agree. It seems that if you show your opinion, rather than just telling them what they want to hear and/or don't say how high when they say jump [ie. giving them interviews whenever the hell they want], suddenly they start making up crap or exaggerating events which involve you.

Jackie
01-21-2005, 11:34 AM
...and by the way, when are the media going to get over accusing Lleyton of racism. If they think [at worst, he claims to have been pointing at the baseline] accusing someone else of racism makes a person racist, then doesn't that make them racist towards Lleyton?

star
01-21-2005, 11:47 AM
Hinds :sad:

I've generally enjoyed him, but this article makes it clear he has it out for Lleyton completely. He took one incident and structured his article around it to justify his opinion that Lleyton is a poor sport, knowing this is the absolute worst charge that can be hurled at an Aussie athlete.

That whole thing about "winning at any cost" thing. Well, Lleyton's justifiable celebration of a gorgeous shot at a crucial time is hardly cheating or gamesmanship or anything else that could be classed as poor sportsmanship. If you don't like Lleyton's celebrations and it grates on your nerves, so be it. But to call it poor sportsmanship strikes me as shoddy journalism.

NOMAD
01-21-2005, 12:46 PM
http://www.smh.com.au/news/Peter-FitzSimons/Newsflash-this-is-a-fad-and-its-barely-credible/2005/01/21/1106110946649.html

WHAT THEY SAID



Lleyton Hewitt: "C'MON!" Bruce McAvaney: "He's really starting to get fired up now, isn't he, Jim?" Jim Courier: "I'm waiting for him to start the lawnmower, that's when you know he's really ready." This commentary occurred in Hewitt's opening-round match of the Australian Open, after he had started off with a few warm-up c'mons. Have a look at his most common explosion of joy - it really does look like that is what he's doing!

"A mate of mine has wanted to come to the Hong Kong Sevens for years. He's finally convinced his wife. But he has to take her shopping in the swish Stanley Markets afterwards, and also shopping up to Beijing for a week. In the old days, you were a good guy if you lifted your feet when she was vacuuming ..." Former All Blacks winger and current New Zealand Sevens captain Eric Rush.

"I have never been in a board meeting. I don't really know what to wear." Gorden Tallis, after being installed as a new member of the NRL board. Do as you've always done, Gorden: wear 'em out.

"Ahh, Neil Back, you don't get as many Test caps as him without knowing how to burrow like a demented Hobbit." So spaketh an English rugby commentator when the great English back-rower was soon to dive into a mass of muddy players in a recent Leicester game and somehow secure the ball, before laying it back perfectly for his halfback.

"Wimbledon has always been the one tournament I'd love to win and I'll go out there this year and give it my best shot." Save it, Tim Henman. Surely it is too early, even for you, to begin teasing the British nation with that kind of talk.

"It will not happen at all. He is not part of our plans ... never has been. We're not interested. As far as we're concerned, he will not be considered for the NRL at any time in the future ..." Shane Richardson, thwarting Tricky Trindall's chances of a comeback with Souths. Good on Richardson. Any CEO who would allow Trindall into his club would not be worthy of the post. Trindall is Alan Jones's problem and should remain Jonesy's problem alone.

"We're looking forward to going there even if there are no TABs. We don't mind soaking up a bit of culture." Ewen McKenzie, coach of the Waratahs, mooting the possibility of an end-of-season trip to the Czech Republic.

"I hope he doesn't get any runs or any wickets against Australia. Other than that, I wish him all the best." George Gregan's version of support for his erstwhile opponent Jeff Wilson turning out for the New Zealand cricket team!

"The lack of international input means Australia has been suffering from a dearth of modern information and the standard of coaching remains archaic." Pat Cash, writing a column in London's Sunday Times, bagging Australian tennis. And you can call me cynical if you like, but does that quote above really sound like Cash's natural voice, or do you think there might have been a smidgin of a ghost-writer's verbiage thrown in?

---------------------------------------
http://smh.com.au/articles/2005/01/20/1106110882357.html

THEY SAID WHAT? "I'm waiting for the call from Home and Away, I'm hoping to sit at the back of the diner." Lleyton Hewitt, when asked if he would return the compliment by going to watch his girlfriend, Bec Cartwright, at work.

Yasmine
01-21-2005, 01:04 PM
I think we pretty much all agree on that stupid reaction of the media towards the Lleyton - Blake story. Fortunately all that doesn't affect his game and actually might make him play better :angel:, which is something that might get on their nerves :tape:... so good on him! :yeah:

dagmar7
01-21-2005, 01:23 PM
"The lack of international input means Australia has been suffering from a dearth of modern information and the standard of coaching remains archaic." Pat Cash, writing a column in London's Sunday Times, bagging Australian tennis. And you can call me cynical if you like, but does that quote above really sound like Cash's natural voice, or do you think there might have been a smidgin of a ghost-writer's verbiage thrown in?
[/B]

:lol: It certainly doesn't sound like him. If Australian coaches are so archaic then why do all the top players want one?

:scratch:

Goonergal
01-21-2005, 01:31 PM
"I'm waiting for the call from Home and Away, I'm hoping to sit at the back of the diner." Lleyton Hewitt, when asked if he would return the compliment by going to watch his girlfriend, Bec Cartwright, at work.
Good lord, I can see it now :rolls:

Lleyton walking into the diner, "G'day mate, heard you could get some decent grub in this joint." :tape: :lol:

raeesa301
01-21-2005, 01:55 PM
Rosewall tips Hewitt to topple Federer
Margie McDonald
January 22, 2005

LLEYTON HEWITT has the game to beat Roger Federer. Ken Rosewall might be the only one saying it, but the tennis legend firmly believes it.

Acknowledging the weight of expectation on Hewitt's shoulders, Rosewall didn't mind adding to it yesterday by talking up the chances of local success at the Australian Open.

"I think (Hewitt) has a good chance to beat Roger," Rosewall said yesterday. "Looking at him play in Sydney and the first two matches in Melbourne, I think he's trying a few little different things."

Rosewall, who won his national championship four times, becoming both the youngest (19) and oldest (37) to win the Australian Open, likes what he is seeing in the Hewitt game -- confidence, variety and, most importantly, volleying.

"He has won doubles matches and doubles tournaments, so we've seen he's a good volleyer -- we saw that again in Melbourne in the opening match (against Arnaud Clement).

"Lleyton knows improved play like this in getting to the net against a player of the calibre of Roger Federer is going to put him in with a much better chance to win the match."

Rosewall knows that Federer has won the past six meetings with Hewitt -- including in three Grand Slams events last year. But he maintains every match, apart from the US Open final, was tight.

"There's very little difference ... Lleyton has been close to him a lot of times," Rosewall said. "His preference has been to win from the back of the court and we all know how good he is from there.

"But I think he realises now he has to mix up his game and improve in a few ways to get more variation in his game.

"Lleyton probably in his own mind knows he hasn't performed well in previous years. But he's certainly, I think, in pretty good form."

Two of Rosewall's partners at an exhibition match at Sydney's Opera House yesterday -- Peter McNamara and another four-time Australian Open winner, Mats Wilander -- were not prepared to stick their neck out and tip Hewitt outright, although they openly wanted a Hewitt-Federer final.

"(Hewitt's) going to be tough to beat but whether he can beat Federer is another thing," McNamara said.

"The Australian Open is an event for him now and it's an event for all of us. I think he wants to win it so bad that I just hope he doesn't put too much pressure on himself."

Wilander said Federer was no firm bet to make it to the January 30 final with the likes of Marat Safin and Andre Agassi lurking in his half of the draw.

"I think Federer is going to have to watch out," Wilander said. "He's got a pretty tough draw meeting guys who think they can beat him."

The evergreen Rosewall, who turned 70 last November, was asked if the master Swiss was as good as Rod Laver, the only man to win a calendar year Grand Slam twice.

"It's always hard to make comparisons because of the various changes to the game in areas like equipment and surfaces and technique," Rosewall said. "But certainly Roger has every aspect of the game under control."

thelma
01-21-2005, 02:44 PM
Hewitt goes four sets to stop Blake

Venus Williams and top-ranked Davenport also advance; Roddick wins with scorching serves.

Detroit News wire services

MELBOURNE, Australia -- Lleyton Hewitt of Australia defeated James Blake, 4-6, 7-6, 6-0, 6-3, Thursday and advanced to the third round of the Australian Open.

The tense center-court match, which turned after Blake suffered a cut on his racket hand, was the highlight on a day in which Venus Williams got a rigorous workout while defeating China's Peng Shuai, and top-ranked Lindsay Davenport and French Open champion Anastasia Myskina struggled before winning.

Seventh-seeded Tim Henman of Britain and ninth-seeded David Nalbandian also advanced, and second-seeded Andy Roddick beat Greg Rusedski 6-0, 3-6, 6-2, 6-3 in a matchup of two of the game's fastest servers. There were few long rallies as the players teamed for 23 aces at up to 137 mph.

Roddick had 49 winners and eight unforced errors.

Hewitt lost the first set against Blake, who suffered a broken bone in his neck after he ran into a net post during practice in May, then contracted Zoster, an illness that affected his sight and hearing and temporarily paralyzed part of his face.

After reaching the fourth round of the Australian Open last January, he missed the other three Grand Slams and his ranking slipped to 76th.

Blake was serving for the second set after breaking Hewitt at 5-5. But Hewitt broke back to force a tiebreaker in which both players had set points.

Hewitt converted his third with a sharply angled volley for which Blake made a desperate dive, flicking the ball back while landing on his racket hand and opening a cut between his ring finger and pinkie. It required several treatments.

Williams, seeded eighth, had to run constantly from sideline to sideline to eliminate Peng, 6-3, 6-1. She closed the victory with a stinging crosscourt forehand.

Davenport earned a 2-6, 6-2, 6-2 victory over Michaela Pastikova, the world's 99th-ranked player. She was in her first Grand Slam tournament after 13 failed qualifying attempts.

Myskina, seeded third, berated herself and looked dismayed after many of the 25 errors she committed while ousting No. 114 Tzipora Obziler of Israel, 6-4, 6-2.

"Things happen that you can't control yourself," Myskina said.

________

Posted on Fri, Jan. 21, 2005

Hewitt rallies, survives scare

No. 3 seed withstands tiebreaker in 2nd set, advances to 3rd round

PAUL ALEXANDER

Associated Press


MELBOURNE, Australia - Third-seeded Lleyton Hewitt rallied past James Blake 4-6, 7-6 (8), 6-0, 6-3, advancing to the third round of the Australian Open.

Thursday's tense center-court match turned after Blake cut his racket hand.

Hewitt lost the first set against Blake, who broke vertebrae in his neck when he ran into a net post during practice last May, then contracted Zoster, an illness that affected his sight and hearing and temporarily paralyzed part of his face. After reaching the fourth round here last January, he missed the other three Grand Slams and slipped to 76th.

Blake was serving for the second set after breaking the Australian at 5-5. But Hewitt broke back to force a tiebreaker in which both players had set points.

Hewitt converted his third with a sharply angled volley that Blake made a desperate dive for, flicking the ball back while landing on his racket hand and opening a cut between his ring finger and pinkie that required treatment. "I've been off tour for a while," Blake said. "That's what I missed, being in a tiebreaker with one of the best players in the world."

Also Thursday, in a much-hyped showdown between the two biggest servers in tennis, Andy Roddick beat Greg Rusedski 6-0, 3-6, 6-2, 6-3 to advance.

The second-seeded Roddick owns the record for fastest serve, at 155 mph, but the big difference in the match was Roddick's returns. He hit winners with almost as much speed as they had coming off Rusedski's racket.

"It was just clicking for me," said Roddick, who shared the record for the fastest serve with Rusedski until twice breaking the mark last season.

In today's morning action, second-seeded Amelie Mauresmo beat Ana Ivanovic 6-2, 7-5, while two-time runner-up Marat Safin defeated No. 28 Mario Ancic 6-4, 3-6, 6-3, 6-4.

______
Lleyton Hewitt struggles against bad-luck James Blake at Aussie Open

Paul Alexander
Canadian Press

Thursday, January 20, 2005

Australia's Lleyton Hewitt raises his arms in celebration after winning his second round match against James Blake of the U.S. on Rod Laver Arena at the Australian Open at Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia, Thursday. (AP/Rick Stevens)

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) - Always a battler, Australia's Lleyton Hewitt had to dig deep Thursday to beat American James Blake in a tense centre-court faceoff at the Australian Open.

With the players exchanging fierce stares and lunging all over the court, third-ranked Hewitt finally prevailed 4-6, 7-6 (8), 6-0, 6-3 to reach the third round.

It was the highlight on a day when American Venus Williams got a rigorous workout while ousting China's Peng Shuai, and No. 1-ranked American Lindsay Davenport and French Open champion Anastasia Myskina of Russia both struggled before winning.

In Canadian action, Toronto's Maureen Drake and Romanian partner Ruxandra Dragomir Ilie defeated Olga Blahotova and Libuse Prusova of the Czech Republic, 6-4, 6-1 in first-round doubles.

In a matchup of two of the game's fastest servers, second-seeded American Andy Roddick outduelled Britain's Greg Rusedski 6-0, 3-6, 6-2, 6-3. There were few long rallies as the two players combined for 23 aces at up to 220 km/h. Roddick had 49 winners and only eight unforced errors.

"I felt good out there tonight," said Roddick, who next faces his third consecutive left-hander, 32nd-seeded Jurgen Melzer of Austria. "He's a shotmaker, so it's not going to be easy."

Seventh-seeded Tim Henman of Britain and ninth-seeded David Nalbandian of Argentina also advanced.

Hewitt, the hottest player on the men's tour after defending champion Roger Federer of Switzerland, lost the first set against Blake, who broke vertebrae in his neck when he ran into a net post during practice last May, then contracted Zoster, an illness that affected his sight and hearing and temporarily paralysed part of his face. His father died in July.

After reaching the fourth round here last January, Blake missed the other three Grand Slams as his ranking slipped to 76th.

He was serving for the second set after breaking Hewitt, the crowd favourite, at 5-5. But with both players suffering from the jitters in an increasingly tense match, Hewitt broke back to force a tiebreaker in which both players had set points.

Hewitt converted his third with a sharply angled volley. Blake made a desperate dive, flicking the ball long while landing on his racket hand, opening a cut between his ring finger and small finger that required treatment several times.

With Hewitt pumped up and shouting encouragement to himself, Blake was never the same. He also had several close line calls that went against him.

"I see that as a learning experience," Blake said. "I've been off tour for a while. That's what I missed, being in a tiebreaker with one of the best players in the world. The crowd is into it. You get chances. You're a little nervous. That's what's fun. And I missed that."

The eighth-seeded Williams, trying like her sister Serena to return to the zenith of women's tennis, had to run constantly from sideline to sideline against Peng, who just didn't have quite enough game to do any real damage and fell 6-3, 6-1.

http://a123.g.akamai.net/f/123/12465/1d/media.canada.com/cp/tennis/20050120/k012003a.jpg
Australia's Lleyton Hewitt raises his arms in celebration after winning his second round match against James Blake of the U.S. on Rod Laver Arena at the Australian Open at Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia, Thursday. (AP/Rick Stevens)

_____

Lleyton Hewitt struggles against bad-luck James Blake at Aussie Open
at 11:36 on January 20, 2005, EST.

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) - Always a battler, Australia's Lleyton Hewitt had to dig deep Thursday to beat American James Blake in a tense centre-court faceoff at the Australian Open.

With the players exchanging fierce stares and lunging all over the court, third-ranked Hewitt finally prevailed 4-6, 7-6 (8), 6-0, 6-3 to reach the third round.

It was the highlight on a day when American Venus Williams got a rigorous workout while ousting China's Peng Shuai, and No. 1-ranked American Lindsay Davenport and French Open champion Anastasia Myskina of Russia both struggled before winning.

In Canadian action, Toronto's Maureen Drake and Romanian partner Ruxandra Dragomir Ilie defeated Olga Blahotova and Libuse Prusova of the Czech Republic, 6-4, 6-1 in first-round doubles.

In a matchup of two of the game's fastest servers, second-seeded American Andy Roddick outduelled Britain's Greg Rusedski 6-0, 3-6, 6-2, 6-3. There were few long rallies as the two players combined for 23 aces at up to 220 km/h. Roddick had 49 winners and only eight unforced errors.

"I felt good out there tonight," said Roddick, who next faces his third consecutive left-hander, 32nd-seeded Jurgen Melzer of Austria. "He's a shotmaker, so it's not going to be easy."

Seventh-seeded Tim Henman of Britain and ninth-seeded David Nalbandian of Argentina also advanced.

Hewitt, the hottest player on the men's tour after defending champion Roger Federer of Switzerland, lost the first set against Blake, who broke vertebrae in his neck when he ran into a net post during practice last May, then contracted Zoster, an illness that affected his sight and hearing and temporarily paralysed part of his face. His father died in July.

After reaching the fourth round here last January, Blake missed the other three Grand Slams as his ranking slipped to 76th.

He was serving for the second set after breaking Hewitt, the crowd favourite, at 5-5. But with both players suffering from the jitters in an increasingly tense match, Hewitt broke back to force a tiebreaker in which both players had set points.

Hewitt converted his third with a sharply angled volley. Blake made a desperate dive, flicking the ball long while landing on his racket hand, opening a cut between his ring finger and small finger that required treatment several times.

With Hewitt pumped up and shouting encouragement to himself, Blake was never the same. He also had several close line calls that went against him.

"I see that as a learning experience," Blake said. "I've been off tour for a while. That's what I missed, being in a tiebreaker with one of the best players in the world. The crowd is into it. You get chances. You're a little nervous. That's what's fun. And I missed that."

The eighth-seeded Williams, trying like her sister Serena to return to the zenith of women's tennis, had to run constantly from sideline to sideline against Peng, who just didn't have quite enough game to do any real damage and fell 6-3, 6-1.

The 19-year-old Peng, ranked 48th, broke Williams twice in the first set. But Williams feasted on Peng's serves, particularly the slow second ones. And while Peng's flat groundstrokes - two-handed from both sides - had sting, she had little margin for error.

"Wasn't she a beautiful player?" Williams marvelled afterward. "I had no idea who she was."

An ankle sprain, a wrist sprain and a leg muscle strain slowed Williams' comeback here last year from a six-month absence with an abdominal strain. Her ranking slipped at one point to 18th.

"Things happen that you can't control yourself. Sometimes you have to step back," she said, adding that it's now time to step forward.

Davenport earned a 2-6, 6-2, 6-2 victory over Czech Michaela Pastikova, ranked 99th and entered in her first Grand Slam after 13 failed qualifying attempts.

Davenport made 10 errors as she muddled through the first set, looking a little lethargic. She picked up her play and had only one unforced error in the second set before firing five aces in the third - three in one game.

"I just wasn't ready to be at my very best at the beginning," said Davenport, still a little hoarse from a bout of bronchitis just before the tournament started.

"She was very aggressive and caught me on the back foot. I tried to buckle down ... I knew I wasn't playing my best, so I thought I'd do what I needed to do."

The third-seeded Myskina, who has a reputation for moodiness, had problems with her serve and trailed 3-1 in the first set, muttering to herself and gesturing at lines after losing points.

"My emotion doesn't really help me on court," she said.

She regained control and won four consecutive games to close out the first set, and then didn't face a break point in the second while ousting No. 114 Tzipora Obziler of Israel 6-4, 6-2.

Myskina next plays 25th-seeded American Lisa Raymond, a 6-0, 6-1 winner over Czech Clara Koukalova, in the third round. Last year, Raymond made the quarter-finals here, upsetting Venus Williams along the way.

In other women's matches, sixth-seeded Elena Dementieva beat fellow Russian Anna Chakvetadze, No. 10 Alicia Molik of Australia beat Aiko Nakamura of Japan, No. 14 Francesca Schiavone of Italy defeated Tatiana Perebiynis and 26th-seeded Daniela Hantuchova of Slovakia downed 28-year-old Austrian Barbara Schett, who retired from singles play after the match.

No. 14 Sebastien Grosjean of France, No. 15 Mikhail Youzhny of Russia, No. 17 Andrei Pavel of Romania and No. 18 Nicolas Massu of Chile were ousted from the men's draw Thursday, while No. 12 Guillermo Canas of Argentina, No. 23 Fernando Gonzalez of Chile and No. 25 Juan Ignacio Chela of Argentina advanced, as did former top-ranked Juan Carlos Ferrero of Spain, seeded 31st.

Olympic gold medallist Massu lasted 41 minutes before an injured left foot forced him to quit against Germany's Philipp Kohlschreiber while trailing 6-0, 2-0.

______

Hewitt fights off Blake challenge to power into third round

Thu Jan 20, 9:48 AM ET Sports - AFP

MELBOURNE, Australia (AFP) - Lleyton Hewitt was given a huge fright by recharged American James Blake before living to fight for another day in his dream of winning his home Australian Open (news - web sites).

The Australian third seed triumphed 4-6, 7-6 (10/8), 6-0, 6-3 in 2hr 35min on Rod Laver Arena centre court.

He was up against an inspired performance from world No.94 Blake, who engaged Hewitt in two five-set battles at the US Open in 2001-02. Hewitt now leads him 6-1 overall.

Hewitt is bidding to become the first Australian man to win his home grand slam since Mark Edmondson last achieved it in 1976 when the Open was held at Kooyong.

"I had opportunities in the first and second sets and wasn't able to get those breaks," Hewitt said.

"He came up with some big serves on all the break-point opportunities and I just had to hang in and wait for my opportunities."

The former Wimbledon (news - web sites) and US Open champion's next opponent in third round is Argentine 25th seed Juan Ignacio Chela.

The 23-year-old former world number one has yet to get past the round of 16 at the year's first grand slam tournament.

Blake earned the admiration of the tennis world when he emerged from a traumatic 2004, recovering from a broken neck in a collision with a net-post during practice in Rome last May and then saw his father die of cancer in July.

Harvard-educated Blake's last tournament was in mid-September in Delray Beach, Florida, although he prepared for the Open in the mixed teams' Hopman Cup in Perth, but he had foreshadowed he would produce a big effort against Hewitt and he didn't disappoint.

"I see that as a learning experience. I've been off tour for a while. So coming back and playing that, that's what I missed, being in a tiebreaker with one of the best players in the world, the crowd against me," Blake said.

The American broke Hewitt's service in the ninth game of the first set when the third seed attempted an elaborate chip cross-court only to net on breakpoint. Blake served out strongly for the opening set.

It was compelling tennis as Blake had the local hope under immense pressure with deep penetrating forehands and he broke Hewitt's serve a second time in the fifth game when the world number three double-faulted.

Hewitt hit back straight away, getting to 0-40 on Blake's service and taking the break when the American's forehand was long.

Blake again broke the Australian's serve in the 11th game and was serving for a two sets to love lead when Hewitt broke straight back with a sensational return that forced Blake's volley into the net.

The tiebreaker was a classic. Blake got the early mini-break on a Hewitt double-fault, but Hewitt got it back to 3-3.

Blake worked to set point 6-5 but netted a service return as fortunes fluctuated.

Hewitt held two separate set points, but Blake fought them off and made a fantastic service return to 8-8 and celebrated by turning towards Hewitt and mocking the Australian's trademark hand-salute to the crowd's glee.

But Hewitt got to his third set point and took the set with a tremendous rally that left Blake sprawled off-court without his racquet as he dived to keep the ball in play injuring a finger in the process.

That pumped up the Australian who advanced towards the players' box wihere his entourage was sitting and thumped his chest and screamed in jubilation.

Hewitt got the jump with a triple service break to reel off the third set in 31 minutes to seize control of the match.

Hewitt broke Blake again in the third game of the fourth set and fought off a break point in the sixth game to take the match.

______
Close call for Lleyton Hewitt
Leo Schlink
21jan05

LLEYTON Hewitt's Australian Open dream remains intact after the world No. 3 narrowly survived a brave challenge from American James Blake at Melbourne Park last night.

Forced to draw on his famed reserves of desperation and skill, Hewitt overcame unseeded Blake 4-6 7-6 (10-8) 6-0 6-3 in a rollercoaster clash at Rod Laver Arena.
Taken to the brink by Blake, who unsuccessfully served for a two-set lead, Hewitt roared back to life after the American fell on the last point of the second set, stripping the skin from his racquet hand.

Athletic and inspired, Blake rarely missed with his stunning forehand during the first 90 minutes.

After the fall, Blake was ruthlessly destroyed by Hewitt.

"It feels great," Hewitt said. "I had to play some of my best tennis to get through.

"I had a lot of opportunities in the first couple of sets but, to his credit, he kept on coming up with some great shots.

"I tried to keep positive like I always do and keep on fighting and there was a big change in momentum after the second set."

The Australian tomorrow faces tough Argentine Juan Ignacio Chela, the 25th seed, as the sole surviving Australian male.

Hewitt's former doubles partner Nathan Healey was shown the door by Austrian Jurgen Melzer 6-3 6-2 7-6 (7-3) as South American claycourters Guillermo Coria, Fernando Gonzalez and Guillermo Canas advanced along with Briton Tim Henman.

But several seeds crumbled, including Olympic gold medallist Nicolas Massu, Frenchman Sebastien Grosjean, Russian Mikhail Youzhny, Romanian Andrei Pavel, French starlet Tatiana Golovin and Croatian Jelena Kostanic.

http://www.heraldsun.news.com.au/common/imagedata/0,1658,411470,00.jpg
Tough game: Lleyton Hewitt overcame unseeded James Blake 4-6 7-6 (10-8) 6-0 6-3 in a rollercoaster clash.
Picture: Michael Dodge

_____

Hewitt Fights Back to Beat Blake

Thu Jan 20, 7:18 AM ET Sports - Reuters

By Julian Linden

MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Lleyton Hewitt (news) insisted there was no lingering animosity between himself and James Blake (news) after another fiery encounter at the Australian Open (news - web sites) Thursday.

Hewitt staged a mighty comeback to beat the American 4-6 7-6 6-0 6-3 in a second round match full of drama, rekindling memories of their infamous clash at the U.S. Open (news - web sites) in 2001.

Hewitt, urged on by the center court crowd, clenched his fists and bellowed his trademark "c'mon" every time he won a crucial point. In return Blake mocked Hewitt's salute when he saved a set point with a perfect backhand winner.

The Australian third seed said he did not see the incident and was not bothered that Blake might have mocked him.

"A few people told me they'd seen it...but it doesn't bother me too much," Hewitt said.

Blake said he was not offended when Hewitt turned his back on him when he was applauding one of his shots.

"I felt like he played a great point so I applauded. If he doesn't want to acknowledge it, he doesn't have to," Blake said.

"He's doing what he can to win the match. Obviously it worked. But I'm definitely not offended."

Hewitt, the former world number one, was staring down the barrel after losing the opening set and going behind early in the second.

Blake had two breaks, served for the second set at 6-5 and had a set point in the tiebreak but Hewitt survived each challenge to win the set and square the match.

With his confidence soaring and Blake hampered by a bleeding hand, Hewitt raced away with the final two sets. The pair shook hands only briefly at the net but Hewitt insisted there was no problem.

"We get along well. We've practiced together in the past," Hewitt said. "He's a pretty down-to-earth guy as well. He's very easy to get along with."

Blake added: "We probably don't call each other on holidays or hang out all the time, but we're friendly when we see each other."

Hewitt, the last Australian man left in the singles draw, plays Juan Ignacio Chela in the third round after the Argentine beat Gregory Carraz of France in straight sets and is tipping another tough battle.

"Get ready for a long match, I'd say -- about as long as his name," Hewitt said.

kim4eva
01-21-2005, 03:37 PM
"A mate of mine has wanted to come to the Hong Kong Sevens for years. He's finally convinced his wife. But he has to take her shopping in the swish Stanley Markets afterwards, and also shopping up to Beijing for a week. In the old days, you were a good guy if you lifted your feet when she was vacuuming ..." Former All Blacks winger and current New Zealand Sevens captain Eric Rush.


I know this is waay outter topic but!! I was SO gonna watch the HK Sevens this year except dad wouldn't lemme buy the tickets cus they're too 'expensive'! There's not much point tho the aussies lost last year I think they got beaten by the Brits!!:o (btw stanley markets are kewl :cool: )

sprinterluck
01-21-2005, 05:03 PM
**Good vibes to Lleyton against Chela** He's in for a grind. I hope it's not gonna be heart attack inducing like the 2nd set of the Blake match.

Clay specialist to test Hewitt's slow court theory
By Karen Lyon
January 21, 2005

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Lleyton Hewitt's theories regarding the courts at Melbourne Park will be put to the test tomorrow when he meets a genuine claycourt specialist, Juan Ignacio Chela, in the third round.

The tournament's No. 3 seed has said the courts are too slow to allow him victory at the Australian Open and the Argentinian presents a major obstacle.

Yesterday, Hewitt progressed through to weekend action when he survived a scare against James Blake. The American made the early running, using his precision forehand to put the South Australian under intense pressure. Hewitt fought back to win 4-6, 7-6 (10-8), 6-0, 6-3 in two hours and 35 minutes.

The win sets up a difficult match against Chela, a quarter-finalist at last year's French Open. For his part, the Argentinian is delighted with his form and the courts at the Australian Open. "This court is the best for me because the speed is not that fast, the ball bounces high, so for me, this is wonderful," he said.

"It will be a tough match, we will play from the baseline, but I am very happy to have that opportunity."

Chela, the tournament's No. 25 seed, made his way through to the third round with a straight-sets win over Frenchman Gregory Carraz. He won the match, 7-6 (8-6), 6-2, 7-6 (7-3), and is expecting an even tougher match against Hewitt. "It will help me, it will be strong motivation, (but) inside the court will only be Lleyton Hewitt. I know that he is a great fighter, he will fight from the first to the last ball," said Chela.

The Australian was indeed forced to fight from the first ball to the last yesterday to put down the challenge from Blake, ranked 94th in the world. The American is on the comeback trail after cracking a vertebrae in his neck during a practice session last year and his ranking does little to suggest his ability.

Hewitt appeared to be in trouble early and could not find an answer to Blake's forehand or serve. Trying to take a 5-4 lead in the first set, Hewitt found himself broken to love and suddenly the first set was gone.

In the second set, Blake seized control, breaking Hewitt's serve, before the Australian countered and forced the tie-breaker. It was the decisive moment.

There is clearly no love lost between Hewitt and Blake, the memories of their torrid 2001 US Open five-set marathon still lingering. Hewitt won the match but it was overshadowed by a perceived racial remark about a linesman.

The ill-ease threatened to boil over in the tie-breaker as first one player and then the other grabbed set points. It was only on his third set point that Hewitt levelled the match. From that point, he was never in danger.

sprinterluck
01-21-2005, 05:13 PM
Only included the part about Lleyton.

Bec to head back
http://www.heraldsun.news.com.au/common/story_page/0,5478,11998796%255E28957,00.html

ACTOR Bec Cartwright is expected to return to Melbourne late tomorrow if boyfriend Lleyton Hewitt is still competing.

She flew back to Sydney this week to meet a demanding schedule on the Home and Away set

reader Shane from Richmond told us he shared a restaurant with Hewitt and Cartwright for three hours last Saturday night and they "seemed really happy".

The couple was also joined at the South Yarra Mexican eatery by Lleyton's parents, his sister Jaslyn, boyfriend Joachim Johansson, Lleyton's coach and other friends.

"They looked like they were having a ripping time," Shane said. "They were obviously in a happy mood because Lleyton had won in Sydney that day."

We think the owners of the restaurant, Fiesta, must love this time of year.

The restaurant has received a lot of attention from tennis stars, particularly Andre Agassi, who raves about it and makes sure he visits every time he's in Melbourne.

And yes, we're told Agassi has already been in to stock up on some chilli and beef.

Jackie
01-21-2005, 09:39 PM
Only included part about Lleyton. Whole article is at www.news.com.au

Surface working against Aussies
By former world No.1 Pat Rafter
January 22, 2005

I DON'T care what tournament director Paul McNamee says - the Melbourne Park surface does not suit Australian players or their style of play and it's up to him to make it right.

McNamee would have slit his throat from a promotional point of view if Lleyton had lost to James Blake in the second round at the Australian Open, but it almost happened.

I have no idea why the press is asking the international players for their opinion on Rebound Ace.

Who cares what they think?

Whenever I went to the French Open, I was never asked once how I would like the surface or how much water I thought should be put on the courts.

And if any of Hewitt's critics had bothered to listen to what the overseas guys are saying, they would understand that the courts are just too slow.

It's not only Lleyton saying it, but that's been lost in the rush to hang him.

Australian players are not the only ones being handicapped.

Look at what this surface is doing to a great entertainer like Andy Roddick.

There's no way guys like Roddick and Greg Rusedski should have their serves broken as often as they did.

I've never liked the surface and the thing to remember is that the weather hasn't been excessively hot yet.

When the heat does arrive, the conditions are going to get really tough because the surface gets so hot your feet feel like they are burning as the heat comes up through your shoes.

With the way the courts are, this tournament threatens to turn into one big claycourt fest.

If there is to be an outsider, look for somebody like a David Nalbandian, Guillermo Coria or another claycourter to get through.

Hewitt has copped a bagging

because there are some people in the Australian press who love giving it to him whether he deserves it or not...

dagmar7
01-21-2005, 10:21 PM
Fantastic words from Pat Rafter. Thanks for the great article(s). :D

Socket
01-21-2005, 10:45 PM
I have to wonder how McNamee is going to survive as TD. He's got Lleyton, St. Pat (Rafter), Non-St. Pat (Cash), Todd W., John Fitzgerald, Wally Masur, and John Alexander (just to name the main players) against him. This is obviously a major fight for the control of Australian tennis, and as far as I can see, not too many Aussies in the tennis world are supporting McNamee.

Socket
01-22-2005, 01:12 AM
Cute article.

Tennis: Have we learned to love Lleyton?
By BRONWYN HURRELL in Melbourne
22jan05

THE relationship has been rocky but, at last, Australians are learning to love Lleyton.

With a fast car, footy mates and TV star girlfriend, Bec Cartwright, South Australian tennis ace Lleyton Hewitt is playing the role of sporting hero in the manner fans expect.

Given Hewitt’s millions, his followers would splash out, and are enjoying seeing the local favourite “having some fun”.

But it was his broken heart that has endeared him to fans, who say the split with Kim Clijsters has matured him dramatically.

The mansion, the car and the girl might be enviable, but the the ups and downs of Lleyton’s life are something to which others can relate.

Courtside supporters watching Hewitt defeat James Blake in the second round of the Australian Open at Rod Laver Arena did not hide their adoration for the mental toughness that got him to victory after dropping the first set.

But it wasn’t always thus.

Manuel Tandurella, 29, of Melbourne, said Hewitt had at times been viewed as “full of bravado and carry-on”.

“Even South Australians shunned him for a while,” he said. “He might’ve been a local but they weren’t big fans – they booed him.”

Tandurella puts the change in Hewitt down to the grounding experience of his engagement and break-up. “That’s made him a better person I think,” he said.

“To be able to get over that and not show it to everyone and to really make a go of the next season, he’s really starting to come into his own and shine.

“That’s what I can see – I think he’s grown.”

So much has Hewitt grown, he is now relatively open about aspects of his personal life, which once would receive a matter-of-fact, tight-lipped response.

New girlfriend, Home and Away star Cartwright, has been credited – by Hewitt himself – for bringing out his relaxed nature. He even joked this week with Australian Open guest presenter Jim Courier about the new woman in his life – which further endeared him to fans eager to learn more about the blossoming all-Aussie romance.

Ben Callaway, 32, of Glenelg, admitted courtside “he’s grown on me like a good wine”.

“When he was sixteen he was a bit abrasive and brash – I wasn’t really a big fan,” he said. “He just needed some time. He’s a lot more level-headed now.

“He’s very confident, which you have to be in an individual sport. But he handles his success well – he’s reasonably humble.”

Warren Livingstone, 31, of Sydney, agreed “the whole thing with Kim shook him up a bit”.

Livingstone said “over the years, I think, people have grown up with him”.

“He’s like a mate you’ve grown up with, you’ve seen him change,” he said.

“Even people who didn’t know him have warmed to him – because they’ve seen how he’s changed and matured and gone through hardships.

Livingstone put Hewitt in the Steve Waugh mould. “Steve Waugh earned a lot of respect over the years, got dropped and came back and was quite resilient.

“I think Lleyton has those same characteristics. He was at the top and went to 17 in the world and everyone was bagging him out,” he said.

Hewitt isn’t backward in praising his supporters either, admitting the high-jinks of the yellow-clad “Fanatics” cheer-squad who follow him around the world entertain him.

“They’re awesome ... something I’ve grown up playing the Davis Cup with. If it wasn’t for them I probably wouldn’t have got over the line on a couple of occasions,” he said.

Hewitt has gradually won the hearts of an increasing number of fans but to the “Fanatics” he has always been the “Super Lleyton” of their chants.

Those chants push the boundaries of the otherwise staid etiquette of tennis courts.

But the Fanatics’ songs eventually had everyone joining in – “If you all love Lleyton clap your hands”.

Lisbeth
01-22-2005, 01:18 AM
It is cute and thanks :) On the other hand, if they'd wanted to interview a couple of hundred fans of Lleyts 3 years ago, I could have easily produced them ;)

thelma
01-22-2005, 01:45 PM
Fireworks as Hewitt advances
January 22, 2005

A SPITTING controversy amid mutual aggravation has overshadowed Lleyton Hewitt's third round win over Juan Ignacio Chela in the Australian Open third round tonight.

Hewitt moved into the final 16 with a 6-2 4-6 6-1 6-4 win over the Argentine, but the match will be remembered for an explosion of anger between the pair early in the fourth set.

The antipathy reached a crescendo in the fourth set when Hewitt set up three break points against Chela's serve in the fifth game and yelled out another of his trademark 'come on' exhortations.

The Argentine, clearly believing Hewitt's yelling had gone over the top, stared hard at the Australian and then chose to serve the ball directly at Hewitt on the next point despite the circumstances of the game.

Having forced the break to go up 3-2, Hewitt again let out a 'come on' and as the pair walked to their chairs, Hewitt appeared to swear at Chela who then spat in his opponent's direction.

In the next game, Chela again hit a ground shot directly at Hewitt as the anger continued to bubble.

It was the second match in a row that Hewitt's yelling had riled an opponent, with James Blake – known in the game for his impeccable sportsmanship – mocking the 'come on' gesture during their second round match.

After the game, Hewitt shook hands with Chela and spoke to the Argentine in what appeared to be an attempt at conciliation.

He played down the incident when asked on court about the tension between them.

"I don't know if there was any more tension," Hewitt said.

"We are both very competitive out there."

Hewitt took to the court burdened by his own history of underachievement in his home grand slam, having never progressed past the fourth round in eight previous attempts.

It was underrated talents like Chela who had proven Hewitt's nemesis in previous Open trip-ups.

When Chela levelled the match at a set all, there was a hint that another Open flop was possible, but Hewitt raised his game and his intensity, leading to a swift third set win and then the above controversy in the fourth.

The decisive fourth set break came in game nine, when Hewitt put himself in position to serve out the match.

Chela's loss diminished what would have been an impressive performance by Argentines in the bottom half of the draw, where Guillermo Coria, David Nalbandian and Guillermo Canas were all into the fourth round.

NOMAD
01-22-2005, 02:49 PM
Thanks for the articles,Thelma :kiss:
here's one writen by Jim Courier :)

Keep it simple, get angry, and you can do it, Lleyton
By Jim Courier
January 17, 2005

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Lleyton Hewitt is once again among the players favoured to win his national championships. He has yet to go deep into the second week of this event, but most insiders think this is the year he'll improve that record. I am one of those people.

I first saw Lleyton play in Adelaide in 1998, when he won his hometown tournament as a 16-year-old. Since then, not a lot about Lleyton has changed, other than his hairstyle. His speed, feistiness and shot-making ability under pressure are still alive and well.

The lack of fear was the first thing I noticed about him. It was evident that Lleyton was going to be a champion because he relished playing the top guys. He thrived on the pressure. That is the X-factor for a tennis player. Some have it and some don't. It cannot be taught.

Lleyton has reached No.1 in the world and won two majors. He certainly knows how to win a two-week event, so why has he struggled at his home major? I think Lleyton puts a little too much pressure on himself, which prevents him from feeling normal on the court. Getting chicken pox a few years back didn't help, either.

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AdvertisementTo my mind, Lleyton needs to keep it simple. There's not much difference between playing the US Open and the Australian Open - speed, surface and ball-wise. He's had fantastic results in New York, and needs to replicate his US Open mindset for the Australian Open. Get tough and go tobattle, like he does in New York, and good things will happen.

If Lleyton does advance towards the business end of this event, he'll most likely have to go through Roger Federer to take the title. Federer has owned all of the top players for the past year or so.

How can Lleyton beat him? Play aggressively and hope Roger has an off day. Federer in full flight is a tough match-up for Lleyton because he lacks the ability to overpower him. If you allow Federer to control points, you are pretty much finished these days.

It wasn't much of a match in the US Open final last year between these two, but Lleyton couldn't really be blamed. An in-form Federer is unstoppable. I suspect Lleyton would want this match-up more than any other just to prove to himself (and people such as me) that he can do it. The external challenge is obvious - Roger Federer - but Lleyton has created an internal challenge as well. I've been hearing even in America of Lleyton having a go at Tennis Australia about this year's court surface at Melbourne Park.

It appears to me that he always likes something extra to motivate him. He needs a bit of sand in his oyster to make that pearl. The court speed is his target this year. I think it's a waste of energy. They are not going to change the courts now, so why bother going on about it? Maybe he's looking for fuel for the fire.

Motivation comes from different places. A guy with a stronger mind than 99 per cent of the players allowing a court surface to bother him strikes me as odd. Well, Pete Sampras had a hint of an injury going into every major he played and it worked very well for him. I thought that was Pete's way of deflecting the pressure he felt. Perhaps this is Lleyton's way.

As Lleyton tries to win his first Aussie Open, let's throw some other names out to watch for, other than the usual favoured suspects. I recommend taking a look at gold medal winner Nicolas Massu of Chile. He is emotional and energetic - the tennis version of a roller-coaster. Enjoy.

On the women's side, Nicole Vaidisova of the Czech Republic is the latest future champion out of Nick Bollettieri's tennis academy. She is only 15 but already has two WTA titles under her belt. She packs quite a punch.

Gael Monfils of France won the junior boys' Aussie Open in 2004 and received a wildcard into the men's draw this year. Check out this young man. His game is still a little rough around the edges but seeing him play this year on court 17 is like hearing a band in a pub before they make it to the big arenas. You'll be able to tell your friends you knew him before he was a star.

This is the centenary of the Australian Open. Players arrive here each year full of hope after the off-season. The weather tests their fitness and their patience at times. Their opponents test their skills. 254 players will go home empty-handed. Two players will walk away with the trophies and memories for a lifetime.

Some things never change. Let the games begin.

Jim Courier won four grand slam titles, including the 1992 and 1993 Australian Opens.

Sweet Girl
01-22-2005, 07:48 PM
Cute article.

Tennis: Have we learned to love Lleyton?
By BRONWYN HURRELL in Melbourne
22jan05

THE relationship has been rocky but, at last, Australians are learning to love Lleyton.

With a fast car, footy mates and TV star girlfriend, Bec Cartwright, South Australian tennis ace Lleyton Hewitt is playing the role of sporting hero in the manner fans expect.

Given Hewitt’s millions, his followers would splash out, and are enjoying seeing the local favourite “having some fun”.

But it was his broken heart that has endeared him to fans, who say the split with Kim Clijsters has matured him dramatically.

The mansion, the car and the girl might be enviable, but the the ups and downs of Lleyton’s life are something to which others can relate.

Courtside supporters watching Hewitt defeat James Blake in the second round of the Australian Open at Rod Laver Arena did not hide their adoration for the mental toughness that got him to victory after dropping the first set.

But it wasn’t always thus.

Manuel Tandurella, 29, of Melbourne, said Hewitt had at times been viewed as “full of bravado and carry-on”.

“Even South Australians shunned him for a while,” he said. “He might’ve been a local but they weren’t big fans – they booed him.”

Tandurella puts the change in Hewitt down to the grounding experience of his engagement and break-up. “That’s made him a better person I think,” he said.

“To be able to get over that and not show it to everyone and to really make a go of the next season, he’s really starting to come into his own and shine.

“That’s what I can see – I think he’s grown.”

So much has Hewitt grown, he is now relatively open about aspects of his personal life, which once would receive a matter-of-fact, tight-lipped response.

New girlfriend, Home and Away star Cartwright, has been credited – by Hewitt himself – for bringing out his relaxed nature. He even joked this week with Australian Open guest presenter Jim Courier about the new woman in his life – which further endeared him to fans eager to learn more about the blossoming all-Aussie romance.

Ben Callaway, 32, of Glenelg, admitted courtside “he’s grown on me like a good wine”.

“When he was sixteen he was a bit abrasive and brash – I wasn’t really a big fan,” he said. “He just needed some time. He’s a lot more level-headed now.

“He’s very confident, which you have to be in an individual sport. But he handles his success well – he’s reasonably humble.”

Warren Livingstone, 31, of Sydney, agreed “the whole thing with Kim shook him up a bit”.

Livingstone said “over the years, I think, people have grown up with him”.

“He’s like a mate you’ve grown up with, you’ve seen him change,” he said.

“Even people who didn’t know him have warmed to him – because they’ve seen how he’s changed and matured and gone through hardships.

Livingstone put Hewitt in the Steve Waugh mould. “Steve Waugh earned a lot of respect over the years, got dropped and came back and was quite resilient.

“I think Lleyton has those same characteristics. He was at the top and went to 17 in the world and everyone was bagging him out,” he said.

Hewitt isn’t backward in praising his supporters either, admitting the high-jinks of the yellow-clad “Fanatics” cheer-squad who follow him around the world entertain him.

“They’re awesome ... something I’ve grown up playing the Davis Cup with. If it wasn’t for them I probably wouldn’t have got over the line on a couple of occasions,” he said.

Hewitt has gradually won the hearts of an increasing number of fans but to the “Fanatics” he has always been the “Super Lleyton” of their chants.

Those chants push the boundaries of the otherwise staid etiquette of tennis courts.

But the Fanatics’ songs eventually had everyone joining in – “If you all love Lleyton clap your hands”.


This article is soooooo sweet, but I always loved Lley, he is the man of my life....he just doesn't know yet... :p

Jess
01-22-2005, 09:04 PM
Nice articles from the Aussie media about Lleyts! :eek: Surely not!

thelma
01-22-2005, 09:23 PM
A wild, wet match for Hewitt at Australian Open
By JOHN PYE, AP Sports Writer
January 22, 2005

http://us.news2.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20050122/capt.mel24501222000.australian_open_tennis_mel245. jpg
AP - Jan 22, 3:03 pm EST

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) -- Lleyton Hewitt beat Juan Ignacio Chela in an Australian Open match full of spit and venom.

Chela became angry Saturday when he thought Hewitt's loud cry of ``Come on!'' was a bit too much celebration for an unforced error that resulted in triple break point in the fifth game of the fourth set.

He drove his next serve at Hewitt, even though this was a critical part of the match. Hewitt converted the break and Chela spat in Hewitt's direction when the players were switching sides.

``He spat in my direction,'' said Hewitt, who won the third-round match 6-2, 4-6, 6-1, 6-4. ``It's unfortunate because we were having a dogfight match out there. We're both competitive blokes, we were going for it.''

``It's sad that something like that happens,'' he added. ``But, you know, he apologized to me at the net when we shook hands and I said, 'Just forget about it, mate.'''

Chela said he didn't spit at Hewitt. As for the serve Hewitt had to dodge, the Argentine said he couldn't remember anything about it.

``It was a very tense moment in the match,'' he said. ``There was a lot of pressure. He thought I spat at him. I felt bad. At the end of the match, I went up to him to apologize.''

http://us.news2.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/afp/20050122/capt.sge.dsy76.220105125958.photo00.photo.default-287x384.jpg
Third seed Lleyton Hewitt of Australia sticks out his tongue during his men's singles third round match against Juan Ignacio Chela of Argentina at the 2005 Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne. Lleyton Hewitt said he would not take a spitting incident with opponent Juan Ignacio Chela any further after advancing to the fourth round at the Australian Open tennis here. ;) :p

thelma
01-22-2005, 09:25 PM
Nice articles from the Aussie media about Lleyts! :eek: Surely not!

I agree! ;)

Yasmine
01-22-2005, 11:29 PM
Third seed Lleyton Hewitt of Australia sticks out his tongue during his men's singles third round match against Juan Ignacio Chela of Argentina at the 2005 Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne. Lleyton Hewitt said he would not take a spitting incident with opponent Juan Ignacio Chela any further after advancing to the fourth round at the Australian Open tennis here. ;) :p
He's reacting so intelligently once more! Why should he bother doing anything about this incident, he's through to the 4th round, Chela is not... that's enough to piss him off :p Same go with Blake and his "taking the mick out of him" incident. Go go go Lleyton! Show them all that to do well not only you need to play well but you also need to be smart and have a good sportmanship... :angel:

thelma
01-23-2005, 01:50 AM
He's reacting so intelligently once more! Why should he bother doing anything about this incident, he's through to the 4th round, Chela is not... that's enough to piss him off :p Same go with Blake and his "taking the mick out of him" incident. Go go go Lleyton! Show them all that to do well not only you need to play well but you also need to be smart and have a good sportmanship... :angel:

;) :worship: C'mon lleyton! :devil:

Socket
01-23-2005, 01:52 AM
Chela fined over Hewitt spat
January 23, 2005

JUAN Ignacio Chela, of Argentina, was fined $US2000 ($2640) today for spitting in the direction of Lleyton Hewitt during a heated third-round clash at the Australian Open last night.

The fine was imposed after Chela was found guilty of unsportsmanlike conduct.

The incident occurred during the fourth set of the match which Hewitt won 6-2 4-6 6-1 6-4.

Tensions were running high, and the Argentinian No.25 seed was clearly angry with the Australian's repeated loud cries of "C'mon" after winning points.

"There was spitting, but not in Lleyton's direction," Chela claimed after the match.

"Lleyton thought it was in his direction and at the end of the match I apologised, but it was not spitting at Lleyton."

AAP

raeesa301
01-23-2005, 10:05 AM
Hewitt not the easiest to barrack for
By Gerard Whateley

It's a desperately unfair thought to have but here it is: Don't you wish Lleyton Hewitt carried himself like Andre Agassi?

It's desperately unfair because when Agassi was Hewitt's age he was a punk who refused to even travel to Australia because it was too far away.

Yet as the curtain fell on the weekend's tennis at Rod Laver Arena, you stood in your lounge room with a ridiculous smile and all the admiration in the world for a 34-year-old Las Vegan.

Chances are the previous evening when the Australian screamed in the ecstasy of victory you'd been cringing for most of the previous hour.

On Saturday night Hewitt's antics drove his opponent to one of the most despicable acts in sport. Juan Ingnacio Chela spitting at or near Hewitt was inexcusable.

But moments before, when Chela decided to hit his first serve at Hewitt on the full and thus concede the fault, well that, in this writer's opinion, was entirely understandable.

It was one "Come on" too many for the Argentine and most fair-minded sports fans.

Our birthplace demands we support Hewitt but he is not always easy to barrack for.

Agassi might be the most admirable figure in world sport. The veteran carries himself with good grace, humility and empathy for his opponents.

On Sunday afternoon he proved again that age has not wearied him. He watched 51 aces go past him in four sets - that's one point short of 13 free games - and he still won.

It was nothing short of staggering.

For Joachim Johansson these have been an extraordinary couple of days.

On Friday night he went the distance and beyond with Feliciano Lopez. When the points were counted Johansson had won 200, Lopez 199. The scoreboard determined the Swede should move through 13 games to 11 in the fifth set.

On Sunday afternoon in the biggest match of his burgeoning career he rewrote the record books on serve. If he plays for another 20 years he might not repeat such a consistent and awesome display.

And yet when he wakes on Monday morning, he's got the week off.

Some of the centre court support for Hewitt seems contrived because it comes from the highly organised and recognisable group of supporters called the Fanatics.

The support and, dare I say love, for Agassi is spontaneous. And he wins it afresh every time he walks out on court.

When he faces Roger Federer for a place in the semi-finals Agassi will have a capacity Melbourne crowd in his corner.

The lesson in all this might be not to give up on Hewitt because it's amazing what maturity can do to a man.

At the halfway mark of the tournament there have been precious few upsets. While that's made the first week slightly predictable, it's made the second positively mouth-watering.

Imagine quarter-finals in the bottom half of the women's draw pitting compatriots Svetlana Kuznetsova and Maria Sharapova against each other while the brutal strength of Serena Williams and Amelie Mauresmo square off.

Either would have been a worthy final.

It seems cruel in the men's that the two biggest names in the sport - Agassi and Federer - should meet on Tuesday rather than Sunday.

It says much for the depth of this tournament.

As for the Australians the first mission has been accomplished.

Alicia Molik hasn't dropped a set as she's met expectations beating lower ranked opponents.

And Hewitt has survived, if not thrived.

But for both, the tournament starts in earnest on Monday.

Yasmine
01-23-2005, 11:22 AM
Article on preview of the match versus Nadal... It is getting so exciting now :woohoo:

Nadal to Take It to Hewitt
by Sandra Harwitt
Sunday, 23 January, 2005

No.3 Lleyton Hewitt [Australia] vs. Rafael Nadal [Spain]

Welcome to a match that is guaranteed to keep fans glued to their seats or their TV sets.

Both Lleyton Hewitt and Rafael Nadal are spirited competitors - they quite literally bring everything they have to each and every match they play. And that is a recipe for excitement.

Nadal has certainly shown that he knows how to play big-time matches. Just take a look at his enthralling four-set upset of Andy Roddick at the Davis Cup final in Seville, Spain in early December. The win was the talk of the country the next day with Nadal's face splashed across the front pages of every paper in Spain.

Nadal comes from a famous sporting family in Spain - his uncle, Miguel Angel, is a well-known professional soccer player who competed in the 2002 World Cup. This background helps a talented teenager like Nadal to handle all the complexities that come along with being a world-class athlete.

Interestingly, Hewitt also comes from a sporting background as well. His father, Glynn, played Aussie Rules football and has been a driving force behind his very competitive son.

While Nadal is just starting to make a name in the game, Hewitt is already a champion, having won the 2001 US Open and 2002 Wimbledon titles.

But Hewitt's game dipped to some degree after that peak, and it's only been in the past six months or so that he's picking up the pace. He put in a tremendous effort at the US Open in September to earn a final berth, where he had little staying power against world No.1 Roger Federer.

Hewitt is not only desperate for another shot at Federer, but also desperate to win his home Grand Slam. It's been a long time since Mark Edmondson did Australia proud in 1976 by hoisting the Australian Open trophy.

Hewitt certainly seems to have the goods to keep the left-handed Nadal at bay. He has beaten him both times they have played - at the 2004 Australian Open and the Canadian Open. In Canada, the match went the three-set distance, while last year at Melbourne Park the first two sets of that encounter went to tie-breakers.

Hewitt will have the advantage of the home stage and that should deliver him to the quarter-finals here for the first time in his career.

Danni
01-23-2005, 11:33 AM
you stood in your lounge room with a ridiculous smile and all the admiration in the world for a 34-year-old Las Vegan.

Chances are the previous evening when the Australian screamed in the ecstasy of victory you'd been cringing for most of the previous hour.


um...no, actually :p

NOMAD
01-23-2005, 12:09 PM
Coach's locker-room spat

By LEO SCHLINK

January 24, 2005

A LOCKER room attendant was forced to separate Lleyton Hewitt's coach and members of Juan Ignacio Chela's entourage in an angry aftermath to the pair's spiteful Australian Open clash on Saturday night.


Hewitt's coach Roger Rasheed and Chela's trainer Fernando Aguirre clashed heatedly in the locker room after Chela spat at Hewitt during the fourth set at Melbourne Park.

Chela apologised to world No. 3 Hewitt on court after the Australian advanced to the fourth round but Rasheed was furious with the South American.


Former SANFL footballer and fitness fanatic Rasheed approached Chela to discuss the matter and shook hands with the Argentine after Hewitt's 6-2 4-6 6-1 6-4 victory.


Rasheed is understood to have firmly told Chela a repetition of the incident would not be tolerated, but the conversation lurched out of control when Aguirre became involved.


Aguirre was seen during the match giving Hewitt a one-fingered salute. :rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes:


Several coaches, trainers and former players, including former world No. 1 Jim Courier, were in the locker room at the time as the confrontation threatened to get out of hand.


Chela was yesterday fined $3431 for unsportsmanlike conduct after tournament officials viewed videotape of the unsavoury incident. Chela's coaching group was upset with Hewitt's signature cry of "C'mon" when the South American netted a forehand to trail 0-40 at 2-all in the fourth set.


And as Chela walked past the Australian's courtside chair after dropping serve, he cleared this throat, turned and spat at his opponent.


A shocked Hewitt attempted to draw chair umpire Lars Graff's attention to the incident, but the Swedish official had his back to the players.


Hewitt then responded with a four-letter insult.


Dual Australian champion Courier told Argentine players Mariano Hood and Alberto Mancini Hewitt was within his rights to celebrate winning points.


Courier had earlier stridently defended Hewitt's behaviour while commentating on the match for Channel 7.


It is understood the American bluntly told the South Americans Chela's behaviour was unacceptable as Hewitt's agent Tom Ross sought out tournament referee Peter Bellenger to complain about the incident.


Chela's fine is easily the largest levelled at the centenary championships.


Fabrice Santoro was fined $1928 last season after spitting in the direction of a baseline judge who had foot-faulted the Frenchman during a match with Mark Philippoussis.


Chela's actions were far more provocative given the fact he spat directly at Hewitt.


Chela admitted spitting after the match.


"I was spitting but not in Lleyton's direction," Chela said. "Lleyton thought it was in his direction.


"At the end of the match, I apologised for that but I was not spitting at Lleyton.


"There was a lot of pressure in the match, but that's it.


"It was a tense moment in the match and we sorted it out in the locker-room and that's it."


Hewitt confirmed Chela's actions.


"He spat in my direction," Hewitt said. "He apologised at the net after the match and I've accepted his apology.


Hewitt will face Spaniard Rafael Nadal in the fourth round today.

Socket
01-23-2005, 01:08 PM
You know, everyone who writes about Agassi should remember that he's easily one of the most homophobic athletes on the men's tour. He's infamous for shouting "faggot" during practice sessions and matches when he's mad at himself, and on more than one occasion, he's used the phrase "I'm as happy as a fag on a submarine" during press conferences after a victory. Gay rights have protested his language on more than one occasion, and he simply ignores them.

Funny how journalists manage to forget that, but never, ever forget Lleyton's flaws. :mad: :mad:

NOMAD
01-23-2005, 01:19 PM
Jim :kiss:

Hewitt antics hit roar nerve
Chip Le Grand
January 24, 2005
IT was the night the Australian Open got ugly.

On one side of the net, an aggressive Lleyton Hewitt, fist-pumping and bellowing his way into today's fourth-round meeting with rising Spanish star Rafael Nadal.

On the other, the normally amicable Argentine Juan Ignacio Chela, spitting in Hewitt's direction and aiming a bean-ball serve at the Australian's body.

And the fireworks didn't end once the players left the court. Well-placed sources yesterday told The Australian of a spiteful postscript played out in the men's locker-rooms beneath the Rod Laver Arena, where Hewitt's coach Roger Rasheed confronted Chela and his trainer, Fernando Aguirre.

Rasheed, an inseparable member of Hewitt's inner circle since he joined the tour as his physical trainer, was overheard warning Chela: "You do that again and I will knock your f***ing block off."

Australian Open tournament referee Peter Bellenger yesterday fined Chela $US2000 for the spitting incident, one roundly condemned by his fellow players.

But if there was little need for debate about Chela's actions, Hewitt's on-court antics and his ability to drive opponents to distraction have again divided opinion.

Hewitt's fist-pumps and cries of "come on" have been a central part of his playing persona since he arrived on the professional scene as a precociously talented teenager.

But according to former Australian Open champion and Seven network commentator Jim Courier, Hewitt has really pumped up the volume at this Australian Open.

"He is definitely louder than I have every heard him and that is the prevailing feeling in the locker room as well; that he is milking it here," Courier said.

"It is his tournament, it is his country. It is a Davis Cup atmosphere that he is trying to generate."

Courier is equally adamant that Hewitt has not crossed the line that separates acceptable gamesmanship from unsporting conduct.

On a professional tour where traditional notions of tennis etiquette are loosely followed at best, Courier believes that all is fair in on-court urgings so long as you direct your celebrations towards your supporters and not at your opponent.

The flashpoint in the Hewitt-Chela match came as Chela, already trailing two sets to one and in deep trouble on serve, caught the tape with a forehand and watched the ball sail out.

Hewitt, with three break-points in his keeping, immediately turned to his court-side entourage in typically loud, lusty celebration.

Chela, incensed that Hewitt would celebrate an opponent's error in such a manner, lost his cool completely and seemed to fire his next serve deliberately at Hewitt.

Hewitt duly broke serve and during the change of ends Chela glared at the seated Hewitt and pointedly spat in his direction. Hewitt retaliated with a verbal barrage.

Courier's view, one held by Bellenger after he reviewed footage of the incident, was that Chela, not Hewitt, stepped over the line first.

"Here is one thing that Chela needs to understand: a point is a point, whether it is a winner or an error," Courier said.

"The fans who are knowledgeable don't clap for errors. A player has every right, at 0-30, 3-all in the fourth set, when he wins that point and gets himself charged up.

"I am probably in the minority supporting Lleyton on that, but I just don't feel that a player should be so weak on the other side of the net that they let that disrupt their flow and serve the next ball at the opponent.

"Emotion is a positive in the game of tennis and Lleyton particularly feeds off that emotion and he should continue to use that to keep his energy levels high. Even better for him if it bothers his opponents.

"If they are professional tennis players and they are bothered so much by something that is said on the other side of the net that is not directed towards them, then their mental weakness is being exposed and they need to work on that."

It appears this is as much the challenge of playing Hewitt as serving well and keeping errors to a minimum.

James Blake, an otherwise intelligent player who prides himself on playing in the right spirit, clearly was riled by Hewitt's antics in their second-set tiebreak last week.

From the moment Blake mimicked Hewitt's celebratory salute, he ceased to be competitive in the match.

Roger Federer, who beat Hewitt in Melbourne last year and is the favourite for this year's title, says worrying about an opponent's behaviour is the first step towards losing your way entirely.

"Different characters need different motivation," Federer said yesterday.

"So Hewitt, he needs his screaming. Other guys, they need the peace. Sometimes they get into each other's faces and they play better.

"You just have to not care too much about what your opponent does. It shouldn't influence you that much that you lose your mind.

"When you start and you are young, all the players take advantage of it. They take toilet breaks, change their stuff for 10 minutes.

"The umpires don't watch the clock, there is just so much going on. Now that I am playing on centre court and am No.1 in the world, they don't try the stuff any more. But in the beginning, you have to experience this."

Such is the task confronting the teenage Nadal as he enters the unfamiliar territory of a Grand Slam fourth round.

Nadal lost in straight sets against Hewitt at Melbourne Park last year at age 17. Since then, he has won his first ATP title and proven his mettle under the pressure of a Davis Cup final, beating Andy Roddick on the opening day to set up Spain's victory.

He is also as demonstrative a player as Hewitt at times, one said to relish the type of in-your-face match that Hewitt thrives upon.

"He's a worthy opponent, playing round of 16 in a Grand Slam, on any surface," Hewitt said of Nadal. "And he's hungry, he really is. He loves going out there, playing big matches. That's something that I really respect in a young guy like him.

"He played Roddick at the US Open in a night match, and I thought he handled himself really well in that situation. Davis Cup final in Spain: that is not an easy thing to do; to play in a final at such a young age. I don't think the situation is going to worry him too much."

Courier believes that as the tournament progresses and Hewitt runs into more experienced and respected opponents, he will temper his on-court behaviour. Certainly if Hewitt reaches a final against Federer or Agassi, there would appear no prospect of a Chela-style disintegration.

"We all make choices every day on how we choose to conduct ourselves," Agassi said after beating Joachim Johansson in four sets yesterday.

"What I do watch and admire is the competitiveness of his game. And I find that when I am out there against him, I need to to step up because of what he brings, not because of how he chooses to conduct himself."

NOMAD
01-23-2005, 01:22 PM
http://www.smh.com.au/ffximage/2005/01/24/lleytonserve_wideweb__430x174.jpg
Under their skin: Hewitt's chutzpah underpins his progress, but has riled, left to right, Juan Ignacio Chela, the Argentinian's entourage and James Blake.
Photos: AP, Vince Caligiuri, Getty Image


Richard Hinds :rolleyes:
Open warfare for combative Hewitt
January 24, 2005

He's been spat at, mocked and lampooned. But far from letting it rattle him, Lleyton Hewitt seems to thrive on the conflict. Richard Hinds reports.

Lleyton Hewitt has long been the berserk warrior of tennis. His mission is not merely to beat his opponent but to conquer him. To take him out if he has to. So it is no coincidence that Hewitt, his advisers and propagandists have turned this Australian Open into a war zone both on and off the court and created the type of combative environment in which the local hope thrives.

As Hewitt's verbal barrages and self-indulgent theatrics get under their skin, his opponents sometimes react outrageously. And there have been bitter confrontations, too, with the tournament organisers about the speed of the court and between Hewitt's coach, Roger Rasheed, and the petulant Argentinian Juan Ignacio Chela and his coach in the locker-room.

This has been the collateral damage as Hewitt has stormed into today's fourth-round clash with Spaniard Rafael Nadal, a match in which the Australian may well have to fight tooth and nail to win - and no doubt will. The question is whether, having attached his bayonet, Hewitt is going too far over the top as the pressure builds to capture the title he craves more than any other.

Advertisement
AdvertisementBefore the tournament, Hewitt seemed as relaxed as he had ever been after an ideal summer build-up. However, at times of high stress, it is human nature to revert to familiar patterns of behaviour. For Hewitt, that means extracting every ounce of effort from his more muscular body - no matter what that takes and no matter who gets hurt.

In recent years, perhaps after accepting the advice of confidants such as John Newcombe and Pat Rafter, Hewitt has curbed his on-court antics and directed his histrionics at himself, his entourage or his personal cheer squad, the Fanatics. But in successive matches against the mild-mannered James Blake and the more confrontational Chela, there have been glimpses of the outbursts that caused so much anxiety in the early stages of Hewitt's career, when he would eyeball opponents and umpires when screaming his trademark exhortations.

Against Blake, Hewitt turned to his supporters rather than acknowledge his opponent who was applauding Hewitt's great shot. Against Chela he celebrated in predictably belligerent style after the Argentinian's forehand clipped the net-cord and floated out, setting up break points for the Australian. In both cases Hewitt did not breach the game's laws, only its spirit - or what its spirit used to be. But he is clearly irritating his opponents.

Blake's unexpected response was to whack a winner, then mock Hewitt's second-hand Swedish Vicht gesture where he points his hand at his head. Chela's comeback was far more offensive. First he aimed a serve at Hewitt, then he spat in his direction, a vile act that deserved more than the $US2000 ($2600) fine Chela was given. But it was an act of surrender, not only giving Hewitt the upper hand on the court but taking him to a previously unknown location - the moral high ground.


Indeed, so abject was Chela's behaviour that it incited Hewitt's burly coach Rasheed to storm the locker room and demand satisfaction from Chela's coach while Hewitt delivered a lecture on sportsmanship in his press conference. This after commentator Jim Courier had made the strange assertion that it was all right for Hewitt to celebrate his opponents' mistakes, but not for the crowd.

So, perhaps for the first time, the Australian not only won the war but also the post-match peace.

Meanwhile, Hewitt's campaign against the allegedly slow courts has split the Australian tennis community. Strident attacks by Hewitt's camp and his media friends against tournament organiser Paul McNamee have come at a delicate time with the position of Tennis Australia chief executive and director of player development to be decided soon. There is now a feeling that Australian tennis is divided into the Hewitt camp and the McNamee camp.

The latest big gun dragged into the debate at the weekend was Pat Rafter, who used, or was used by, a newspaper column to lambast McNamee for not tailoring the courts to the satisfaction of the Australian players. "I don't care what Paul McNamee says," wrote Rafter. "This court does not suit Australian players and their style of play and it is up to him to make it right."

Bizarrely, Rafter criticised journalists for seeking opinions about the court from international players - "Who cares what they think?," he wrote - ignoring the fact the opinions of visiting players had been sought only after Hewitt started the debate with his criticism of the court speed in Adelaide.

Appropriately, it will be Hewitt who settles the question about the court speed once and for all. Having conquered the claycourter Chela, he faces another in Nadal. Should he make the quarter-finals, either Guillermo Coria or David Nalbandian, both more at home on red dirt than green rubber, will be waiting. Against these baseliners there is one way Hewitt can prove his point about the courts conclusively - by losing.

Yet in his combative form, that seems unlikely. Hewitt is bent on winning this title. And like any hardened warrior, he will count the cost later.

Socket
01-23-2005, 01:23 PM
Don't ever change, Hewitt is told by Federer, Agassi
By Karen Lyon
January 24, 2005


Two of Lleyton Hewitt's main rivals for the Australian Open title have defended his provocative manner in the wake of the spitting row that has overshadowed the Australian's march into the fourth round of his home grand slam.

Yesterday, as Juan Ignacio Chela was fined $2600 for spitting in the direction of Hewitt during their third-round clash on Saturday night, defending champion Roger Federer and Andre Agassi both defended Hewitt against charges his behaviour had incited the Argentinian to spit at him.

In a tense fourth set, Chela became agitated when Hewitt celebrated an unforced error that gave the No.3 seed a vital break-point opportunity. On the next point Chela served the ball directly at Hewitt's body and then at the change of ends appeared to spit in his opponent's direction.

Federer conceded that Hewitt's intensity aggravated opponents but said that was no excuse for spitting.

"It definitely plays a role but I don't think you should go to that extreme," the Swiss said after progressing into the quarter-finals. He was sympathetic to Hewitt's cause and said there was no need for him to repress his naturally aggressive style.

"I understand him. Geez, he's in Australia, you know. He wants to win this tournament so badly and he's showing it. He wants people to feel it," said Federer.

"What is 'tone it down'? Three c'mons less per match? That's not going to make any difference. We all agree, I mean, he's fine the way he is."

Agassi also said he had no problems with Hewitt's combative style, adding that he preferred not to waste energy worrying about his opponents' antics.

"What I do watch and admire is his competitiveness and his game. And I find that when I'm out there against him, I need to step up because of what he brings to the table, not because of how he chooses to conduct himself," the four-time Australian Open champion said.

Yesterday, Chela became the 15th player to be fined for poor behaviour at the tournament, his fine bringing the total figure to $15,900 for the week. Though not warned by the umpire, Chela was convicted after a video review and his fine was greater than the $1500 imposed on Fabrice Santoro last year for spitting at a line judge.

Saturday night was the second time in two rounds that Hewitt has courted controversy with an opponent. In the second round against James Blake, the American mocked Hewitt's trademark hand salute during a tie-breaker.

After beating Chela, Hewitt tried to diffuse the situation by accepting an apology from the Argentinian, but there was tension between the two camps with Hewitt's coach, Roger Rasheed, involved in a verbal altercation with Chela's trainer, Fernando Aguirre, after the match.

Hoping to move things on before today's match against Rafael Nadal, Hewitt said: "He apologised at the net after the match and I accepted his apology ... I don't think it is the right thing, no. It's unfortunate because we were having a good dogfight match out there. We're both competitive blokes out there. We were both going for it.

"It's sad that something like that happens. But at the end of the day, he apologised to me at the net when we shook hands. I said, 'Just forget about it, mate'."

For his part, Chela denied that he spat at Hewitt although he did concede being frustrated by the Australian's antics.

"There was spitting but not in Lleyton's direction. Lleyton thought it was in his direction and at the end of the match I apologised, but I was not spitting at Lleyton," Chela said.

NOMAD
01-23-2005, 01:23 PM
Meanwhile, Bec at the studio ...
Luke Dennehy
24jan05

WHEN Lleyton Hewitt hits centre court today, his glamorous girlfriend Bec Cartwright won't be courtside.

Cartwright returned to Sydney yesterday to start work again on Home and Away, after a flying visit to watch her new love win controversially on Saturday night.
"I really enjoyed watching it. It was good to get down here," Cartwright said.

"Hopefully I'll be back soon. I've just got to go back to work on Home and Away."

Cartwright said she didn't see Juan Ignacio Chela spit.

As Hewitt prepared for his match against Rafael Nadal yesterday, Cartwright was doing one of the things she knows best -- dancing.

She was at the Grand Plaza square at the Docklands promoting free Sunday afternoon dance demonstrations, which are on there until the end of March.

As one of the most popular and well-known characters on Home and Away, Cartwright has a punishing film schedule, which doesn't allow for much time off.

There is no chance she'll be able to travel with Hewitt around the world because of her commitment to the show.

Socket
01-23-2005, 01:33 PM
McNamee another Hewitt scalp
Richard Yallop
24jan05

WHEN the man in charge of the Open, Paul McNamee, announced at the weekend that he would not apply for the vacant position of chief executive of Tennis Australia, Lleyton Hewitt marked an off-court victory as hard-fought and almost as acrimonious as his on-court win over Juan Ignacio Chela.

Hewitt, still in conflict with McNamee over undertakings he believes he was given over the court speed at Rod Laver Arena, is understood to have been among several prominent members of the tennis community reassessing their involvement in Australian tennis if the Open chief was appointed to the new CEO position vacated when TA president Geoff Pollard resigned his double role late last year.

Their reservations centred on whether McNamee, who has driven the rapid commercial growth of the Open since 1995, was enough of a team player to lead Australian tennis and guide player development at a time when the talent cupboard is almost bare.

Only four Australians – Hewitt, Nathan Healey, Alicia Molik and Evie Dominikovic – reached last week's second round.

Former Davis Cup captain John Newcombe, present captain John Fitzgerald, coach Wally Masur, Fed Cup captain John Alexander and former Fed Cup captain Lesley Bowrey have all been part of discussions on how to bring on junior talent.

One of the new CEO's first jobs will be to appoint a director of player development.

Behind the stand-off between Hewitt and McNamee over the speed of the Rebound Ace court at Rod Laver Arena – and even the apparently trivial issue of the tournament refusing to make extra tickets available for the "Fanatics" for Hewitt's matches – lay an underlying and long-standing resentment that McNamee has put the interests of foreign players, and particularly those Europeans and South Americans favouring the slow, high-bouncing Rebound Ace courts, above those of the Australians.

There also have been claims he gives preferential practice treatment to the overseas players.

One former player said that the Australians, including Hewitt, have felt disadvantaged in their own tournament. "The fraternity is using the court surface to express its dissatisfaction over a range of issues," he said.

Ironically, as the off-court drama over McNamee was being played out on Saturday, the Open was celebrating a Grand Slam record attendance of 60,669, beating the 58,000 mark set by the US Open last year.

Since McNamee took over as tournament director in 1995 he has lifted attendance from 300,240 to last year's 521,691. Prizemoney has risen from $8.1 million to $19.1 million.

Complex and smart, McNamee is praised by supporters as an inspirational and visionary achiever, while opponents consider him an autocratic one-man band.

McNamee told The Australian opposition from Hewitt or anyone else had not influenced his decision to not apply for the CEO role.

"I work on the international side of the business, and my job is to make the tournament as successful as possible," McNamee said.

"The fact we've had enormous support from the international players, the crowds and the corporate sponsors suggests we are getting it pretty right. I'm proud of what we've all achieved – and we work as a team."

McNamee accepted he had made some enemies along the way.

"It happens with leadership sometimes. You have to make some tough decisions, and you do upset people," he said.

"We've done everything we can for the Australian players – we held a training camp for the best prospects before the tournament – but we must have transparent principles because, at the end of the day, the event belongs to the Grand Slam, not Australia."

The argument over the speed of the Rebound Ace surface began at the US Open in September, when Fitzgerald and Hewitt's coach Roger Rasheed clashed with McNamee in the players' lounge at Flushing Meadow.

Fitzgerald and Rasheed, from the Australian players' point of view, didn't like Rebound Ace because they believed the surface was slow and worked against the Australians' chances of success in their own Grand Slam championship.

Rasheed made it clear Hewitt would like a quicker court that did not disadvantage him.

McNamee said tests had shown the courts were faster this year, "though it may not be as fast as some people want. But we have to look at the bigger picture."

Socket
01-23-2005, 01:35 PM
17:00 AEDT Fri Jan 21 2005

COMMENT | By Ken Sutcliffe
National Nine News sports presenter



The big three summer sports: cricket, golf and now tennis have had plenty of scrutiny over their future, and what needs to be done to make them more relevant and attractive.

Cricket is addressing that from within, with new concepts like 20/20 cricket, a sort-of 'movie-length' version of the game.

Golf is still smarting over a comment by Channel 7’s boss that it’s become boring – and they’re hosting the Australian summer Tour. But whether golf has masterplan, or indeed believes they have no problems, I'm not quite sure.

Now to tennis, the sport I played day in day out as a teenager. I loved it, but there’s something very old-fashioned about the way the sport is administered and certainly perceived in this country.

Lleyton Hewitt has given them stick and so has Pat Cash, but then again he always has. However, in a recent article about the depth of Australian tennis, Cash gave Tennis Australia a hammering over what he considered was a poor junior and coaching development programme.

Each year, there's plenty of self congratulation when the Australian Open rolls around, about how well run and organised it is.

But to me, Australian tennis is a bit like a cottage industry: everything's hail hearty and good fellow. The administration looks grey. Tennis Australia chief Geoff Pollard might be a nice fellow and might have done a solid job in running the sport in Australia, and can point to good crowds at the Open and moderate television ratings.

But it’s not enough.

Where's the flair, the dynamism and where are the future champions? Five days into the Australian Open just two Aussies remain: Lleyton Hewitt and Alicia Molik. If that same percentage applied in cricket, its administration, coaches and the like would be just about run out of town.

Apparently, there is a mood for a clean-out or at least a challenge to the Pollard-Paul McNamee regime. It’s all been a little bit in-club over the years. Certainly the game's bosses need a prod. Because the impression is they look fairly comfortable, and self-satisfied.

© National Nine News 2005

raeesa301
01-23-2005, 03:13 PM
Hewitt antics hit roar nerve
Chip Le Grand
January 24, 2005

IT was the night the Australian Open got ugly.

On one side of the net, an aggressive Lleyton Hewitt, fist-pumping and bellowing his way into today's fourth-round meeting with rising Spanish star Rafael Nadal.

On the other, the normally amicable Argentine Juan Ignacio Chela, spitting in Hewitt's direction and aiming a bean-ball serve at the Australian's body.

And the fireworks didn't end once the players left the court. Well-placed sources yesterday told The Australian of a spiteful postscript played out in the men's locker-rooms beneath the Rod Laver Arena, where Hewitt's coach Roger Rasheed confronted Chela and his trainer, Fernando Aguirre.

Rasheed, an inseparable member of Hewitt's inner circle since he joined the tour as his physical trainer, was overheard warning Chela: "You do that again and I will knock your f***ing block off."

Australian Open tournament referee Peter Bellenger yesterday fined Chela $US2000 for the spitting incident, one roundly condemned by his fellow players.

But if there was little need for debate about Chela's actions, Hewitt's on-court antics and his ability to drive opponents to distraction have again divided opinion.

Hewitt's fist-pumps and cries of "come on" have been a central part of his playing persona since he arrived on the professional scene as a precociously talented teenager.

But according to former Australian Open champion and Seven network commentator Jim Courier, Hewitt has really pumped up the volume at this Australian Open.

"He is definitely louder than I have every heard him and that is the prevailing feeling in the locker room as well; that he is milking it here," Courier said.

"It is his tournament, it is his country. It is a Davis Cup atmosphere that he is trying to generate."

Courier is equally adamant that Hewitt has not crossed the line that separates acceptable gamesmanship from unsporting conduct.

On a professional tour where traditional notions of tennis etiquette are loosely followed at best, Courier believes that all is fair in on-court urgings so long as you direct your celebrations towards your supporters and not at your opponent.

The flashpoint in the Hewitt-Chela match came as Chela, already trailing two sets to one and in deep trouble on serve, caught the tape with a forehand and watched the ball sail out.

Hewitt, with three break-points in his keeping, immediately turned to his court-side entourage in typically loud, lusty celebration.

Chela, incensed that Hewitt would celebrate an opponent's error in such a manner, lost his cool completely and seemed to fire his next serve deliberately at Hewitt.

Hewitt duly broke serve and during the change of ends Chela glared at the seated Hewitt and pointedly spat in his direction. Hewitt retaliated with a verbal barrage.

Courier's view, one held by Bellenger after he reviewed footage of the incident, was that Chela, not Hewitt, stepped over the line first.

"Here is one thing that Chela needs to understand: a point is a point, whether it is a winner or an error," Courier said.

"The fans who are knowledgeable don't clap for errors. A player has every right, at 0-30, 3-all in the fourth set, when he wins that point and gets himself charged up.

"I am probably in the minority supporting Lleyton on that, but I just don't feel that a player should be so weak on the other side of the net that they let that disrupt their flow and serve the next ball at the opponent.

"Emotion is a positive in the game of tennis and Lleyton particularly feeds off that emotion and he should continue to use that to keep his energy levels high. Even better for him if it bothers his opponents.

"If they are professional tennis players and they are bothered so much by something that is said on the other side of the net that is not directed towards them, then their mental weakness is being exposed and they need to work on that."

It appears this is as much the challenge of playing Hewitt as serving well and keeping errors to a minimum.

James Blake, an otherwise intelligent player who prides himself on playing in the right spirit, clearly was riled by Hewitt's antics in their second-set tiebreak last week.

From the moment Blake mimicked Hewitt's celebratory salute, he ceased to be competitive in the match.

Roger Federer, who beat Hewitt in Melbourne last year and is the favourite for this year's title, says worrying about an opponent's behaviour is the first step towards losing your way entirely.

"Different characters need different motivation," Federer said yesterday.

"So Hewitt, he needs his screaming. Other guys, they need the peace. Sometimes they get into each other's faces and they play better.

"You just have to not care too much about what your opponent does. It shouldn't influence you that much that you lose your mind.

"When you start and you are young, all the players take advantage of it. They take toilet breaks, change their stuff for 10 minutes.

"The umpires don't watch the clock, there is just so much going on. Now that I am playing on centre court and am No.1 in the world, they don't try the stuff any more. But in the beginning, you have to experience this."

Such is the task confronting the teenage Nadal as he enters the unfamiliar territory of a Grand Slam fourth round.

Nadal lost in straight sets against Hewitt at Melbourne Park last year at age 17. Since then, he has won his first ATP title and proven his mettle under the pressure of a Davis Cup final, beating Andy Roddick on the opening day to set up Spain's victory.

He is also as demonstrative a player as Hewitt at times, one said to relish the type of in-your-face match that Hewitt thrives upon.

"He's a worthy opponent, playing round of 16 in a Grand Slam, on any surface," Hewitt said of Nadal. "And he's hungry, he really is. He loves going out there, playing big matches. That's something that I really respect in a young guy like him.

"He played Roddick at the US Open in a night match, and I thought he handled himself really well in that situation. Davis Cup final in Spain: that is not an easy thing to do; to play in a final at such a young age. I don't think the situation is going to worry him too much."

Courier believes that as the tournament progresses and Hewitt runs into more experienced and respected opponents, he will temper his on-court behaviour. Certainly if Hewitt reaches a final against Federer or Agassi, there would appear no prospect of a Chela-style disintegration.

"We all make choices every day on how we choose to conduct ourselves," Agassi said after beating Joachim Johansson in four sets yesterday.

"What I do watch and admire is the competitiveness of his game. And I find that when I am out there against him, I need to to step up because of what he brings, not because of how he chooses to conduct himself."

dagmar7
01-23-2005, 03:39 PM
There's nothing like a good old-fashioned coach fight. :o

Re Paul McNamee as Ll's "scalp"... The head of a sport's organizing body is supposed to promote the growth and success of the sport in that country. McNamee simply doesn't have the results to justify his continuing in that capacity. With all the resources - the wealth, climate, fanbase, tennis history - of Australia, they should have way more success in the tennis world than they do at present.

Both Ll and Alicia were both the charges of Peter Smith over in Adelaide, and seemingly owe more to him than to Tennis Australia.

dagmar7
01-23-2005, 03:52 PM
You know, everyone who writes about Agassi should remember that he's easily one of the most homophobic athletes on the men's tour. He's infamous for shouting "faggot" during practice sessions and matches when he's mad at himself, and on more than one occasion, he's used the phrase "I'm as happy as a fag on a submarine" during press conferences after a victory. Gay rights have protested his language on more than one occasion, and he simply ignores them.

Funny how journalists manage to forget that, but never, ever forget Lleyton's flaws. :mad: :mad:

Everyone loves the veteran. I'm not sure when Agassi made the popular metamorphosis from brash to classy. Was it about the same time he started shaving his head?:unsure: Seriously, he had one of the great comebacks of all time and this amazing story forever endeared him to the press. Also, he gave much better interviews than Pete Sampras.



The family man thing helps too.

Quite a few sports journalists (male ones anyway) are homophobic and probably thought these statements were funny or acceptable.

There's a reason that there aren't any "out" male tennis players despite the rich tradition of the sport. ;)

Okay, I'm walking away from this one quietly. :eek:

raeesa301
01-23-2005, 06:56 PM
Lleyton vs the world
By Greg Baum
January 24, 2005

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There is a long-running theme in men's tennis. After a match in Lisbon in 2000, Spaniard Alex Corretja described Lleyton Hewitt's behaviour as "strange", "arrogant" and "too much". He was of the same mind after they met in the Davis Cup final soon afterwards. The same year at the Australian Open, amiable Swede Jonas Bjorkman made clear his displeasure at Hewitt's antics, intimating that they were unsporting.

Former player Brad Gilbert, then coach of Andre Agassi, said after watching Hewitt in that tournament that the Australian could end up getting a punch on the nose in the locker room. Can you see the pattern here?

The next year at the US Open, James Blake found himself at the centre of a storm when playing Hewitt because of a line judge who, like Blake, was black, and - according to Hewitt - engaged in a conspiracy by calling foot faults against him.

At the Australian Open that year, playing Spaniard Carlos Moya, Hewitt threw down his racquet and called a linesman a cheat, for which he was fined. The same year at the French Open, Hewitt called a chair umpire a "spastic", twice, for which outburst he was fined again. Is the common denominator becoming clear?

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AdvertisementThe next year in Cincinnati, the ATP fined Hewitt heavily after he refused to attend an obligatory interview with ESPN. Hewitt took the ATP to court, claiming that there was a long-running campaign of malice against him. Isn't the problem now obvious?

Before this year's Australian Open, Hewitt damned the lack of pace in the Melbourne Park courts. Swiss Roger Federer was one of several who disagreed. In the second round here, Blake became so annoyed by Hewitt's discourtesy that he mockingly mimicked his "c'mon" call and Vicht gesture. In the next round, Argentinian Juan Ignacio Chela also grew agitated by Hewitt's repeated exhortations, the most lamentable after Chela had made an unforced error. Chela hit two balls straight at Hewitt and spat at him at change of ends. Yesterday, this cost him a $US2000 fine.

But the common thread must be obvious by now. The Prime Minister would see it clearly. So do the Fanatics. Yes, the offenders are all un-Australian.

Socket
01-23-2005, 07:08 PM
I'm with the Fanatics and the PM. Maybe I should ask for honorary Aussie citizenship. :haha:

dagmar7
01-23-2005, 07:41 PM
Why bring up all these incidents, many of them downright archaic (five years ago!)?

The media is really reaching here. What we can infer about this year's AO?

1. Ll is animated.
2. According to many, this is unsportsmanlike; according to many, he needs to be fired up to have any chance.

Quite a no win situation. If he behaves, like last year, he'll be criticized for having lost his fire.

This Lleyton history has zero relation to Chela's behaviour, and these tortured media arguments amaze me. There is only one thing we can take from the incident: "Don't be spitting, Juan Ignacio! It's really gross!"

There's just no excuse, and the media can't convince me that this avenges the "spastic" umpire four or five years ago. :silly:

If you want to bring up irrelevant player's records, what about Chela's history? Why not bring up his positive test result? It's about as relevant and not as old as some of these incidents, which is to say not relevant at all.

dagmar7
01-23-2005, 07:44 PM
Nor am I going to hate Chela for all eternity. He apologized and paid his fine so hopefully next time he will think before he horks.

;)

Socket
01-23-2005, 07:46 PM
:yeah:

I think that "think before you hork" would make a great t-shirt.

Socket
01-23-2005, 07:48 PM
BTW, that Baum article really does prove Rafter's point that some of the Aussie media just have a stick up their ass for Lleyton, not matter what the circumstances.

Lisbeth
01-23-2005, 11:34 PM
This after commentator Jim Courier had made the strange assertion that it was all right for Hewitt to celebrate his opponents' mistakes, but not for the crowd.

Well first up, Richard, which slams did you win which make you more of an expert on tennis than Jim Courier? :devil: No I thought not.

And secondly, if you'd listened, what Courier actually said (at least on Aus TV) was 1. he thinks Lleyton's behaviour is in bounds whereas spitting is not; and 2. he (jim) didn't let his opponents celebrations upset him but didn't like it when the crowd, say, clapped a double fault. I think that's fair enough actually, because most of the crowd is supposed to be approximately neutral, at least overtly. No-one expects the opponent to be neutral. But if you can't insult Lleyton, why not just insult someone who was defending Lleyton :rolleyes:


Now I've got that out of my system ;) , I think Roger's comment about "do you want 3 less c'mons per match" is the funniest comment this tournament :lol: Well done Roger!

And I'd also like to say that I think Lleyton handled the spitting thing well. He forgave the guy and gave him the benefit of the doubt, which he should. But if he hadn't said that he thought it was a pity, can you imagine the headlines? I can just see "Lleyton condoned spitting" and "Hewitt says anything goes", probably by Richard Hinds ;)

star
01-24-2005, 02:20 AM
The best thing --- the :haha:iest thing is PMac and GILBERT tsk tsking about the incident.

:rolleyes:

Murkofan
01-24-2005, 02:23 AM
Hello, pot? This is kettle. You're black :p

Lisbeth
01-24-2005, 02:28 AM
I know, Gilbert and Pat's big-brother-and-cash-cow were probably close to the two worst offendere EVER.

Yasmine
01-24-2005, 09:14 AM
Article from the AO website... he made me so proud today :hearts:

Lleyton Achieves Career-best Quarter-final
Monday, 24 January, 2005
by Scott Spits

Local hero Lleyton Hewitt has reached the quarter-finals at the Australian Open for the first time after staging a stunning comeback to defeat Spanish teenager Rafael Nadal in a memorable five-set tussle.

The Australian No.3 seed overcame a hip injury to defeat the emerging 18-year-old, 7-5 3-6 1-6 7-6 (7-3) 6-2.

After Hewitt clinched a tight opening set after 57 minutes, the winner of two Grand Slam titles went to a 2-0 lead before Nadal reeled off 11 of the next 12 games.

Hewitt was clearly hampered by a hip flexor injury in the third set and received courtside treatment at a change of ends.

The fourth set proved critical as neither player managed to break serve and Hewitt secured the tie-break 7-3 with the set lasting 67 minutes.

The Australian's experience in big matches was telling and he broke Nadal twice in the deciding set to lead 3-0. Hewitt continued to play smart tennis and took out the match to advance to the final eight at Melbourne Park for the first time.

thelma
01-24-2005, 09:32 AM
Hewitt wins a dogfight
January 24, 2005

LLEYTON Hewitt is through to the Australian Open quarter-finals for the first time in his career after surviving a five-set cliffhanger against gifted young Spaniard Rafael Nadal at Melbourne Park tonight.

http://foxsports.news.com.au/common/imagedata/0,5001,412406,00.jpg

An injured Hewitt willed himself to a courageous 7-5 3-6 1-6 7-6 (7-3) 6-2 triumph over the big-hitting left-hander to finally bury his fourth-round hoodoo at his home grand slam.

The former US Open and Wimbledon champion had tripped up in the round of 16 on three times previous visits to Melbourne, in 2000, 2003 and last year.

But this time he simply refused to surrender physical adversity or a precociously talented rival who last year claimed the mighty scalps of world No.1 Roger Federer and second-ranked Andy Roddick. Hewitt required medical treatment after the third set for a hip flexor injury that threatened to end his Open dreams.

But after taking a nerve-wracking fourth-set tiebreak, Australia's former world No.1 – having steeled himself with repeated urgings of "no pain, no pain" – won the first nine points of the deciding set to blow the match wide open.

The sport's fiercest competitor eventually prevailed on his third match point after three hours and 53 tension-filled minutes.

Hewitt had taken an epic first after 57 minutes when he broke Nadal in the 12th game of the match, and appeared on track in the second after establishing a 2-0 lead.

But a raft of unforced errors crippled his progress as Nadal's confidence soared.

The 18-year-old nephew of Spanish soccer legend Miguel Angel Nadal reeled off nine straight games to seize a two-sets-to-one lead before Hewitt sought an inflammatory pill and courtside massage from ATP trainer Per Pastholt.

The tournament's third seed seemed to be suffering from the same injury that contributed to his quarter-final loss to Juan Carlos Ferrero at the 2003 US Open.

But he was not to be denied this time, despite failing to capitalise on a string of opportunities in the fourth set.

He had Nadal under pressure on his first three service games of the set, but an incorrect line call cost the Australian three break points with the Spaniard serving at 2-1 down.

Television replays showed a Hewitt forehand that was called long actually caught the baseline. Instead of being 0-40 down, Nadal trailed 15-30 and made the most of his reprieve to win the game.

Hewitt's frustrations came to the surface when he launched a ball high into the crowd, prompting a code violation from American umpire Norm Chryst.

After holding for a 3-2 lead, Hewitt had three break points in the next game only to squander them with five consecutive unforced errors.

Hewitt's missed opportunities could have proven fatal as Nadal continued to fire off explosive forehand winners to force the tiebreak.

But Hewitt kept his nerve to pull off one of the most significant victories of his illustrious career against a gallant opponent who made it through to the fourth round for the first time after fighting off a match point in a five-set second-round win over Russian 15th seed Mikhail Youzhny.

Hewitt will next play the winner of tonight's all-Argentine affair between sixth seed Guillermo Coria and ninth seed David Nalbandian.

thelma
01-24-2005, 09:35 AM
Hewitt into quarters after dramatic win

Australia's Lleyton Hewitt called upon all of his fighting qualities to beat Spain's Rafael Nadal in five sets in their fourth round match at the Australian Open in Melbourne.

The world number three was down two sets to one and battling a hip flexor injury but rallied to win 7-5, 3-6, 1-6, 7-6 (7-3), 6-2.

Having won the fourth set tie breaker to push the match into a fifth and deciding set, Hewitt grabbed an early double-break to win the match in just under four hours.

It is the first time Hewitt has made it past the fourth round of the Australian Open after reaching the last 16 on three previous occasions.

The victory also maintained Hewitt's unbeaten record against the pugnacious 18-year-old, having defeated Nadal twice in 2004.

Hewitt said he had told himself to remain positive when he was trailing Nadal.

"I tried to put all the negative thoughts out of my mind when I was two sets to one down, I just wanted to hang in and wait for the opportunities," he said.

"I felt I had all the chances in the fourth set and I kept the momentum going through the fifth set."

Hewitt said he expected a big future for Nadal.

"Rafael had nothing to lose, he's got a great attitude and he's good for the game," he said.

"He's hungry, he wants to play these matches in front of big crowds ... this guy's going to be around for a while."


Tough encounter

Hewitt prevailed in a marathon first set that lasted 57 minutes.

Nadal had started the set in the best possible fashion by breaking the Hewitt serve in the opening game.

Hewitt held his second service game before breaking Nadal in the fourth game to level the set at 2-2.

Games went back on serve although Hewitt had to survive four break points to hold in the ninth game.

The 23-year-old Australian had a set and break point at 5-4 but Nadal showed his fighting spirit to level the set at 5-5.

Hewitt held serve in the 11th game before securing a second break to close out the set.

Nadal showed he was not intimidated by Hewitt's beefed-up serve in the second set.

Hewitt had taken an early 2-0 lead when he broke his Spanish opponent in the second game of the set, but Nadal broke back immediately and levelled at 2-2 in the fourth game.

Games went on serve before Nadal broke again in the seventh game and he secured the set with his third break.

The Spaniard rushed through the third set grabbing a double-break early, courtesy of an unusually high number of unforced errors from the Australian.

Neither player broke serve in the fourth although Hewitt had three break points in the sixth game but was unable to capitalise.

With the set going to a tie breaker, Hewitt showed his experience and never-say-die attitude to win it 7-3.

Hewitt broke Nadal immediately in the fifth set before repeating the dose in the third game.

He held his serve throughout the fifth set and closed it out with his third match point.

In a true gesture of sportsmanship, Nadal made his way to the other side of the net to congratulate Hewitt on his victory.

thelma
01-24-2005, 09:42 AM
Hewitt Advance at Australian Open

By PAUL ALEXANDER
Associated Press Writer
Posted January 24 2005, 5:26 AM EST

http://us.news1.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20050124/thumb.mel20501240914.australian_open_tennis_mel205 .jpg

MELBOURNE, Australia -- Lleyton Hewitt had a sore right hip and appeared on his way out of the Australian Open. The No. 3 seed needed treatment after losing the third set to unseeded Rafael Nadal and seemed in deep trouble. But he fed off the home crowd's energy and advanced to the quarterfinals Monday with a 7-5, 3-6, 1-6, 7-6 (3), 6-2 victory.

Trying to finish points quickly to limit his movement, Hewitt committed five consecutive errors in the fourth set after going ahead 0-40 while holding a 3-2 lead.

He then proved that he deserved his reputation as a battler. Hewitt got to a tiebreaker and won it, punctuating the points with his trademark fist pumps and shouts of "Come on!"

That got the fans roaring and left the 18-year-old Nadal shaking his head.

Being pushed to five sets seemed to take some of the steam out of Nadal, touted as a rising star but hampered last year by a stress fracture in his right ankle that kept him out for three months. He came back to beat Andy Roddick and help Spain clinch a win over the United States in last month's Davis Cup final.

Nadal asked for a massage on his left thigh after Hewitt broke twice and ran off a 3-0 lead in the deciding fifth set. Hewitt stretched while laying on a towel.

While serving for the match at 5-2, Hewitt had a double-fault and two unforced errors to give Nadal a pair of break points. He fought back to deuce, double-faulted on his first match point and squandered a second, then finished with an ace and a backhand from Nadal that sailed just long after a lengthy rally.

Hewitt dropped to his knees in celebration as the crowd roared.

"This crowd is second to none," said Hewitt, who also rallied for Davis Cup victories on the same court. "I was hurting a little bit in the third set. You try to get all of the negative thoughts out of your mind."

Hewitt added that the injury, first sustained at a warmup tournament in Sydney, should not affect him in his next match, when he will face the winner of an all Argentinian match between No. 6 Guillermo Coria and No. 9 David Nalbandian.

________

Hewitt through to Open quarter-finals
January 24, 2005 - 9:00

Lleyton Hewitt staged the comeback of the tournament and scored one of the great victories of his career, hauling himself into the quarter-finals of the Australian Open.

With cries of "no pain, no pain" replacing the more familiar "c'mon", Hewitt overcame an injury that threatened to tip him out of the championship to beat the unseeded Spaniard Rafael Nadal 7-5 3-6 1-6 7-6 (7-3) 6-2.

The Australian No.1 had never been beyond the last 16 at the Open, and Nadal was intent on ensuring this wouldn't be the first time.

But after scoring his courageous breakthrough, Hewitt, the third seed, shrugged off the injury problem, declaring himself ready to go all the way.

Hewitt said the hip flexor problem had surfaced in Sydney earlier this month and that he had been playing through the pain ever since - and he would continue to shrug it off.

"You try to get all the negative thoughts out of your mind," Hewitt said.

"In the fourth set I just tried to hold serve and in the fifth I knew I had a chance if I could hang in."

The circumstances of the win placed it on a par with Hewitt's other great comeback on the same court two years ago when he came from two sets to love down to beat Roger Federer in a Davis Cup semi-final.

In that match, he had the hopes of a nation and his team weighing him down.

On Monday it was more personal, but just as momentous.

As Hewitt's comeback took shape, Nadal's grip on the match fell apart.

The 18-year-old who had steered his country to Davis Cup victory by beating world No.1 Andy Roddick last year had his own leg problems late in the match.

But by then the momentum had shifted to the other side of the net.

At times Hewitt was hopping on one leg as he chased down balls and his serve was severely hampered.

But the same willpower that he summons with those infuriating fist-pumping screams was channelled this time into an unconquerable resolve.

Hewitt now has a golden opportunity to make his first Australian Open semi-final with Roddick the only serious threat to a place in Sunday night's final.

In the quarters, Hewitt plays either the sixth seed Guillermo Coria or fellow Argentinian David Nalbandian, the ninth seed, who meet on Monday night.

Assuming he is fit, Hewitt will be an overwhelming favourite to beat either.

He would then be on the way to a semi-final against Roddick, the second seed, whose next opponent is 26th seed Nikolay Davydenko of Russia who beat Argentinian 12th seed, Guillermo Canas 6-3 6-4 6-3.

Roddick beat unseeded German Philipp Kohlschreiber 6-3 7-6 (8-6) 6-1 in their fourth-round match.

Hewitt's victory came after he became embroiled in a spiteful incident in his third round match on Saturday night against Juan Ignacio Chela of Argentina.

After an intense passage of play, Chela spat in Hewitt's direction and was fined $US2,000 ($A2,600).

Roddick seems guaranteed of a semi-final spot and is a clear favourite to advance to the final.

His opponent in that match will be revealed on Tuesday - and it will probably be Federer.

As convincing as the scoreline appeared, Roddick detected a slight deterioration in his play against Kohlschreiber.

thelma
01-24-2005, 03:19 PM
Hewitt claws his way into quarterfinals

Christopher Clarey International Herald Tribune
Tuesday, January 25, 2005


http://www.iht.com/articles/2005/01/24/sports/tennis.html

thelma
01-24-2005, 11:35 PM
Howling Hewitt makes his point

By Mike Gibson
January 25, 2005

I USED to think that no sportsman in this country polarised opinion like Shane Warne.

http://foxsports.news.com.au/common/imagedata/0,5001,412538,00.jpg
Hewitt ... more a coiled spring than a well-oiled machine.

You either loved him or loathed him. Simple as that.

But as Warne enters the winter of his career, step forward Lleyton Hewitt.

Just when you thought he might have pulled his head in, Hewitt has turned the Australian Open into a spectacle many Australians have found at times strangely uncomfortable.

The older generation - those who grew up on the exploits of Rod Laver and John Newcombe - are used to watching great tennis.

Hewitt certainly provides that. Last night his performance was exceptional.

But along the way, he presents this unpleasant streak of humanity which offends Australians who believe sportsmen should be just that - good sports.

Competitors who treat their opponents with the respect they deserve.

Australians who play it hard but fair, as they fly the flag and make us feel proud to cheer them on.

In Hewitt's case, there's no need to cheer him on.

He does that for himself, along with his army of fellow Fanatics who follow him like sheep, encouraging him to be confrontational and ugly.

The more he urges himself on with trademark yells, the louder they howl approval.

John McEnroe used to drive opponents bonkers by arguing with umpires and querying line calls.

Hewitt does this by making himself centre of attention.

By tormenting his opponents with his crass self-indulgence. By screaming for the approval of the gallery. By drawing the crowd into the world according to Hewitt.

A world where a good shot by a rival is seldom acknowledged, let alone applauded.

A world where even if an opponent applauds a good shot from you - as James Blake did - you turn your back on him to downplay his good sportsmanship and keep the spotlight on yourself.

A world where an error from an opponent is to be seized upon and gloated over, as you feed off his misfortune and pump up the crowd.

A world where opponents, driven to distraction, finally lose the plot and self destruct.

Like Juan Ignacio Chela, who spat at Hewitt when he could no longer endure the mental humiliation from a player who wound up the fans as he fed off an opponent's unforced error.

Watching Hewitt play in the Australian Open can be like watching someone make a fool of a bloke, while a crowd of boofheads egg him on.

Yet this is not the opinion of everyone, particularly those younger Australians who see his behaviour as the norm.

For them, he typifies the modern generation who not only wears baseball caps back to front but have re-written the meaning of "respect".

As far as they are concerned, respect is something you get by shouting at people.

Hewitt epitomises that.

He's like a road-rager with a racquet. He tailgates until an opponent runs off the court.

Hewitt's the role model of every kid you ever heard scream at his parents, telling them where they can stick it.

You know how raising their middle finger has come to symbolise the attitude of so many young people today?

Hewitt is a walking raised finger. Sure, he wears Nike. But when I see Hewitt on the telly, instead of Nike's symbol I see a raised finger on his cap.

Hewitt's attitude is akin to a kid on too much sugar demanding, "Hey, look at me". "How good was that," he tells us. "C'mon Lleyton, let's go."

thelma
01-24-2005, 11:36 PM
Battling Lleyton goes for gold
By Leo Schlink
January 25, 2005

LLEYTON Hewitt is confident he can defy a chronic hip injury and push towards Australian Open glory after yesterday posting one of the best wins of his career.

The world No. 3 will receive intensive treatment for a strained right hip flexor after conjuring a remarkable 7-5 3-6 1-6 7-6 (7-3) 6-2 fourth-round triumph against Spanish gun Rafael Nadal.

Earning the right to advance to the last eight for the first time in nine Open campaigns, Hewitt smashed his Melbourne Park hoodoo with an incredible display of mental strength and skill against the best young player in the world.

Inspired by a capacity Melbourne Park crowd, Hewitt set up an Australia Day confrontation with either sixth seed Guillermo Coria or ninth seed David Nalbandian, both of Argentina.

Relieved and elated, Hewitt said he was swept to victory by a torrent of home-town support.

"This crowd, they're great for me. It's second to none," he beamed as a gallant Nadal trudged from the court, shattered by what he had let slip after three hours, 52 minutes.

"During the match a lot of my thoughts went back to Davis Cup when I was down two sets to love against Roger Federer in the semi-final and two sets to one against Juan Carlos Ferrero on this very court.

"I was hurting out there in the third set, but you try and get all the negative thoughts out of your mind.

"I've got a little bit of a hip flexor problem, but I'll be fine."

Hewitt took a three-minute injury timeout at the end of the third set before wearing down a wilting Nadal.

Hewitt is desperate to become Australia's first male grand slam singles champion at home since Mark Edmondson in 1976.

He showed as much yesterday as he clawed his way back from the abyss to down 56th-ranked Nadal in an epic, with the pivotal fourth set stretching 67 minutes alone.

Hewitt was joined in the last eight by prospective semi-final opponent and world No. 2 Andy Roddick, who thrashed German Philipp Kohlschreiber 6-3 7-6 (8-6) 6-1.

Jackie
01-24-2005, 11:51 PM
Mike Gibson is clearly a wanker...did you notice that the media refused to mention how well Lleyton handled the Chela spitting incident? Most guys would have bashed the crap out of him

dagmar7
01-25-2005, 12:00 AM
Howling Hewitt makes his point

By Mike Gibson
January 25, 2005

...

For them, he typifies the modern generation who not only wears baseball caps back to front but have re-written the meaning of "respect".

As far as they are concerned, respect is something you get by shouting at people.

Hewitt epitomises that.

He's like a road-rager with a racquet. He tailgates until an opponent runs off the court.

Hewitt's the role model of every kid you ever heard scream at his parents, telling them where they can stick it.

You know how raising their middle finger has come to symbolise the attitude of so many young people today?

Hewitt is a walking raised finger. Sure, he wears Nike. But when I see Hewitt on the telly, instead of Nike's symbol I see a raised finger on his cap.

Hewitt's attitude is akin to a kid on too much sugar demanding, "Hey, look at me". "How good was that," he tells us. "C'mon Lleyton, let's go."

That Gibson article just typifies everything I hate in a sports article - short on facts and long on over-the-top rhetoric.

A walking raised finger? What would Sigmund Freud say about this description? ;)

Lleyton doesn't get respect by shouting; he gets respect for his work ethic and his tennis, among other things. Reading his interviews he's far more articulate about and complimentary of his opponents than most journalists.

As far as telling parents where to stick it, we all know how farcical that characterization is in Ll's case. :o

Certainly what he does may strike some as excessive celebration, but, watching the Nadal match, there's no difference between the two players. In fact, at times, Lleyton strikes me as downright demure.

Perhaps I am crazed by the lack of hockey. :crazy:

Jackie
01-25-2005, 12:10 AM
Howling Hewitt makes his point

By Mike Gibson
January 25, 2005


1. A world where a good shot by a rival is seldom acknowledged, let alone applauded.

2. Hewitt's the role model of every kid you ever heard scream at his parents, telling them where they can stick it.

3.You know how raising their middle finger has come to symbolise the attitude of so many young people today?
Hewitt is a walking raised finger. Sure, he wears Nike. But when I see Hewitt on the telly, instead of Nike's symbol I see a raised finger on his cap.



1. This guy must only watch tennis with the sound turned right down. Has he not heard Lleyton say "too good" over just about every ball his opponent hits as a winner.

2. I don't know where he pulled this from because I have never known Lleyton to have an argument with his parents. He is actually criticised for having them around so much...and

3. I have never seen Lleyton raise his middle finger.

thelma
01-25-2005, 12:17 AM
Agreed!. :yeah: I did post this article, looking for opinions. ;)

dagmar7
01-25-2005, 12:23 AM
Yes, and thank you for posting it. :D It's good to know what's out there even though it pisses me off.

This one was particularly bizarre.

I've noticed that writers often have this I-can-see-inside-Lleyton's-head thing going on - weird. :o

thelma
01-25-2005, 12:25 AM
...did you notice that the media refused to mention how well Lleyton handled the Chela spitting incident? Most guys would have bashed the crap out of him

Agreed! ;)

jusjctin
01-25-2005, 04:18 AM
Intresting article.....


Lleyton Hewitt, the walking raised finger
By Mike Gibson
January 25, 2005
From:
I USED to think that no sportsman in this country polarised opinion like Shane Warne.

You either loved him or loathed him. Simple as that.
But as Warne enters the winter of his career, step forward Lleyton Hewitt.

Just when you thought he might have pulled his head in, Hewitt has turned the Australian Open into a spectacle many Australians have found at times strangely uncomfortable.

The older generation - those who grew up on the exploits of Rod Laver and John Newcombe - are used to watching great tennis.

Hewitt certainly provides that. Last night his performance was exceptional.

But along the way, he presents this unpleasant streak of humanity which offends Australians who believe sportsmen should be just that - good sports.

Competitors who treat their opponents with the respect they deserve.

Australians who play it hard but fair, as they fly the flag and make us feel proud to cheer them on.

In Hewitt's case, there's no need to cheer him on.

He does that for himself, along with his army of fellow Fanatics who follow him like sheep, encouraging him to be confrontational and ugly.

The more he urges himself on with trademark yells, the louder they howl approval.

John McEnroe used to drive opponents bonkers by arguing with umpires and querying line calls.

Hewitt does this by making himself centre of attention.

By tormenting his opponents with his crass self-indulgence. By screaming for the approval of the gallery. By drawing the crowd into the world according to Hewitt.

A world where a good shot by a rival is seldom acknowledged, let alone applauded.

A world where even if an opponent applauds a good shot from you - as James Blake did - you turn your back on him to downplay his good sportsmanship and keep the spotlight on yourself.

A world where an error from an opponent is to be seized upon and gloated over, as you feed off his misfortune and pump up the crowd.

A world where opponents, driven to distraction, finally lose the plot and self destruct.

Like Juan Ignacio Chela, who spat at Hewitt when he could no longer endure the mental humiliation from a player who wound up the fans as he fed off an opponent's unforced error.

Watching Hewitt play in the Australian Open can be like watching someone make a fool of a bloke, while a crowd of boofheads egg him on.

Yet this is not the opinion of everyone, particularly those younger Australians who see his behaviour as the norm.

For them, he typifies the modern generation who not only wear baseball caps back to front but have re-written the meaning of "respect".

As far as they are concerned, respect is something you get by shouting at people.

Hewitt epitomises that.

He's like a road-rager with a racquet. He tailgates until an opponent runs off the court.

Hewitt's the role model of every kid you ever heard scream at his parents, telling them where they can stick it.

You know how raising their middle finger has come to symbolise the attitude of so many young people today?

Hewitt is a walking raised finger. Sure, he wears Nike. But when I see Hewitt on the telly, instead of Nike's symbol I see a raised finger on his cap.

Hewitt's attitude is akin to a kid on too much sugar demanding, "Hey, look at me". "How good was that," he tells us. "C'mon Lleyton, let's go!"

Tomorrow is Australia Day. Whether you warm to Hewitt's antics and how he plays may reveal what you expect of an Aussie sports champion.

It also probably indicates another thing.

How old you are.

Jackie
01-25-2005, 04:36 AM
I don't agree with anything in this article, but the thing that pisses me off most is that it condone's Chela's actions

Lisbeth
01-25-2005, 04:37 AM
Thanks ... actually I think someone posted that but it's hard to keep up atm!

If this is the same Mike Gibson, he's a fat, balding guy who used to write tasteless articles for the Women's Weekly about such topics as his wife's shoddy housework and daughter's physical development :rolleyes: . Might have been a footballer or something - MIGHT ;) At a pinch, I would say he's jealous ;)

If Lleyts yelled at Cherilyn then she really would be classified as a masochist for hanging around so much :lol: but basically all I can say is WTF? ;)

Lisbeth
01-25-2005, 04:40 AM
Also, these writers all assume the crowd at RLA are all Fanatics. Nothing could be further from the truth. Most are normal Melburnians (or tourists from other cities) who bought their tickers ahead and didn't know whether they'd see Lleyton. Yet the vast majority seem to cheer him on ;)

Jackie
01-25-2005, 04:41 AM
WTF is my reaction to almost half the articles I read about Lleyton...but have you noticed that the negative articles are always poorly [if at all] researched?

Jackie
01-25-2005, 04:44 AM
Also, these writers all assume the crowd at RLA are all Fanatics. Nothing could be further from the truth. Most are normal Melburnians (or tourists from other cities) who bought their tickers ahead and didn't know whether they'd see Lleyton. Yet the vast majority seem to cheer him on ;)

That's true. I yelled at my mum for booking Monday tickets when I knew that Lleyton always asks for a 2nd day start...and when I saw a Davis Cup tie in Adelaide [ I was going to be there anyway. I'm not a stalker, I swear] the place was packed with old ladies who only cared about 2 things - football and Lleyton

Lisbeth
01-25-2005, 04:44 AM
Oh yeah, I noticed ;) Indeed I might have to put Fairfax on speed dial :lol:

Lisbeth
01-25-2005, 04:46 AM
Anyway, let me think, whose opinion do I respect more ... Mike Gibson or Pat Rafter? Um, er ... :haha:

Lisbeth
01-25-2005, 04:58 AM
http://www.news.com.au/story/0,10117,12047476-26618,00.html

If you're not sick of this, go to this link for a "selection" (by which I read "edited to make it look like more people agree with Gibson ;) :devil: but never mind) of responses to the Mike Gibson article. I love the one which simply says "Get a life Gibson".

Jackie
01-25-2005, 05:06 AM
Anyway, let me think, whose opinion do I respect more ... Mike Gibson or Pat Rafter? Um, er ... :haha:

LMAO

Jackie
01-25-2005, 05:09 AM
http://www.news.com.au/story/0,10117,12047476-26618,00.html

If you're not sick of this, go to this link for a "selection" (by which I read "edited to make it look like more people agree with Gibson ;) :devil: but never mind) of responses to the Mike Gibson article. I love the one which simply says "Get a life Gibson".

Once again, the negative comments were made with no evidence of research. Do you find someone guilty of murder without first listening to the evidence?

jusjctin
01-25-2005, 06:49 AM
I think its so funny the way people in Australia and around the world get so embarrassed by Lleyton's antics. If he lived in the US he would be considered a GOD. His antics are on the level of about a 3 compared to say USA footballers like Randy Moss and basketball players like the Detriot Pistons vs Indiana Pacers act every week!

Lisbeth
01-25-2005, 06:56 AM
I agree jusjctin. Though I really don't think the average Aussie in the street is that embarrassed considering that this is the list of people I have discussed Lleyton's win with without even ONE negative comment. Mostly, I did not even raise the subject, they did.

Client function of 25 clients and colleagues getting updates from guy with radio DURING the match .. and dashing off to find a TV after meeting
Coffee seller this morning
Boss
Secretary and secretary's friend
Meeting of about 8 lawyers (the only even vaguely negative comment of the day which was "maybe Alicia could beat him, she serves harder" ... I think it was a joke and it wasn't meant nastily. And one really gentlemanly guy about 65, totally not into sport told me that match was the only sport on TV that has hooked him in this January - in Aus, this is something).
Other boss
Mother (rang me specifically to discuss Lleyton).
Several other colleagues.

All Aussies, none the slightest bit anything but proud. :lol: Oh but I live in central Sydney so obviously we're all brash and unrepresentative ;)

ally_014
01-25-2005, 08:03 AM
Well you're unrepresentative of Tassie as well then - everyone I know enjoys and admires watching Lleyton play (except my Nan who does in secret I think ;) - this is someone who hates, i mean totally detests, Steve Waugh)

On A Current Affair tonight there was a feature on Lleyton's 'antics' Mike Gibson v Wozza, Newk, Todd Woodbridge, a billion people off the street - who do you reckon sounded more convincing? What I don't get is his argument about young people and their 'middle finger attitude' (that's waht he called it :lol: ) Someone's just jealous with a warped view of youth methinks :)

Lisbeth
01-25-2005, 08:10 AM
:lol: now I didn't know anyone detested Steve Waugh! Next you'll be telling me you know someone who hates Ian Thorpe and Cathy Freeman ;)

ally_014
01-25-2005, 08:58 AM
My Nan is totally irrational when it comes to sportspeople – on her hate list are Michael Bevan, Brett Lee, a heap of footballers, Michael Schumacher and Grant Hackett as well as the person of the week who makes a passing negative reference to Tasmania. She likes Matthew Richardson (AFL), Serena, Carlos Moya and Alex Corretja. :rolleyes: Makes for good fun baiting her – something me and Dad indulge in a bit :) :o All in the name of good, harmless fun.

I don’t know anyone with hatred for Thorpie or Cathy, but apparently Steve is selfish and only interested in his own publicity! :lol: You can imagine her reaction to his being Aussie of the Year last year :)

Lisbeth
01-25-2005, 09:01 AM
Ah yes, well I can see how the Tasmanian jokes might bother her considering how frequent and obvious they tend to be ;)

But as for the rest, strange, but sport is supposed to be entertaining so she's entitled to like whover she wants!

PS She does know SW spends all his spare time caring for Indian orphans, right? ;)

ally_014
01-25-2005, 09:16 AM
Oh I know - she's just so serious about it sometimes :) I believe she thinks it is a sneaky ploy to make everybody love him ;) As you can see, that makes perfect sense :)

Socket
01-25-2005, 11:21 AM
I think its so funny the way people in Australia and around the world get so embarrassed by Lleyton's antics. If he lived in the US he would be considered a GOD. His antics are on the level of about a 3 compared to say USA footballers like Randy Moss and basketball players like the Detriot Pistons vs Indiana Pacers act every week!
Completely agree. American fans would fall down on their knees and worship somebody with his work ethic and attitude. He's our idea of a great athlete, warts and all, because he wants to WIN every time he plays a match and he'll leave everything on the court to do so.

Jackie
01-25-2005, 12:01 PM
My Nan is totally irrational when it comes to sportspeople – on her hate list are Michael Bevan, Brett Lee, a heap of footballers, Michael Schumacher and Grant Hackett as well as the person of the week who makes a passing negative reference to Tasmania. She likes Matthew Richardson (AFL), Serena, Carlos Moya and Alex Corretja. :rolleyes: Makes for good fun baiting her – something me and Dad indulge in a bit :) :o All in the name of good, harmless fun.

I don’t know anyone with hatred for Thorpie or Cathy, but apparently Steve is selfish and only interested in his own publicity! :lol: You can imagine her reaction to his being Aussie of the Year last year :)

In your Nan's defence, she was right about Brett Lee. I know someone who was stuck on the same cruise as him. Apparently he chased after anything and everything over 16 and in a skirt

Jackie
01-25-2005, 12:03 PM
I think its so funny the way people in Australia and around the world get so embarrassed by Lleyton's antics. If he lived in the US he would be considered a GOD. His antics are on the level of about a 3 compared to say USA footballers like Randy Moss and basketball players like the Detriot Pistons vs Indiana Pacers act every week!

Lleyton is considered a god here. It's only the media who give him shit.

Yasmine
01-25-2005, 12:12 PM
Lleyton is considered a god here. It's only the media who give him shit.
You know the more I go and the more I'm fed up with all the crap the media shows us. And it's valid for sport, politics, anything... :mad: They just show and tell us what they want, the way they want and all their crap interpretations get on my nerves... :fiery: Are they not here to report what's happening and let us make our own mind, pfff i'm dreaming here :rolleyes:

thelma
01-25-2005, 12:13 PM
Anyway, let me think, whose opinion do I respect more ... Mike Gibson or Pat Rafter? Um, er ... :haha:
:lol: :devil: ;)

raeesa301
01-25-2005, 06:56 PM
Don't know if this has been posted yet.

Bad for tennis
By KARL deKROO

January 26, 2005

ARGENTINA'S David Nalbandian has lit the fuse for an explosive Australia Day showdown with Lleyton Hewitt tonight by claiming the Aussie's on-court bellowing and aggression isn't good for tennis.


Nalbandian vowed he would not be bullied by Hewitt's aggressive approach, which angered his second-round opponent James Blake and infuriated Juan-Ignacio Chela to the extent that he twice hit balls at Hewitt then spat in his direction.

"It's not easy when you have one guy behind the net doing that all the time," Nalbandian said of Hewitt's gesturing and "C'mon" war cry.


"It's not very good for the sport. I think if he does it when he wins a point, it's OK. But not when you do a mistake or something like that, that's the worst thing.


"If he makes a winner or wins a very good point, that's fine. But not if he makes a double fault or an easy forehand, easy backhand, easy volley, it's not that way. It's not working that way."


Nalbandian was a virtual unknown when he made the Wimbledon final in 2002 and Hewitt ran away with a commanding straight-sets win.


The pair haven't met since and Nalbandian said he had been waiting a long time for another shot at the world No.3.


"Last time we met I was 20 years old," Nalbandian said.


"So right now I feel more confident with my game. I'm older and, of course, I have more experience in the five-set matches and grand slams. It's going be different for sure."


Hewitt credited the parochial Rod Laver Arena crowd for lifting him in his five-set battle with Spanish teenager Rafael Nadal on Monday and Nalbandian said he expected a similar atmosphere tonight, with the pressure of expectation building on Hewitt after every round.


"It is going to be tough for him," Nalbandian said.


"He's playing in his country, with his crowd. It is going to be quarter-finals in a grand slam, there is no easy match."


Nalbandian has dropped at least a set in each of his matches on the way to the quarter-finals, and his fourth-round match with countryman Guillermo Coria didn't end until after 2am yesterday.


"I need rest and I need sleep. It is not easy but I feel good. Not any problems at the moment," he said.


More coverage of The Australian Open in today's Daily Telegraph.

For more online coverage, check out Fox Sports

:mad: :fiery: :mad: :fiery:

Yasmine
01-25-2005, 07:13 PM
I hope that Lleyton is gonna beat him in straight sets tomorrow :devil:, they'll all shut up! :mad:

thelma
01-25-2005, 07:19 PM
Hewitt in for more argy-bargy
January 26, 2005


Lleyton Hewitt has already had a run-in with one Argentinian - now another stands in his way on Australia Day. Richard Hinds reports.

On Australia Day last year it was the fireworks off the court that distracted Lleyton Hewitt during his fourth-round defeat by Roger Federer. Tonight, the fireworks may well be on the court as Hewitt comes up against David Nalbandian.

During Hewitt's ugly third-round clash with Juan Ignacio Chela, the Argentinian spat towards him. The Australian tonight faces an Argentinian who has made it clear he does not like Hewitt's exuberant celebrations after an opponent's error - the type of reaction that provoked Chela's churlish behaviour and cost him a $2600 fine.

"I think if he do it when he's won a point, it's OK," Nalbandian said of Hewitt's trademark exaltations. "But when you do a mistake or easy mistake or something like that [and Hewitt celebrates], that's the worst thing, I think. If he make a winner or win a very good point, that's fine. But no if you make a double-fault or [miss an] an easy forehand, easy backhand, easy volley, it's not that way."

Nalbandian went so far as to describe Hewitt's behaviour as "not very good for the sport" and said he had the support of most of the other players in the locker room. However, even if that is the case, Chela's repulsive retaliation was clearly unwarranted and Nalbandian will have to respond with his racquet rather than his mouth if he is to improve his 0-2 record against Hewitt.

Obviously, the most memorable clash between the pair was Hewitt's 6-1, 6-3, 6-2 triumph in the 2002 Wimbledon final. The most surprising thing about that match - wedged as it was between the decline of Pete Sampras and the emergence of Federer - was not the one-sided result but the presence of the then little-known Nalbandian in it.

Since then, however, he has proven his credentials by establishing himself in the world's top 10 and, this time, he will be favoured by the surface that is slower than Wimbledon's grass - indeed, much slower than a tortoise with a wooden leg, if Hewitt's complaints are to be believed.

"Is gonna be tough for him," Nalbandian said, putting the heat back on Hewitt. "He's in his country with the crowd. Is gonna be quarter-finals from grand slam, so is gonna be a tough match for both."

After his fourth-round victory over Rafael Nadal, the doubts in Hewitt's mind about the speed of the surface - apparent in the early stages of the match when he failed to attack despite creating several chances - were obvious again. "Feels like I made the quarters at the French Open this year," he said.

However, clearly inconvenienced by a hip injury during his five-set victory over Nadal on Monday, it is Hewitt's fitness as much as his state of mind that has become the key to his campaign.

Hewitt's coach, Roger Rasheed, said yesterday the injury, suffered during the Medibank International in Sydney, had settled well and the Australian's sights remained fixed on the title.

"It's good to make the quarter-final but we are definitely not happy where we sit at the moment," Rasheed said. "We expect to be there in the final at the end of the week."

However, the brutal road to a grand slam title entailing seven best-of-five-set matches is an arduous test of any physical weakness, particularly given Hewitt's next opponent is a grinding baseliner who has demonstrated he is willing to work double over-time to finish a match.

Nalbandian's 5-7, 7-5, 6-3, 6-0 victory over Guillermo Coria took three hours and 24 minutes and finished after 2am yesterday with only about 300 spectators left in Rod Laver Arena.

That war of attrition not only provided the last of the eight quarter-finalists, it gave thousands of insomniacs watching on TV their first decent night's sleep in years. Yesterday, while Hewitt dipped his sore hip in the ocean and received treatment from a football club physiotherapist, Nalbandian was simply trying to get a few zeds. "I need rest, I need sleep, I need work a little bit," said Nalbandian of his recuperation.

The good news is that, this time, the fireworks that began during a change of ends about half-way through the Federer-Hewitt match last year are unlikely to cause the same disruption. Australia Day celebration organisers have guaranteed that this time they will be launched further from Melbourne Park than last year and will include less of the noisiest types of rockets.

So the loudest noises in Rod Laver Arena tonight will be the ones Hewitt generates as he tries to win what should be another fierce battle.

Yasmine
01-25-2005, 08:19 PM
Thelma, you're the queen of articles :worship:, thank you so much... And luckily I'm off sick so I can read them all carefully :hug:

Socket
01-25-2005, 08:41 PM
Wow, that Bad for Tennis article is a sterling example of bad journalism! Completely ignores the opposite opinions of Roger and Andre. That kind of one-sidedness is OK for a silly discussion forum like MTF, but in a newspaper? Just unacceptable!

bad gambler
01-25-2005, 08:45 PM
Hewitt in for more argy-bargy
January 26, 2005

"Feels like I made the quarters at the French Open this year," he said.




:lol:

couldn't help but laugh when i read this!

Sweet Girl
01-25-2005, 10:48 PM
It looks like some people thinks that Lley is a "bad boy"... :rolleyes:


God, I hope he beat David in straight sets (6-0 6-0 6-0) :devil: heheeheheheheh.........

panda7
01-26-2005, 04:01 AM
Finally found a few minutes to sit down and write down a few thoughts about what has been happening over the last 10 days. My head is spinning from trying to catch up on all the articles and opinions that have been floating around regarding Lleyton. Hello!! He sure knows how to make life exiting for his fans.

First off, I am in awe of how he has been able to get through the rounds the way he has. Unfortunately I was unable to see his match against Rafael Nadal but by all accounts it was a hell of a performance. I am feeling quite confident about his chances tonight against David Nalbandian.

My, my, these articles certainly seem to run the entire gammut of opinions on Lleyton and his so called over the top behavior. While I don't belong to the group of people who believe Lleyton pumps himself up solely for his own motivation (I am convinced he is fully aware of the affect his actions has on his opponents and he is a master at psychological mind games), I do belong to the people who believe it is his right to take advantage of playing in his home country, in front of his home crowd. I say, milk it as best as you can Lleyton! For heavens sake, the Australian season is so short anyway. I can't believe that these guys don't recognize that they are playing right into Lleyton's hands by admitting his actions get to them. You would think that they would take a page out of Federer's and Agassi's attitude towards him. I guess it just enforces the stereotype of most jocks as not being particualary blessed in the brain department.

Anyway, good luck to Lleyton tonight. I will be keeping my fingers tightly crossed

thelma
01-26-2005, 12:06 PM
Howling Hewitt makes his point
By Mike Gibson
January 25, 2005

I USED to think that no sportsman in this country polarised opinion like Shane Warne.

http://foxsports.news.com.au/common/imagedata/0,5001,412538,00.jpg

Hewitt ... more a coiled spring than a well-oiled machine.

You either loved him or loathed him. Simple as that.

But as Warne enters the winter of his career, step forward Lleyton Hewitt.

Just when you thought he might have pulled his head in, Hewitt has turned the Australian Open into a spectacle many Australians have found at times strangely uncomfortable.

The older generation - those who grew up on the exploits of Rod Laver and John Newcombe - are used to watching great tennis.

Hewitt certainly provides that. Last night his performance was exceptional.

But along the way, he presents this unpleasant streak of humanity which offends Australians who believe sportsmen should be just that - good sports.

Competitors who treat their opponents with the respect they deserve.

Australians who play it hard but fair, as they fly the flag and make us feel proud to cheer them on.

In Hewitt's case, there's no need to cheer him on.

He does that for himself, along with his army of fellow Fanatics who follow him like sheep, encouraging him to be confrontational and ugly.

The more he urges himself on with trademark yells, the louder they howl approval.

John McEnroe used to drive opponents bonkers by arguing with umpires and querying line calls.

Hewitt does this by making himself centre of attention.

By tormenting his opponents with his crass self-indulgence. By screaming for the approval of the gallery. By drawing the crowd into the world according to Hewitt.

A world where a good shot by a rival is seldom acknowledged, let alone applauded.

A world where even if an opponent applauds a good shot from you - as James Blake did - you turn your back on him to downplay his good sportsmanship and keep the spotlight on yourself.

A world where an error from an opponent is to be seized upon and gloated over, as you feed off his misfortune and pump up the crowd.

A world where opponents, driven to distraction, finally lose the plot and self destruct.

Like Juan Ignacio Chela, who spat at Hewitt when he could no longer endure the mental humiliation from a player who wound up the fans as he fed off an opponent's unforced error.

Watching Hewitt play in the Australian Open can be like watching someone make a fool of a bloke, while a crowd of boofheads egg him on.

Yet this is not the opinion of everyone, particularly those younger Australians who see his behaviour as the norm.

For them, he typifies the modern generation who not only wears baseball caps back to front but have re-written the meaning of "respect".

As far as they are concerned, respect is something you get by shouting at people.

Hewitt epitomises that.

He's like a road-rager with a racquet. He tailgates until an opponent runs off the court.

Hewitt's the role model of every kid you ever heard scream at his parents, telling them where they can stick it.

You know how raising their middle finger has come to symbolise the attitude of so many young people today?

Hewitt is a walking raised finger. Sure, he wears Nike. But when I see Hewitt on the telly, instead of Nike's symbol I see a raised finger on his cap.

Hewitt's attitude is akin to a kid on too much sugar demanding, "Hey, look at me". "How good was that," he tells us. "C'mon Lleyton, let's go."

Tomorrow is Australia Day.

Whether you warm to Hewitt's antics and how he plays may reveal what you expect of an Aussie sports champion.

It also probably indicates another thing: how old you are.

thelma
01-26-2005, 12:08 PM
Hewitt through to semis
January 27, 2005

LLEYTON Hewitt has won through to the Australian Open semi-finals for the first time after defeating Argentine David Nalbandian in a five-set epic at Melbourne Park.

http://foxsports.news.com.au/common/imagedata/0,5001,413023,00.jpg

Hewitt won 6-3 6-2 1-6 3-6 10-8 after needing treatment during the match for a leg injury.

The South Australian will meet American Andy Roddick in the final four with Russian Marat Safin and Swiss magician Roger Federer meeting in the other semi-final.

thelma
01-26-2005, 12:18 PM
Hewitt and Nalbandian a Hot One at Australian Open

By Richard Vach

Things will get hot Wednesday at the Australian Open, and we're not just talking about the temperatures, which are expected to climb into the 100s.

Lleyton Hewitt is looking to re-establish himself among the elite players and challenge Roger Federer in 2005. Part of Hewitt's plan is turning his personal volume level to 11, screaming at the top of his lungs upon winning big points (even if they consist of opponents' routine unforced errors), pumping his fist and glaring at opponents, or flipping the annoying "vicht" (pronounced like "fished" but with a "v") sign, which is Hewitt pointing at his own forehead with a backwards hand puppet.

Don't ask, the Swedes made it up.

Hewitt adopted the vicht, made popular by Mats Wilander in the 1980s, co-opting its original meaning. Wilander, and the Swedes who still employ it today such as Jonas Bjorkman, used the gesture as a personal celebration, with a rough translation "For sure." Hewitt uses it as another f-you message to opponents, much like Jimmy Connors turning away after a big point and grabbing his crotch.

So far during this Australian Open Hewitt has been mocked by James Blake, spat at by Juan Ignacio Chela, and barbecued by the Australian press, who long for an Aussie champ who doesn't come across an an arrogant prick. With Hewitt showing up in Melbourne so muscled-up after the short off-season, and with tennis' crack drug-testing oversight, it almost makes you wonder if Hewitt is suffering from 'roid rage.

As the Australian publication SMH wrote of the Hewitt-Blake match: "At 7-7, and having already saved a set point, Hewitt produced a superb volleyed lob that left Blake stranded at the net, a shot so perfectly executed the American could merely stand paralyzed and clap his hand on his racquet. And there Blake stayed, standing and clapping for what seemed like minutes, waiting for Hewitt to respond -- to put up a hand, flash a smile or simply acknowledge he was part of a great match with a worthy opponent. But Hewitt had already turned his back and was engaged in his traditional fist-waving, heart-thumping orgy of self-congratulation. He turned not to Blake but to the salivating Fanatics occupying the 14 seats Hewitt had provided for them. And so an instant when two athletes could have acknowledged each other's contribution to a special moment became another piece of cheap, jingoistic theatre."

A large section of the youth population has gotten behind Hewitt, whose brash antics endear him to the it's-all-about-me youngsters (and not so youngsters) who make up the Hewitt fan base. So good are the youngsters at imitating Hewitt that it's surprising they haven't introduced a new dance, "The Lleyton," into the clubs in Melbourne. You get down one one knee and jerk your arm back and forth like you can't start your lawnmower, strike your chest repeatedly with your other arm, then do a half-break spin, leaping to your feet with a vicht, then you wave your fist in your dance partners face and scream "C'mon! C'mmmooooooooooon!" Do The Lleyton.

The much-vaunted legend of Australian sportsmanship, embodied by greats Rod Laver, Roy Emerson, Tony Roche and recently Patrick Rafter among others, has left the building. Though the situation is an improvement from years back when Hewitt accused a black linesman of making calls in favor of Blake due to their similar racial make-up during their match at the US Open.

Nalbandian has already stated he will not be happy if Hewitt ups the antics during their match tonight.

"It's not easy when you have one guy behind the net doing that...it's not very good for the sport," Nalbandian said of Hewitt. "If he won a point that's fine but when you do a mistake or something like that, that's the worst thing, I think."

The pressure on Hewitt will be enormous Wednesday evening, especially since the Australian's game has been hanging by a thread during the event.

Blake was up a set and ready to make it 2-0 before he tightened up against the Aussie in the second round. Chela took the second set in their match-up before Lleyton's antics destroyed his mental capacity for keeping groundstrokes within the lines. And in the quarterfinals Hewitt was down 1-2 sets to unseeded Rafael "The Prodigy" Nadal before heat and cramping waylaid the Spaniard.

Hewitt, for his part, is suffering from a hip injury. Combine that with Nalbandian, sidelined last year for more than four months with ankle, abdominal and thigh injuries, and you'll be lucky to see a completed match.

Whether you enjoy or despise Hewitt's run this year at the Australian Open, like watching a car crash in slow motion, it's hard to take your eyes off it.

At this point the many proud fans of Australian tennis and its heritage have to be wondering -- a champion, but at what price?

thelma
01-26-2005, 12:20 PM
Hewitt into semis after thrilling win

World number three Lleyton Hewitt has moved through to the semi-finals of the Australian Open after winning a five-set marathon against David Nalbandian of Argentina in Melbourne.

http://www.abc.net.au/reslib/200501/r39306_99153.jpg
The 23-year-old Australian, who is the tournament's third seed, won the dramatic quarter-final match 6-3, 6-2, 1-6, 3-6, 10-8.

The match lasted four hours and five minutes with the win ensuring Hewitt's first semi-final appearance at Melbourne Park in nine attempts.

Hewitt will now play second seed Andy Roddick of the United States in Friday's semi-final.

Roddick progressed to the last four, after he was given a walkover win in his quarter-final match against Russia's Nikolay Davydenko.

The Russian retired during the third set when Roddick was leading 6-3, 7-5, 4-1.

Hewitt has a 4-1 career head-to-head record against Roddick.

He beat the American in their last encounter 6-3, 6-2 in the semi-finals of the Masters Cup in Houston last November.

thelma
01-26-2005, 12:29 PM
Laver: Hewitt has to win mental battle

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It is astonishing that the land of Laver, Ken Rosewall and John Newcombe, to name but a few, have had to wait 29 years since a former maintenance worker, Mark Edmondson, last won the championships.

While Hewitt insists: "To win this year would be fantastic, but I'll take the Australian Open any year I can get it," Laver believes otherwise.

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Lleyton has got good potential" to do well this year, "but he has to work on his mental approach," Laver explained.

"But it really is the amount of pressure he puts on himself that will determine how far he goes.

"Though certainly in 2005, after a strong finish to the end of last season, Lleyton has got a good chance."

In 2002, Hewitt fell ill to chicken pox prior to the championships during his period of dominance as the world's best players.

On the men's tour there are plenty of players capable of finding form.

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"There are so many new and unknown players in the game today," said Laver.

"To win the championship you have to win seven matches. Perhaps when I played you had a couple of easy rounds."

Laver played at nine Australian championships between 1956 and 1971, winning on three occasions. He is the only player to have won two Grand Slams, in 1962 and 1969.

To make matters worse for a player, the 66-year-old also believes the growth of media coverage and the number of journalists that travel with the tour has added to the pressure and expectations of a player.

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For someone like Hewitt, Laver said: "If you get miss-quoted you seem to spend the next few weeks explaining yourself and that is when you lose focus.

"I have heard his talk about the Rebound Ace surface [which has dominated the Australian press over the last couple of weeks], but I don't know if this has distracted the pressure from his own preparations.

On Wednesday in Sydney, Hewitt didn't seem affected, saying: "I feel like this year I'm going to have a good crack at it."

Yasmine
01-26-2005, 12:33 PM
On Wednesday in Sydney, Hewitt didn't seem affected, saying: "I feel like this year I'm going to have a good crack at it."
Damn right he is, he's playing the SF!!! :angel: :worship:

kim4eva
01-26-2005, 12:34 PM
Hewitt through to semis
January 27, 2005

LLEYTON Hewitt stands within one win of a coveted place in the Australian Open final after outlasting dogged Argentine David Nalbandian in another drama-charged five-set classic at Melbourne Park.


Relief ... Lleyton Hewitt wins in five sets / Ch7

Hewitt again overcame injury and a mid-match lapse to post a fighting 6-3 6-2 1-6 3-6 10-8 victory in a quarter-final war of attrition stretching four hours and five minutes on Rod Laver Arena.

The South Australian's heroic triumph set up a mouth-watering confrontation with world No.2 Andy Roddick on Friday.

For the second match in succession, Hewitt dropped two sets in a row in meek fashion before seeking a medical timeout for treatment for a hip flexor strain.

After dominating the first two sets with his most impressive serving of the championships, Hewitt's game began to unravel as the injury began to limit his movement and power.

Hewitt, the first Australian man since John Newcombe in 1970 to have reached the quarter-finals of four consecutive grand slam tournaments, had entered the match with a cloud over his fitness after battling the injury throughout his Open campaign.

ATP trainer Per Pastholt yesterday said the 23-year-old was suffering with muscle inflammation from over-use, after Hewitt played five matches in five days in Sydney the week before arriving in Melbourne.

In addition, Australia's world No.3 was kept on court for almost 10 and a half hours before reaching the last eight of his home grand slam for the first time.

But neither player, clashing for the first time since Hewitt destroyed Nalbandian for the loss of just six games in the 2002 Wimbledon final, could boast an ideal preparation.

The South American had spent almost 13 hours toiling away for his quarter-final berth and also needed treatment, for blisters, after the fourth set.

But it was Hewitt whose stamina served him best this time as he hung on to record one of the most courageous wins of his illustrious career.

Hewitt's win also featured another controversial run-in with his opponent.

Heated clashes between Hewitt and Nalbandian at two separate changeovers earlier in the match again threatened to overshadow the Australian's performance.

The Argentine, having smashed a racquet in anger and then had his serve broken a point later, became further enraged when Hewitt brushed him as the two players approached their courtside chairs midway through the second set.

Hewitt seemed to be waiting for Nalbandian to pass first between the net post and umpire's chair before making slight contact with Nalbandian, who took exception and immediately turned back to express his displeasure.

At the next changeover, after Hewitt had established his two-sets-to-love lead, Nalbandian had further words with his combative foe.

But, although Hewitt normally thrives in such battle zones, this time he began to falter as Nalbandian broke the Australian's serve four times in eight games to force the match into a fifth set.

Just as he had against Rafael Nadal in the fourth round, Hewitt again rose to the occasion to advance to the semi-finals of the Open for the first time.

Nalbandian had set the scene for a fiery showdown on Monday night when he told a press conference that most players on tour were against Hewitt's animated on-court theatrics.

"(It) is not easy when you have one guy behind the net doing that all the time. I think is not like a sport. I mean, it's not very good for the sport," Nalbandian said.

"I think if he do it when he won a point, it's okay. But not when you do a mistake or easy mistake or something like that. That's the worst thing, I think."

But Hewitt refused to tone down his antics last night, continuing his fist-pumping celebrations whether he won a point through a Nalbandian error or not.

Hewitt's aggressive on-court demeanour has been in the spotlight ever since he provoked a mock celebration from American James Blake in an adrenaline-charged second-round encounter.

The dual grand slam champion's third-round win also featured controversy, with Argentine Juan Ignacio Chela fined $US2000 ($2600) for spitting in the Australian's direction during a changeover.

But the bickering between Hewitt and Nalbandian was long forgotten as the pair embraced warmly at the net at the completion of their epic encounter.

Hewitt, whose win came just six minutes before the end of Australia Day, said he had been determined to make up for his and Mark Philippoussis's exits from the tournament on the corresponding day 12 months ago.

"A year ago on the day, I lost in the round of 16. Both Flip and I lost, so thank Christ I came away with a win tonight," Hewitt said after ensuring the top four men's seeds reached the semi-finals at Melbourne Park for the first time since 1988.

"I just kept hanging in there. It's always tough serving second in the fifth set. It's a long way from holding that trophy up yet, but I'm hanging in there."

Hewitt has now spent a total of 14 hours and 38 minutes on court this campaign, compared to Roddick's seven hours and 42 minutes.

"He's playing well and has wasted very little energy in this tournament," Hewitt said.

"(But) I believe I'm in with a good shot."

kim4eva
01-26-2005, 12:35 PM
goes with the article:

http://foxsports.news.com.au/common/imagedata/0,5001,413023,00.jpg

kim4eva
01-26-2005, 12:35 PM
Open-Hewitt struggles past Nalbandian to reach semis
Wed Jan 26, 2005 01:02 PM GMT
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MELBOURNE, Jan 26 (Reuters) - Third seed Lleyton Hewitt held off a late charge by Argentine David Nalbandian to win a drama-packed match 6-3 6-2 1-6 3-6 10-8 on Wednesday and reach the semi-finals of the Australian Open for the first time.
Hewitt, who needed treatment for a hip injury after the fourth set, held on grimly to win in four hours and five minutes to wild cheers from a Rod Laver Arena crowd on Australia Day.

Ninth-seeded Nalbandian's game dropped right off in a prickly second set after a series of poor line calls which marred the match. Hewitt appeared to brush Nalbandian at one change of ends and the Argentine said something to Hewitt at the end of the set.

Hewitt beat Nalbandian in the 2002 Wimbledon final but had never made it past the fourth round at his home grand slam since his first appearance in 1997. He will play second seed Andy Roddick of the U.S. for a place in the final.

thelma
01-26-2005, 12:46 PM
HEWITT MARCHES ON DOWN UNDER

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Lleyton Hewitt battled through the pain barrier to win a second straight five-set epic and book his place in the semi-finals of the Australian Open late on Wednesday.

Hewitt again needed on-court treatment for a hip injury as he scraped past David Nalbandian in front of a capacity 16,000 crowd on Australia Day in Melbourne.

The third seed was three times within two points of defeat in the decider but eventually sealed a 6-3 6-2 1-6 1-3 10-8 victory in four hours five minutes, the fifth set taking an hour and 41 minutes.

"A year ago on this day I lost and thank Christ I came away with a win tonight," said Hewitt, who will face second seed Andy Roddick in Friday's semi-final.

"I just kept hanging in there, it was always tough serving second in the fifth set. I told myself to give everything and in the end it paid off once again.

"It's a long way from holding that trophy up there but I'm hanging in there. Only four guys left that can win and we're the top four in the world. It's set up for a pretty good showdown in the semis and finals."

thelma
01-26-2005, 01:16 PM
By the skin of our teeth, it was Australia's day
By Richard Hinds

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It was the thriller to end all thrillers. Lleyton Hewitt fought David Nalbandian for four gruelling hours over five gruelling sets. The agony was on his face and in his game. But after what seemed 10 endless games of deuce, Hewitt ... won.

"I just told myself to hang in there and give everything I had," Hewitt said. Asked what his body felt like, he said: "I might go for a 10-kilometre run tomorrow and be ready for Friday night."

The pay-off to the gut-wrenching, nerve-jangling affair made up for the sad outcome of yesterday's other spine-tingler - Alicia Molik's grand departure against Lindsay Davenport.

The quarter-final started out well for Hewitt - he won the first two sets 6-3, 6-2 - but soon crumbled to the Argentinian in the third and fourth 1-6, 3-6.

It was the fifth set that pushed the match into an epic battle of wills. Both players sweated blood for an advantage. Both players found the brute strength to claw back from certain defeat. Nalbandian even snatched a point returning the ball through his legs. Tempers flared over line calls and even at the change of ends. Both players brushed shoulders, with Nalbandian calling out in surprise. But Hewitt won the last set 10-8 and a place against Andy Roddick.

For Molik, Australia Day was not to be her day. The world No.1 beat her 6-4, 4-6, 9-7 but the replay showed the margin may have been narrower. Just a centimetre or two either way.

Serving at 7-7 in the third set, Molik hit two aces. The score was advantage Molik. Then, it seemed to both the naked eye and the television replay, Molik pounded down a third ace to win the game. The linesman disagreed and called it out. Molik lost the point and, eventually, her serve was broken. Davenport then closed out the match.

Molik thought the serve was in, and she admitted the linesman's call distracted her before she served again. "I was pretty frustrated about that particular one," she said. "When I served the next point, Lindsay got on to the return and I was a bit slow reacting. Maybe I was thinking about the call too much."

However, with typical good grace, she did not blame the call for her defeat. "I mean, one point doesn't decide a tennis match. There were a lot of other things."

The disputed call again raised the question of whether machines should be used to help umpires deal with close calls.

Tennis authorities are testing several different types of machines including the Hawkeye system used by Channel Seven. One of these may be used at next year's Australian Open.

Nevertheless, that one call did not overshadow what was an incredibly tense and hard-fought match in steaming conditions. Davenport's experience and precision inevitably got her back into the final set after Molik seemed set to record the greatest victory of her promising career.

Molik, who turns 24 today, described the match as "the one that got away" but insisted she could remain positive. "I guess I can be comforted by the fact that I feel like I am going to put myself in more positions like today."

She will get little argument from Davenport. "She pushed me hard," she said. "I felt definitely that I was under pressure in the match and not many girls make me feel like that."

thelma
01-26-2005, 03:57 PM
Open-Hewitt credits mental toughness for stirring victory

Wed Jan 26, 2005 03:59 PM GMT
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By Julian Linden

MELBOURNE, Jan 26 (Reuters) - Lleyton Hewitt believes mental toughness was the key to his stirring five-set win over David Nalbandian in the Australian Open quarter-finals on Wednesday.

"I just had to dig deep in the fifth set, and yet again the never-say-die attitude came out," Hewitt said.

The local favourite had looked in trouble when Nalbandian recovered from losing the first two sets to force the match into a fifth and deciding set.

The momentum was with the Argentine and Hewitt, who had gone the full distance in his previous match with Spanish teenager Rafael Nadal, was struggling with a hip injury.

But the number three seed overcame his tiredness to clinch a 6-3 6-2 1-6 3-6 10-8 victory that delighted the home fans.

"Yet again I was able to come through in the clutch situations, such as the match against Nadal the other day," said Hewitt, a former world number one.

"In the end I just played some of the bigger points a little bit better."

Hewitt said that although he was physically tired in the fifth set he was still able to draw on all his reserves of stamina and courage to wear down the Argentine.


MENTALLY TOUGH

"I think I'm as mentally tough as anyone out there and I think I've won a lot of matches in the past because of that."

"Whether I'm the best at that, I don't know. I'm sure there are a few other guys but I think mentally I go out there with a pretty good attitude," added Hewitt.

"If I lose and I know I've given a hundred percent, there's not a whole heap I can do about it.

"I can at least walk off with my head held high. Even if I went down tonight, I gave everything I had out there."

Hewitt, who plays second seed Andy Roddick in Friday's semi-finals, said he was frustrated by a series of poor line calls that marred the match but had managed to ignore them.

He also played down any hint of animosity between him and Nalbandian despite several on-court clashes.

Nalbandian appeared upset by something Hewitt said to him at the end of the match and Hewitt also seemed to brush Nalbandian with his shoulder at one change of ends in the second set.

"I think he brought it on himself a little bit," Hewitt said. "He sort of propped and waited for a bit of a shoulder."

Hewitt has spent almost 15 hours on court and faces an even tougher assignment next when he locks horns with American world number two Andy Roddick but he says he's not worried.

"I'll be ready to go," Hewitt said.

"I'm definitely giving the crowds their money's worth. I'm doing all the right things for the tournament. It was just a battle and I had to hang in there.

"It wasn't easy always being down in the fifth set. It was more a mental battle than anything. It (the victory) couldn't have come quick enough but I was going to be out there as long as it took."

Jess
01-26-2005, 04:03 PM
That was some performance! Go Lleyts :woohoo:

Turkeyballs Paco
01-26-2005, 06:28 PM
That was some performance! Go Lleyts :woohoo:
ditto

NOMAD
01-27-2005, 05:54 AM
Roddick, Hewitt set for match

They'll face off Friday in semifinal; Federer plays Safin in other semifinal.

MELBOURNE, Australia - With his place in an Australian Open semifinal secured, Andy Roddick was off to the air-conditioned comfort of a casino and hoping for luck at the blackjack table. He couldn't have been dealt a better hand.

Roddick, a 22-year-old American, was leading 6-3, 7-5, 4-1 when Nikolay Davydenko retired from their quarterfinal after an hour and 35 minutes Wednesday because he was having trouble breathing.

That was less time than Roddick's semifinal opponent, Lleyton Hewitt, needed for the fifth set before defeating Argentina's David Nalbandian 6-3, 6-2, 1-6, 3-6, 10-8 in 4 hours, 5 minutes.

"I don't have many miles on me so far in this tournament," Roddick said. "That could end up being a good thing."

Hewitt has spent more than 14 1/2 hours playing through five matches, almost double Roddick's court time.

But Roddick knows what Hewitt has been through.

He reached an Australian Open semifinal in 2003, losing to Rainer Schuettler after he had ended a quarterfinal victory over Morocco's Younes El Aynaoui with the longest fifth set (in games) in Grand Slam history at 21-19.

"The only other time I got to this stage at the Australian Open, I felt like I was going to fall over walking out for my semifinal match," Roddick said.

Hewitt, hobbled by a sore hip, didn't expect to be falling over against anyone.

Asked if he doubted himself against Nalbandian, whom he beat in a lopsided 2002 Wimbledon final, Hewitt replied confidently: "No, mate. Did you think I was out?"

Hewitt's marathon victory ensured the top four seeded men made the semifinals at the Australian Open for the first time since 1988, and at any Grand Slam tournament for the first time since Wimbledon in 1995.

"It's the top four players in the world playing the semifinals here ... so you're going to have to play your best tennis," Hewitt said.

No. 1 Roger Federer and No. 4 Marat Safin met in the Australian final last year and face off again in the semifinals tonight. No. 2 Roddick and No. 3 Hewitt play Friday night.

The women's semifinals today match top-ranked Lindsay Davenport against France's Nathalie Dechy, and fourth-seeded Maria Sharapova and No. 7 Serena Williams in a rematch of last year's Wimbledon final, won by the 17-year-old Sharapova.

Davenport looked frustrated at times as she committed 40 unforced errors before overcoming Australia's Olympic bronze medalist Alicia Molik, the No. 10 seed, 6-4, 4-6, 9-7. Dechy ousted No. 12 Patty Schnyder 5-7, 6-1, 7-5 to gain her first Grand Slam semifinal.

Write cutline_credit Text: AUSTRALIAN_OPEN_TENNIS_MEL10.txt Image: s227_aussie_01015n

NOMAD
01-27-2005, 05:56 AM
Hewitt says he can beat Roddick
January 27, 2005 - 5:04PM

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Despite taking 14 hours and 38 minutes to reach the Australian Open semi-finals for the first time, Lleyton Hewitt says the journey has only just begun.

He claims to have as much petrol in the tank as his $420,000 Ferrari does back home in Adelaide ahead of Friday night's showstopper with world No.2 Andy Roddick.

"It's full. I'll keep going. I'll be sweet," Hewitt said after his epic quarter-final win over David Nalbandian.

The tank may be full, but whether it's running on premium is the big question.

Hewitt spent 90 minutes stretching, massaging and icing his suspect hip flexor muscle after surviving his second straight four-hour five-setter of the championships.

He has been suffering from inflammation of the muscle, from over-use, throughout his Open campaign but says the problem is nothing to worry about.

"It's just a little bit of stiffness more than anything," said the single-minded South Australian, insisting he would have stayed out on court all night if that's what it took to wear down Nalbandian.

Two nights earlier, Hewitt said he would have kept playing against Rafael Nadal even if his leg had fallen off.

"I think I'm as mentally tough as anyone out there," Hewitt said. "And I think I've won a lot of matches in the past because of that."

Hewitt accepts Roddick holds the physical edge, having spent less than half the time - seven hours and 42 minutes - on court at Melbourne Park over the past 10 days.

"But come Friday at 7:30, I'll be ready to go," said Australian tennis's greatest street fighter.

Besides, as Hewitt knows Roddick knows, he holds a 4-1 winning record over the big-serving American, including a 6-3 6-2 trouncing in the Masters Cup semi-finals just two months ago.

"Obviously that's in the back of my mind. I'm sure it's going to be in the back of his mind as well," Hewitt said.

"It's not easy playing Andy in America. He loves the hype of playing in his home country. I played a pretty good match that time, so I'll be trying to emulate a very similar situation.

"But I'm sure he's going to learn a lot from that match and he's going to come out and want revenge."

Roddick certainly expects to come out firing, having steadily raised his game since the Kooyong Classic warm-up event and romped through his first five matches at Melbourne Park for the loss of just one set.

"It's been pretty smooth sailing so far, as much so as I've ever had being in this position in a grand slam," Roddick said.

"I don't have many miles on me so far this tournament. I felt like I was hitting the ball pretty well, even in the Kooyong week and I don't feel like I've gone backwards at all.

"I still feel like I'm playing pretty well. I'm putting a high percentage of first serves in, which makes my life a lot easier, when I know I'm getting through service games pretty handily."

In a way, Roddick's quickfire style may help Hewitt's cause.

The world No.3 knows he only needs one break of serve per set to win and, the shorter the rallies, the shorter he will be on court.

Lisbeth
01-27-2005, 06:08 AM
Thanks Tara :) Roddick actually has an interesting dilemma. Normally, he needs to win matches quickly and limit the rallies as much as possible to have a hope against LLeyton. It's when the rallies start that LLeyton gets him. But here, he needs the rallies to wear Lleyton out or the difference in court time won't be an issue.

Of course I want Lleyton to win and I honestly believe he can as long as he serves well (ie better than against Nalbandian ;) !) But given that he's injured and given so much already, I'm just hoping for a good match. Anything more will be icing.

NOMAD
01-27-2005, 06:59 AM
Tennis in his blood
REPORTER: Rodney Lohse
BROADCAST DATE: January 27, 2005

Lleyton had a racquet in his hand before he could even walk
Almost three million Australian television viewers watched Lleyton Hewitt defeat David Nalbandian last night with some left wondering how he did it.

Lleyton was no accidental hero. His hard work and determination shone through again last night when he defeated Nalbandian in a five set tussle.

Hewitt's rise to the top of the tennis world was no fluke.

He was the product of good genes from sporting parents who schooled him early.

Lleyton's parents, Sherylin and Glynn Hewitt play down their role in Lleyton's success but the home videos and private snapshots of their son's early career tell a different story.

Before he could even walk they placed a tennis racquet in his hand.

"It's total disbelief, we're stunned there's not enough adjectives to describe how we're feeling," his parents said.

"He always showed promise, it wasn't until he was about four that he started hitting the ball over the net consistently that we decided we'd go and get him professionally coached so that he doesn't get into too many bad habits."

Ever since, they had been by his side every step of the way.

Lleyton's story showed uncanny similarities to another child prodigy turned champion, Tiger Woods.

Tiger was also programmed for greatness after his father Earl taught him how to play golf from the age of two.

But sports psychologist Noel Blundell dismissed any suggestion Lleyton was the product of pushy parents.

"He's born with an incredible intense desire to achieve," he said.

"You can't teach that but you can help a player like Lleyton modify that."

NOMAD
01-27-2005, 12:46 PM
Hewitt won't tire: coach
By Leo Schlink
January 28, 2005

ROGER RASHEED yesterday insisted that a battle-scarred Lleyton Hewitt had laid the fitness foundations to beat Andy Roddick in tonight's Australian Open semi-final.


Focused ... Plenty of petrol left in Hewitt's tank.

Hewitt's coach denied his man would be exhausted after a string of energy-sapping Melbourne Park clashes, saying Hewitt would not lose to world No.2 Roddick from fatigue.

"This is what we've trained for," Rasheed said.

"We trained the way we did in the off-season so we could play best-of-five-set matches at the Australian Open in tough conditions, then recover and play again.

"We feel very comfortable where we are. Tiredness is not a problem. Lleyton will be as good as when he started the tournament. He's here to take advantage of the opportunities he has created with the work we have done."

Hewitt has spent almost twice as long on court as Roddick - 14 hours and 38 minutes to the US No.2 seed's seven hours and 42 minutes. Roddick has lost just one set, compared with Hewitt's six.

While Hewitt fought for four hours and five minutes to beat Nalbandian, Roddick was relaxing after quarter-final opponent Nikolay Davydenko retired in less than three sets with breathing problems.

Unable to sleep straight after his 6-3 6-2 1-6 3-6 10-8 quarter-final win over Argentine Nalbandian, Hewitt slumbered until late morning.

He then spent the day at Port Melbourne beach with Adelaide Crows trainer Matt Norris and friend Brett Smith before having treatment for a strained right hip flexor.

He will hit lightly today before bidding to take his record over Roddick to 5-1.

If Hewitt wins he will face either defending champion Roger Federer or Russian fourth seed Marat Safin as Australia's first Open finalist since Pat Cash lost to Mats Wilander in 1988.

"I'll be sweet," he said after the gripping Nalbandian win.

"Every time I step on court I give 100 per cent, so I can at least walk off with my head held high," he said.

"I think I am as mentally tough as any out there. And I think I've won a lot of matches in the past because of that."

But he concedes he would have liked some easier matches.

"You're always going to prefer to have spent less energy out on the court leading into a semi-final," he said.

"It's the top four players in the world playing the semi-finals here now as well.

"You're going to have to play your best tennis and you're going to have to have enough petrol in the tank.

"[Roddick] has an advantage. He's in bed already tonight.

"It's not easy to switch off after you've been out there in an atmosphere like that for four hours, then do your preparation to get your body right for the next match.

"But come Friday at 7.30 I'll be ready to go."

Hewitt dismissed suggestions Roddick would not be battle-hardened after his light run to the semi-final.

"I think he's played in enough big matches, enough tight matches, that I don't think it will really worry him."

Roddick acknowledged his trouble-free progress so far.

"It's been pretty smooth sailing so far, as much as I've ever had in a grand slam. That could end up being a good thing. I don't have many miles on me so far this tournament."

Roddick disagreed with the suggestion that Hewitt's game is better suited to the sticky Rebound Ace courts than grass or US hardcourts.

"He's won a lot of places where the courts are pretty quick because he can pick it up.

"He picks up the ball so well. When it's in his groove zone, he's not going to miss."

NOMAD
01-27-2005, 12:47 PM
Open diary
By Richard Hinds
January 28, 2005

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PLAYER OF THE DAY: Serena Williams. The younger Williams sister bristled when it was suggested that the family's fortunes were in decline. She needed a big win to prove it was false, and after saving three match points to beat Maria Sharapova, Serena's joy was a good indication of how much it meant.

THE SEEDS: Maria Sharapova might have been seeded higher than Serena but, despite beating her in the Wimbledon final last year, she had to win yesterday to prove she had the American's measure. Close, but no cigar.

ADVANCING AUSTRALIANS: Playing with Svetlana Kuznetsova, Alicia Molik made the women's doubles final after a 6-2, 6-3 victory over Anastasia Myskina and Vera Zvonareva - on Molik's 24th birthday.

THEY SAID WHAT? "Probably as much as my Ferrari at home. I'll keep going." Lleyton Hewitt when asked how much petrol he had left in the tank after his arduous campaign.

COULD HAVE DONE BETTER: Leading Lindsay Davenport by a set and 4-1 up in the second-set tie-breaker, Nathalie Dechy had the chance of a lifetime to make a grand-slam final. Instead, her game - and perhaps her nerve - deserted her and Davenport got home.

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AdvertisementTALKING POINT: Yet again the umpires' performances came under fire, this time after Serena Williams was upset by several calls. After an indecisive chair umpire aided the confusion in the Hewitt-David Nalbandian semi-final, there is a growing belief that officials have become intimidated by TV replays - much like cricket umpires were when technology first came in.

TODAY'S HIGHLIGHT: Hewitt's clash with Andy Roddick will not only be the most hyped since Pat Rafter met Andre Agassi in the 2001 semis, it will be a classic contrast of style and personality. Hewitt's heavy legs will count against him, while the supposedly slow surface should suit him. But Roddick cites Hewitt's good record on grass as a sign he prefers the ball to come on fast. If Hewitt is fit, it might hinge on the psychological hold he seems to have on the American - reflected in a 4-1 career record.

ORDER OF PLAY: Rod Laver Arena: women's doubles final (from 3pm) - 6-Molik/Kuznetsova v 15-Davenport/Morariu, followed by mixed doubles semi-final - Ram/Martinez v Draper/Stosur; (not before 7.30pm) men's semi-final - 2-Andy Roddick v 3-Lleyton Hewitt.

TV TIMES: Channel Seven 3pm-6pm, 7.30pm-10.30pm

NOMAD
01-27-2005, 12:48 PM
The running man's not fit to drop yet
By Sunanda Creagh
January 28, 2005

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Lleyton Hewitt's four-hour quarter-final match means he is fighting physical exhaustion going into tonight's semi-final against Andy Roddick, but experts say Hewitt could have the psychological upper hand.

Elite performance expert David Misson said Wednesday night's victory over David Nalbandian would be equivalent to Hewitt running a marathon - back and forth over a 20-metre course.

"It's like he's running 200 flat-out 20m sprints, which will take a big toll on the body," said Misson, who is also a recovery specialist for the Swans. "The stopping and changing direction is one of the biggest tolls on the body. "

Hewitt will be bringing stiffness, possible muscle strain and a nagging hip injury onto court tonight. His physical recovery for the semi-final would have depended on fluid replacement in the first hour after beating Nalbandian, and having a good sleep - not as easy as it sounds.

"One of the big things is that, playing a game at that exertion level, you are pretty wired afterwards and it's not as though you can go straight to bed. He could've been up until 2am or 3am, still coming down from that high," Misson said.

The Head of Performance Psychology at the Australian Institute of Sport, Dr Michael Martin, said the extra hours on court could carry a psychological advantage for Hewitt. "I actually don't think there would be a mental toll, it would be reinforcing to his whole self-belief," Martin said.

NOMAD
01-27-2005, 12:49 PM
http://www.theage.com.au/ffximage/2005/01/27/pt_flexor_2801_ent-lead__200x267.jpg

Hip hooray, Hewitt can stay on track for title
By Peter Brunker
January 28, 2005

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Even a superbly conditioned athlete such as Lleyton Hewitt is not immune to injury, such are the demands of top-flight tennis.

The sight of the ATP trainer attending Hewitt at courtside during the latter stages of his successive five-set marathons this week caused considerable angst among his hordes of fans.

But fortunately he was able to continue on to memorable victories and not join the growing list of players who have had to withdraw because of injury or heat illness.

Hewitt sustained a mild injury to his hip flexor muscle during the Sydney tournament a fortnight ago. He has been having constant treatment since and so far has been able to manage the injury successfully. Andre Agassi has apparently had a similar problem over the past few months.

The hip flexor muscle or iliopsoas arises from the front of the upper part of the lumbar spine, passes deep through the lower abdomen and inserts on to the upper part of the thigh bone. It acts to flex the hip and is therefore an important muscle in all running activities. And yet it is largely ignored compared with hamstring and quadriceps muscles.

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AdvertisementThe hip flexor is rarely torn, but has a tendency to become tight, often as a result of stiffness in the lumbar spine or inflammation of the underlying hip joint. As many nerves pass through the psoas muscle, excessive tightness can restrict the movement of these nerves and cause pain to be referred to the front of the thigh.

Treatment involves stretching and deep massage to the muscle, and treatment of any underlying problems such as mobilising of the stiff lumbar spine, anti-inflammatory treatment for an inflamed hip and stretching of the nerves passing through the muscle.

Hewitt's problem is not too serious and with appropriate management should not prevent him playing out the tournament. Then with a couple of weeks' rest and continued treatment, he should make a full recovery.

Hewitt's injury is yet another example of the fine line trodden by elite athletes who, despite the huge amount of conditioning work they do both before and during the season, are still liable to have overuse or "wear and tear" injuries because of the ever-increasing physical demands of elite sport.

It is a huge challenge for conditioning coaches to adequately prepare their athletes' bodies to meet these demands, yet not to work them so hard that their bodies are unable to cope with the work load and as a result injuries occur.

Peter Brukner is associate professor in sports medicine at Melbourne University.

NOMAD
01-27-2005, 12:50 PM
The mind versus the body
By Richard Hinds
January 28, 2005

Does the body rule the mind or does the mind rule the body? Unlock the answer to that age-old question and you not only pass psychology 101, but you might also have the winner of tonight's Rod Laver Arena cage match between Lleyton "Marathon Man" Hewitt and Andy "The Flash" Roddick.

The bodies? The most compelling statistic about this meeting of contrasting styles and personalities suggests it should be Roddick in straight sets.

Hewitt has been on court during this Australian Open a gut-wrenching 14 hours, 38 minutes, all the time fighting a hip injury. Roddick, meanwhile, has spent far more time on the blackjack tables than he has on his romp of seven hours, 42 minutes to the semis.

Hewitt's incredible back-to-back five-setters against Rafael Nadal and David Nalbandian have added yet more substance to his street-fighting legend. But even if, as his coach Roger Rasheed said yesterday, Hewitt's injury merely required "maintenance" - read ice baths and massage - and he is "ready to go", surely the past two matches have taken a heavy toll.

Nobody knows that better than Roddick, who staggered into his first Australian Open semi-final in 2003 having survived an epic match against Younes El Aynaoui, which he won 4-6, 7-6, 4-6, 6-4, 21-19 after four hours, 59 minutes. "The only other time I got this far at the Australian Open, I felt like I was about to fall over walking out to my semi-final match," said Roddick, who subsequently lost to Rainer Schuettler.

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AdvertisementHewitt has hard hours on court, and Roddick has fresh legs. Who has the advantage in what is one of the most vital matches in both players' careers?

"If I'd gone through long matches, I'd be sitting here telling you I'm glad I had gotten through the long matches because I know I'm ready," said Roddick. "Since I haven't, I'm going to sit here and say I'm glad I'm fresh, my body's feeling good. So either way, I'm a liar. And you guys will never know exactly what I'm thinking."

Other than Rasheed's confident injury report, Hewitt's protective camp was typically tight-lipped about how their man had recovered from Wednesday night's four-hour epic against Nalbandian. "You're going to have to play your best tennis and you're going to have to have enough petrol in the tank as well," Hewitt said afterwards.

So how much petrol is there? "Probably as much as my Ferrari at home," he said. "I'll keep going."

That is the one certainty about this match - Hewitt will play himself to a standstill. This brings us to the equally compelling reason why the Australian will take out Roddick, possibly in much quicker time than it took him to dispose of his last two opponents - the strength of his mind.

Unusually in a nation that offers slavish devotion to its successful athletes, Hewitt is a divisive figure. The mere fact that internet sites and current affairs shows have been holding for-and-against polls about him attests to that. But, after his performances here, you will be hard-pushed to find anyone who does not admire Hewitt's heart and determination.

Hewitt almost slips into the third person when discussing his fabled willpower. "I had to dig deep in the fifth set and yet again, the never-say-die attitude came out," he said of his victory over Nalbandian. And: "Yet again, I was able to come through in the clutch situations."

Rather than arrogance, that blunt self-analysis is an indication that what happens on the court is a kind of out-of-body experience - perhaps vindicating the claims of those who say the game's berserk warrior is quiet, even shy, when he leaves the court.

Throughout this tournament, the difference between Matchday Lleyton and Private Lleyton has been as stark as in the early part of his career, when a few less fortunate episodes in his story were written. During the match against Nalbandian, he questioned line judges and shouted at the umpire. Earlier in the tournament, he had eyeballed opponents while screaming his trademark "C'mon!". No doubt some poor officiating and the frustration caused by his injury has contributed. But mostly, his old-style aggression seems a simple manifestation of his desperation to win.

If Hewitt has an unusual ability to push himself through fatigue and pain, he also has a psychological hold on Roddick. When the pair first met in Miami in 2001, the match was heavily hyped by the local press. The American media were desperate to find someone to fill the pending post-Sampras/Agassi void and Roddick was their man.

Hewitt, however, seemed to sense a rival about his own age was emerging and, in football terms, buried Roddick on his own dung heap. A tumultuous five-set victory at the US Open the same year, in which Roddick suffered a psychological meltdown in the deciding set, strengthened Hewitt's grip. In more recent times, the Australian's dominance was reasserted at last year's Masters Cup, when Hewitt crushed Roddick again.

"It's in the back of my mind," said Hewitt of that victory. "I'm sure that it is going to be in the back of his mind as well, that, you know, I played a pretty good match against him in the Masters Cup in the semi there. It's not easy playing Andy in America. He loves the hype of playing in his own country."

Whatever your take on the match, it will be the most eagerly anticipated since Pat Rafter played Andre Agassi here four years ago. "I'm definitely giving the crowds their money's worth and getting the TV ratings up for Channel Seven," said Hewitt. "I'm doing all the right things for the tournament."

He is correct there. Seven's national audience for Wednesday night's match was an average 2,184,312 viewers, compared with an average 1,232,050 for the one-sided cricket match between Australia and the West Indies.

Does the body rule the mind or does the mind rule the body? By late tonight, an unusually large proportion of the population will know.

NOMAD
01-27-2005, 12:56 PM
Hewitt, Nalbandian in clear over clash
By Karen Lyon
January 28, 2005

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Lleyton Hewitt and David Nalbandian have escaped penalty over the mid-court altercation that occurred in Wednesday night's epic clash.

At a change of ends, the pair clashed shoulders as they passed the umpire's chair on the way to their seats. But yesterday, tournament referee Peter Bellinger cleared the players over the incident.

The often tense five-set match was punctuated by disputed calls, several overrules from umpire Mohamed Lahyani and two altercations between Hewitt and Nalbandian.

The Australian was also heard to tell the umpire that a line call was "bull crap" during the fourth set.

In recent days, the quality of line calling has become a hot topic, with several contentious calls again igniting the debate over the introduction of electronic help for umpires.

Yesterday, after progressing through to her second Australian Open final, Serena Williams again backed technology as a way to resolve the growing issue.

During the second set of her three-set match against Wimbledon champion Maria Sharapova, a poor call cost the American a chance to break serve.

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Advertisement"I thought I got one (bad call)," she said. "I never argue unless I'm 100 per cent sure. I was 100 per cent sure on one shot and that's why I argued. I don't know about the rest. I wasn't personally 100 (per cent) sure," she said.

Even beaten quarter-finalist Alicia Molik, who would have held serve late in the epic final set of her clash with Lindsay Davenport but for a poor line call, was still showing the signs of frustration yesterday.

"I could have got a bit of help from the umpires but that can't be helped," she said on what was her 24th birthday.

Hewitt and Nalbandian both expressed surprise at the number of overrules. There were five, most in the final set.

"There was s--- going on everywhere, wasn't there?," said Hewitt. "I don't know. It was weird." :lol:

Nalbandian said he believed the umpire also had felt the pressure of the long tense match.

lleyki4eva
01-27-2005, 12:59 PM
thanx a lot for the articles nomad!:)

Yasmine
01-27-2005, 01:09 PM
Roddick v Hewitt - the Rivalry Continues
by Scott Spits
Thursday, 27 January, 2005
No.2 Andy Roddick [USA] vs No.3 Lleyton Hewitt [AUS]

When Lleyton Hewitt and Andy Roddick commenced their head-to-head clashes on the men's tour in 2001, it was widely anticipated these two up-and-coming stars would share a strong rivalry for years to come.

The two players played each other three times that year, including two dramatic matches in Grand Slam tournaments. Sadly, it took until 2004 before they met again.

Their match-up in the third-round at Roland Garros four years ago was marked by an emotional Roddick being forced to forfeit at 2-2 in the third set with each player having won a set.

Later that year at Flushing Meadows, Hewitt won their most memorable match - a five-set quarter-final battle - with the Australian going on to secure his first Grand Slam title.

After a three-year hiatus, the rivalry resumed in the semi-finals at Queen's last year with the American recording his only victory over Hewitt.

Head to head, Hewitt holds a 4-1 advantage, including victory in their most recent contest - the semi-finals of the season-ending Tennis Masters Cup in Houston when the Australian was too classy for the big-serving American, winning in straight sets.

Now that the duo gets the chance to resume hostilities in a major, the contest offers some mouth-watering possibilities.

While Hewitt and Roddick are engaged in a battle for the status of the second best player in the world behind Swiss maestro Roger Federer, it's hard to fathom more contrasting tournaments for the world No.2 and No.3.

Roddick, the tournament's No.2 seed, has moved through the bottom half of the draw untroubled, losing just one set along the way. He even won his quarter-final when Russian No.26 seed Nikolay Davydenko was forced to concede in the third set due to the extreme heat. However, the American had won the opening two sets.

Hewitt, in contrast, had done it hard. From the outset, his draw has been difficult, defeating Arnaud Clement, James Blake, Juan Ignacio Chela, Rafael Nadal and David Nalbandian on the way to the last four.

The No.3 seed's past two matches have gone the distance, with Hewitt overcoming a troublesome hip flexor injury to get past the emerging Nadal and then the consistent Nalbandian.

The Australian was on court for four hours against Nalbandian - triumphing 10-8 in a tight final set - and nearly the same distance against Nadal.

He was more hampered by the injury in the fourth-round but one this certain: Hewitt's renowned ability to triumph against the odds and his never-say-die attitude have grown in stature during this tournament.

When Roddick won his epic five-hour quarter-final against Moroccan Younes El Aynaoui at Melbourne Park two years ago, the American lost in the semis, mainly due to fatigue.

The same is unlikely to happen to Hewitt this year. There is a sense of destiny for Hewitt at the Centenary Australian Open. While Roddick will give the Australian one hell of a battle, my tip is for the local hero to again win a five-set battle.

I hope so! :hug:

kim-fan
01-27-2005, 01:16 PM
thx for the articles girls :kiss:

I'm soo nervous for the match :unsure:

Socket
01-27-2005, 01:18 PM
Ditto for me. *chews nails*

Yasmine
01-27-2005, 01:24 PM
Ditto for me. *chews nails*
:eek: I know... But I hope to be here during the match and I hope other Lleylers will be here too, we need to support each other! :devil:

kim-fan
01-27-2005, 01:25 PM
and oh no, I just realized that I am supposed to be at school when they are playing!
grreat :rolleyes:

sprinterluck
01-27-2005, 04:43 PM
Golden age lives on in Hewitt
Richard Yallop
January 28, 2005 http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/common/story_page/0,5744,12072369%255E2722,00.html

ROY EMERSON, who has six of the Australian Open titles that Lleyton Hewitt covets, knows a fellow five-set fighter when he sees one. He is confident that Hewitt's heavy match load will not stop him from beating No.2 seed Andy Roddick in tonight's semi-final.

As an astounded tennis community took in Hewitt's quarter-final win over David Nalbandian, his second successive five-set victory, Emerson said the player's success was rooted in basics that Davis Cup guru Harry Hopman established in the golden years of Australian tennis in the 1950s and 1960s.

"Hop would say, 'Don't come off court with a dry shirt. I want to see blood all over you'," Emerson said. "It's the same with Lleyton: you have to beat him. He'll be scrapping to the end, no matter how he's playing. Hop would have loved the way he competes."

Ken Rosewall, one of those players who helped establish Australian supremacy during an unbroken line of champions from the early 1950s to the 1970s, yesterday gave his backing to the suggestion that Hewitt's fighting qualities surpassed those of previous Grand Slam tournament winners, including Frank Sedgman, Lew Hoad, Neale Fraser, Rod Laver, John Newcombe, Tony Roche and, more recently, Pat Cash and Pat Rafter.

"He's very close to being the biggest fighter we've had," Rosewall said. "He's very tenacious, and has come back from the dead more times than you can number.

"We've all had that competitive instinct to come from behind – wanting to win, and hating to lose – but Lleyton's record shows he's done it more than some other players. It looks as if he's going to die if he doesn't win.

"He's very fit; he has a lot of desire, and I'd be surprised if he ran out of puff against Roddick. Unless he has a genuine injury – and I haven't heard he has – I think he will handle it."

Hewitt may be a player of the 21st century, but Emerson says his success follows the same simple rules established by Hopman.

"Hop said get in a physical condition so that if the match goes to a fifth set you can still play your best tennis," Emerson said.

"I thrived on long matches, playing five sets and coming out the next day feeling fresh, as though I hadn't played the day before. If you're out of shape, the heat is the first thing to let you know you're not in shape.

"Lleyton finished off well against Nalbandian, and I think he thrives on hard matches. He should be seeing the ball the size of a football by now."

Emerson, winner of the Australian championship in 1961 and from 1963 to 1967, predicted that Roddick would not crumble in the face of Hewitt's apparently insuperable will to win.

"Roddick's a great fighter, too," he said. "He's not going to give up. He'll tee off on big serves and forehands, but Hewitt does have a good return of serve, and he doesn't mind the pace. Roddick's fresh, and he hasn't been pushed yet, but that can be a problem sometimes."

Emerson said that, while Hopman would have appreciated Hewitt's fighting qualities, he would not have appreciated the on-court expressions of emotion and fist-pumping – particularly after an opponent's mistake.

"You don't want to be stirring your opponent up, making it hard for yourself," he said.

"I'd like to see him ease off on that, particularly when an opponent misses an easy shot."

Emerson said that Rosewall did not have the game to overpower opponents, just as Hewitt hasn't, but he had the same drive to win.

The winner of 12 Grand Slam titles and in Melbourne for the Open's centenary celebrations, Emerson said that fighting qualities were part of the make-up of all of Australia's past champions.

"You don't get to the top unless you have that fighting mentality," he said.

"He's certainly a tournament director's dream because they know he won't go down without a fight. He can't overpower people, but he beats them by his speed; his quickness and court coverage is incredible. His best quality is that he plays every point like it's match point."

Emerson's former doubles partner Fred Stolle, in Melbourne to commentate on the Open, said: "There's no-one who ever played for Australia who wasn't a fighter.

"We've had a lot of great fighters. I think Laver was the most dangerous, because you knew when you broke serve he would come straight back at you."

Stolle said the game had changed since then, when the serve-volley game prevailed, and points were shorter. Hewitt was a product of the predominantly baseline game.

"Guts, determination, and grit get Lleyton through a lot of matches," Stolle said.

"He's probably quicker around the court than we were, and he's a counter-puncher."

Davis Cup captain John Fitzgerald, who sat in the players' box supporting Hewitt during his match against Nalbandian, said speculation about whether Hewitt was the greatest fighter produced by Australian tennis was irrelevant because different players performed on different surfaces in different eras.

"The way he plays, you can't help but admire him," Fitzgerald said.

"He continues to surprise you, and his resilience here has continually raised eyebrows.

"We know that he's the best in the world in that mental aspect of the game. The nature of his game requires that. He has to rely on mental qualities and resilience to make himself competitive on certain surfaces. Some of us wish he would finish off the point more quickly, but that's the way he plays."

Fitzgerald predicted that, with Roddick using his service and forehand power to hit clean winners, the points would be shorter than the previous marathons Hewitt has faced against noted baseliners Juan Ignacio Chela, Rafael Nadal, and Nalbandian.

"He has had to work very hard here to reach the semi-finals, and he feels this court disadvantages him because it is slower than he prefers, with a higher bounce," Fitzgerald said.

"He was really flat in the third set against Nalbandian, but the advantage against Roddick is that it's a match of a different nature, posing a different physical challenge. If the adrenalin kicks in, he'll be okay."

sprinterluck
01-27-2005, 05:01 PM
Roddick to test weary Hewitt legs
Pat Rafter
28jan05
http://www.heraldsun.news.com.au/common/story_page/0,5478,12072281%255E3162,00.html

LLEYTON Hewitt's main opponent tonight is his own body.

Success or failure in the Australian Open semi-final all depends on how well Hewitt has pulled up from two five-setters in a row against Rafael Nadal and David Nalbandian.
Hewitt has the wood on Andy Roddick with a 4-1 record, including a comfortable win in the Masters Cup in Houston last year.

But it is a really big ask for Hewitt to come up again against the world No. 2 in a grand slam semi-final after what he has been through.

The tactics should be fascinating, and fitness is the one area where Roddick will try to exploit Hewitt.

Roddick's game is huge and it's based around two really big weapons.

Roddick uses a massive serve to set up his forehand, which is also huge. If Hewitt is even half a step slow, he will be in trouble.

Hewitt has shown in the past he can get Roddick's serve back pretty comfortably. If he does that again tonight, Roddick's going to be playing a lot of low volleys on his second shot.

Hewitt is one of the best returners in the world, and Roddick knows that.

Tonight's semi-final is a battle between one of the heaviest serves in the game and one of the smartest returners.

I don't expect Roddick to deviate too much from his usual game plan.

He'll try to land a huge first serve and then get set on his forehand to try to win the point as quickly as possible because he won't want to rally with Hewitt for too long.

Roddick's backhand is under-rated and he is very smart in the way he uses it.

The Roddick backhand is definitely weaker than the forehand, but he doesn't try to overhit it. Actually, he's pretty smart with the way he goes about it.

The low volleys are the weakest part of Roddick's game, but they were still good enough to get him into the Wimbledon final.

Hewitt will look to take away some of Roddick's confidence early in the match and put him under pressure on his serve.

Roddick will want to get Lleyton on the move early and try to drain the energy out of his legs. If he can do that, he will go a long way towards winning.

If Hewitt can make a strong start and serve well -- and he always seems to serve well under pressure, in fact, a lot better than he is given credit for -- Roddick will have his work cut out.

I really like Hewitt on paper to win this match because he's shown in the past that he can handle Roddick reasonably comfortably.

If he can somehow recover from those big five-setters against Nadal and Nalbandian -- and he also had difficult four-setters against James Blake and Juan Ignacio Chela -- he can win tonight.

There is no doubt he is physically drained, but he won't have any problem at all coming up mentally.

He is the toughest player mentally in the world, and he has shown that to everyone during the past couple of days.

If he does get over Roddick -- and I think he can -- he then comes up against either Roger Federer or Marat Safin in the final.

No disrespect to Safin, but he would be Hewitt's preference, despite the fact the Russian has a really big game.

If Hewitt has to play Federer, expect Federer to really work him over early and run him into the ground and make it very tough.

Safin is more explosive and can hit winners very quickly, but he can also give you a chance.

With the women's game healthier than ever, Alicia Molik leaves the Australian Open knowing she can win a grand slam title.

Alicia had a fantastic tournament and she is going to benefit from the knowledge that she can compete with anybody in the game.

She had that confidence before the Open, but she now knows she is capable of doing very well at the majors.

I don't think the French Open is where she will break through, even though I am sure she will play well there, but watch out for her at Wimbledon and the US Open.

Alicia deserves all the praise she is getting, and she has shown she is up there with the best. It's only a matter of time now until she wins a big one.

thelma
01-27-2005, 05:16 PM
too many articles posted on this thread.. so maybe this one is already here..

Thanks everyone! :kiss:

Hewitt Holds Off Nalbandian; Will Face Roddick For Spot In Oz Open Final

By Tennis Week
01/27/2005

http://www.sportsmediainc.net/tennisweek/HewittbhAusOpen05GoodS.Mullane.jpg

On Australia Day, Lleyton Hewitt's heroics gave Australia a day to remember. The third-seeded Hewitt fought off fatigue, a hip flexor strain and a hard-charging David Nalbandian to earn an exhausting 6-3, 6-2, 1-6, 3-6, 10-8 Australian Open quarterfinal triumph in a dramatic duel that spanned four hours and five minutes.

Continuing his quest to become the first Australian man to lift the Melbourne trophy since unseeded Mark Edmondson upset defending champion John Newcombe to claim the 1976 championship in an all-Aussie final, Hewitt is one victory from giving Australia its first finalist since Pat Cash in 1988.

The feisty, fiery, fist-pumping Adelaide native advanced to his first Melbourne final four in grueling fashion — Hewitt has spent 14 hours and 28 minutes on the court in his five tournament victories, which is the most time of any man still standing.

"A year ago on the day, I lost in the round of 16. Both Flip (Mark Philippoussis) and I lost, so thank Christ I came away with a win tonight," said Hewitt. "I just kept hanging in there. It's always tough serving second in the fifth set. It's a long way from holding that trophy up yet, but I'm hanging in there."

The victory vaults Hewitt into a semifinal showdown with Andy Roddick with a spot in the final on the line. For the first time since 1988 the top four-seeded men advanced to the final four. Defending champion Roger Federer meets two-time finalist Marat Safin in the other semifinal.

The second-seeded Roddick held a 6-3, 7-5, 4-1 lead when 26th-seeded Nikolay Davydenko retired from their quarterfinal while experiencing breathing problems in the oppressive heat. Davydenko began to experience shortness of breath after dropping serve in the fifth game of the second set.

"I took a break for one or two minutes and the next two or three points were OK," Davydenko said. "I can play. I can control everything. But then I felt something is coming, coming so bad and then everything felt not so good. I didn't play with Roddick, I play by myself, I played with the weather."

The slender Russian, who had bowed in the first or second round in 14 of his prior 15 Grand Slam appearances, called for the trainer during the next changeover. Davydenko used both a Ventolin spray to keep his condition under control and an ice vest to cool his body temperature. The treatment initially seemed to work as he broke Roddick to take a 5-4 second set lead, but the 2003 U.S. Open champion responded, winning seven of the next eight games before Davydenko retired.

"Early on in the second set, we played a couple really long points and then he made a couple easy errors afterwards, after those long points," Roddick said. "I didn't know if it was coincidence or if he was actually feeling it. When he called the trainer, I figured he had to be struggling a little bit, especially when I saw him with the inhaler. It looked pretty serious."

The Hewitt-Nalbandian match began with Hewitt in control before escalating into a serious struggle between two hard-core competitors refusing to yield.

A rematch of the 2002 Wimbledon final, which Hewitt won in straight sets, the quarterfinal clash turned into a collision when the pair brushed into each other during a second-set changeover. Nalbandian, who can adopt a cranky attitude on court on occasion, was already livid after dropping his serve and smashed his racquet to the court in rage. His anger intensified after his run-in with Hewitt during the changeover.

While the contact was not as significant as the famous Venus Williams-Irina Spirlea bump during the 1997 U.S. Open semifinals, it was enough to make an angry Nalbandian turn and voice his to Hewitt.

Hewitt's habit of fist-pumping and screaming "Come On!" has grated on some opponents, who take offense to the exclamatory exhortations when they occur after an opposing player's error. James Blake, widely respected as a tennis sportsman, unleashed the Hewitt salute during his second-round setback to the former No. 1, Argentina's Juan Ignacio Chela spit in Hewitt's direction in disgust after Hewitt punctuated a Chela error with a "Come on!" and Nalbandian made it clear he views Hewitt's abrasive antics as classless.

"(It) is not easy when you have one guy behind the net doing that all the time. I think is not like a sport. I mean, it's not very good for the sport," Nalbandian said before the match. "I think if he do it when he won a point, it's okay. But not when you do a mistake or easy mistake or something like that. That's the worst thing, I think."

Then the fireworks really began. In celebration of Australia Day, fireworks were launched near Melbourne Park at about 9:15 p.m. Melbourne time. The display seemed to distract Hewitt, who suddenly found himself down 0-4 in the third set.

Igniting an inferno of intensity within, Nalbandian, who conquered compatriot Guillermo Coria for the first time in his career in the fourth round, raced through the third and fourth sets in one hour, eight minutes to level the match at two sets apiece. Owning one of the most dangerous return games in tennis, Nalbandian broke Hewitt's serve four times in eight games go even the match.

Entering the decisive set, Nalbandian was revived, while Hewitt was reeling. Plagued by pain in his left hip flexor, the fleet-footed Hewitt hobbled around the court like a man in need of a cane. At that point, Nalbandian was on the verge of his first victory over Hewitt in three matches.

"In the fifth set, anything can happen. I think maybe he was maybe a little bit more lucky than me or not. But (the difference) was just a few points," Nalbandian said. "So in the fifth set, it's difficult to say. But I think both have a lot of chances."

Both men took treatment from the trainer in the grueling fifth set that stretched more than 90 minutes. Hewitt received treatment for his hip and Nalbandian was treated for a sore foot.

The scrawny kid who repeatedly watched the "Rocky" films so frequently he memorized all the lines, has always been a player with a love for a great fight and Hewitt once again dug down deep to prevail for his second straight five-set victory over a very dangerous opponent.

Nalbandian has not won a tournament title since 2002, but there is no doubt he has the talent and toughness to return to another Grand Slam final. The 23-year-old bull from Cordoba has won five of seven meetings with world No. 1 Federer, owns the compact strokes that make him a contender on any surface and quite capable of changing direction in rallies by taking both his backhand and forehand down the line. Though he owns a 7-5 career record in five-set matches — including a five-set loss to Roddick in the 2003 U.S. Open semifinals where he held a match point — Nalbandian must get into better shape and play with more positive emotion on the court if he is to make a major breakthrough. Slowed by injury last season, Nalbandian remains a man even the highest-ranked players fear, but he hurts his own cause by getting caught up in questionable line calls and his lack of complete commitment to conditioning.

In the end, Hewitt's sheer refusal to lose was the primary reason for a heart-wrenching win. In the end, both men engaged in a heart-felt embrace at the net to conclude the match.

"He's tough because he's a great player everywhere. If you play clay courts, (he is) also is going to be tough one," Nalbandian said. "But all the times you get in the court and play with the best tennis players in the world is going to be tough. Doesn't matter who."

Though Hewitt has dominated Roddick in their rivalry — winning four of five meetings, including all three matches they've played on hard court — the man, who once suffered from an energy-sapping mystery virus, may be hard-pressed to hold up against Roddick, who is much fresher, having spent a little more than seven hours on court in his five tournament victories.

In their lone Grand Slam meeting on hard court, Hewitt held off a teenage Roddick, 6-7, 6-3, 6-4, 3-6, 6-4 in a match marred by a controversial over-rule that went against Roddick in the late stages of the final set. Hewitt, who went on to capture the U.S. Open championship, overcame a pro-Roddick, American crowd in Flushing Meadows that night and now Roddick will face the challenge of facing the popular Australian and thousands of his supports in what should be an electrifying atmosphere during the semifinal.

"The way I see that now is that I've been through probably the worst crowd I'll ever be through with what we did in (the Davis Cup final against) Spain," Roddick said. "So I'm sure it will be rowdy. But, like I said, it's not going to be surprising to me if it's rowdy. I don't expect anybody to be cheering for me. So it's a little bit easier when you know going in what the circumstances might be. You know, I've played a semifinal away in France and a final away in Spain. So, you know, I'll know what to expect a little bit."

Fans can expect a closer contest than their last match when Hewitt reeled off 20 consecutive points to complete 6-3, 6-2 rout of Roddick in a one-sided Tennis Masters Cup semifinal in Houston last November.

Playing controlled, clean tennis, Hewitt picked Roddick apart in striking 15 winners against six unforced errors. It was Hewitt’s fourth win over Roddick in five meetings and he later characterized it as "the best match I've played."

One place behind Roddick in the ATP Tour rankings, Hewitt was well ahead in every phase of the game in Houston. Using his long reach on the return to block back Roddick’s biggest serves, Hewitt made Roddick play more shots than he wanted and controlled the course of many of their baseline exchanges. The match featured the game’s gargantuan server in Roddick against tennis’ top returner in Hewitt, but it was the five-foot-11 Aussie who served more effectively. Hewitt did not face a break point in the match and dropped just eight points on serve (37 of 45 on service points) in the entire match. Roddick rarely reached 30 in Hewitt’s service games.

In the rematch between the two former top-ranked players, Roddick must serve much better to have any hope of earning his first hard-court win over Hewitt. The problem Roddick has faced against Hewitt in the past is once the long-armed Aussie puts Roddick's serve in play he usually has the edge in their baseline rallies with his superior speed and consistency off both sides. Roddick drifts too far behind the baseline on occasion. Roddick knows he must play points with a purpose, try to keep the rallies short and attack Hewitt, who has some of the best passing shots in the game.

Roddick has worn out the blackjack dealers in winning $5,600 gambling in Melbourne, but will have to draw on more than aces to deal defeat to Hewitt. Then again, with Hewitt drained from consecutive five-set matches and hampered by the strained hip, Roddick could cash in the opportunity and reach his second major final in his last three Slam appearances if he can impose his physical game on the quicker Hewitt and is willing to attack astutely.

Hagar
01-27-2005, 07:38 PM
Great article by Pat Rafter!

Hagar
01-27-2005, 07:42 PM
These articles made me remember that I was actually there - LIVE - when Lleyton took on Andy for the first time!

Lisbeth
01-27-2005, 09:29 PM
Hewitt almost slips into the third person when discussing his fabled willpower. "I had to dig deep in the fifth set and yet again, the never-say-die attitude came out," he said of his victory over Nalbandian. And: "Yet again, I was able to come through in the clutch situations."

Rather than arrogance, that blunt self-analysis is an indication that what happens on the court is a kind of out-of-body experience - perhaps vindicating the claims of those who say the game's berserk warrior is quiet, even shy, when he leaves the court.

:lol: I can almost see the light bulb going on over Richard Hinds' head when he wrote that ;)

Still, glad to see him being more fair to our boy this week :yeah:

Jackie
01-27-2005, 11:21 PM
and oh no, I just realized that I am supposed to be at school when they are playing!
grreat :rolleyes:

Considered faking a sickie?

Raquel
01-28-2005, 12:00 AM
Lleyton to be on Home and Away? :)

http://www.waveguide.co.uk/latest/news050128.htm


Ozzie Soap For Lleyton Hewitt

Australia's Channel 7 will invite Ozzie tennis player Lleyton Hewitt to be a guest on its soap Home and Away alongside girlfriend Bec Cartwright.

Speculation mounted this week about Hewitt's TV acting debut after television host Jim Courier interviewed Hewitt after his match against American James Blake. Courier told Hewitt that Seven had held over its 18:00 news bulletin to allow continued coverage of his match.

"I bet they wouldn't have taken off Home and Away," Hewitt responded before revealing he would love to play an extra sitting in a Summer Bay cafe.

When Seven executives heard that they immediately decided to make the approach.