HOPMAN CUP (news, interviews, pics, etc...) [Archive] - MensTennisForums.com

HOPMAN CUP (news, interviews, pics, etc...)

budgirlbz
12-29-2002, 05:19 AM
hey all... :bounce: :bounce: :bounce: ....here's to a great start of the year for KIM AND LLEYTON!!!

Does anyone know if this tournament is being shown in US television?

Angele
12-29-2002, 06:12 AM
Here's Lleyton playing vs. Davide!

http://us.news1.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/rids/20021229/i/1041139831.3154214981.jpg

Nina
12-29-2002, 08:56 AM
an article

Hewitt takes Hopman lead
December 29, 2002

A RUTHLESS Lleyton Hewitt overcame a "funky" string pattern and an hour delay to lead Australia to a crushing opening win over Italy in the Hopman Cup.

Hewitt, who is more obsessed with his strings than any other tennis player, made the best use of an hour's break because of a power failure as he rectified his problems.

Hewitt eventually eased to a 6-3 6-1 victory over injured Italian Davide Sanguinetti.

It handed the home nation an unbeatable lead in the group B match at the mixed teams event in Perth.

The world No.1 backed up his team-mate Alicia Molik's good work in her surprise 6-3 6-4 victory over Silvia Farina Elia.

World No.52 Sanguinetti was always going to be up against it but an ankle injury in the first set ended any chance of a true contest.

A 55-minute break after power was cut from centre court at the Burswood Dome just delayed the inevitable result which came in just over an hour of play.

However, it was not all smooth sailing for Hewitt, who felt like he was playing with a "beach-bat" before the lights went out in the opening match of the second set.

"I couldn't hit a ball, it felt like I couldn't crack an egg out there," he said.

His problems stemmed from his racquet being restrung in an unusual style by the local tournament stringers overnight.

"The stringer put in his own string pattern which I had never seen before - and he's got some funky ideas," Hewitt said.

"Then I couldn't quite explain (how to fix) it and I kept on getting my strings (done) and they still stuffed it up.

"Actually (it was) lucky I came out after the light delay and actually had the right ones done."

Hewitt said it was an awkward match after Sanguinetti went over on his ankle.

"I wasn't sure how bad it was, there was points where he was running his butt off and there was times when I hit drop shots he didn't run for, it is tough in that situation to put an opponent away," he said.

Earlier the lanky Molik unleashed her power game on Italian Silvia Farina Elia with a straight sets victory in 69 minutes.

The 21-year-old showed why her game was so highly-rated and why she was a much more talented player than her world ranking of No.94 suggested.

After being down 3-1 in the opening set Molik found her range and made a mockery of the large gap in the rankings between her and Farina Elia.

Molik had been under pressure heading into the fixture after being picked ahead of Australia's No.1 female player and world No.48 Nicole Pratt.

Molik said she had enjoyed her best preparation for the Australian summer and the first-up win again provided reason for hope.

The South Australian said she had worked hard at increasing the potency of her ground strokes.

"It is something I have been working on hitting the ball a bit heavier .. there is a lot of kick coming off the court so I'm trying to use it to my advantage," she said.

C'mon_Lley
01-02-2003, 10:40 PM
Friday January 3, 07:21 AM

Australia storms into Hopman Cup final

http://news.aunz.yimg.com/xp/aap/20030103/1879793665.jpg

Australia has claimed a place in the Hopman Cup teams tennis final with a nail-biting victory over the Czech Republic.

Lleyton Hewitt and Alicia Molik clinched the Group B tie with a 4-6 7-5 7-6 (10-4) win over the number three seeded combination of Jiri Novak and Daja Bedanova.


"Bloody good, that's how good it's been," Molik said after the match when asked to describe her winning streak.

"Forget the singles, that mixed doubles tops everything."

Molik had set the number two seeded Australia pair up for a likely win in the tie with a hard fought 7-6 7-5 win over the more fancied Bedanova in their singles clash.

But Novak, ranked number one in the world, put the Czechs back in the running with an upset win over world No.1 Hewitt 6-2 3-6 6-3.

It gave the Czechs an opportunity to try to win a second Hopman Cup since 1994 when Helena Sukova teamed with Miloslav Mecir.

But the tightly-fought battle went Australia's way despite the Czechs taking the first set of the mixed doubles 6-4 after 34 minutes.

Half way into the second set it seemed a foregone conclusion that Australia was out.

But the Australians fought back, saving three match-points to standing ovations from the sell-out crowd.

Hewitt brought the crowd to its feet after clinching the second set with a winning forehand down the line.

The pair rode the momentum into the deciding third set tiebreaker, winning it 10-4.

"The adrenalin was definitely pumping. Lleyton and I were chasing down everything and I really can't believe we are standing here right now and we've got a place in the final," Molik said.

Australia will play on Saturday the winner of Friday's Group A clash between Belgium and the United States.

Hewitt said he would watch girlfriend Kim Clijsters match against world number one Serena Williams tomorrow but not the Belgium-US men's clash.

"I'll watch Kim play and I probably won't watch the guys play," Hewitt said, adding he had no preference of his final opponent.

"I've played (James) Blake four times and I'm 4-0 so far.

"I've played Xavier (Malisse) and I'm 2-0.

"It's good but both guys are playing extremely well."

C'mon_Lley
01-02-2003, 10:43 PM
Pics from the match against Slovakia

After setting up a match point :D
http://us.news2.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20021231/capt.1041323419.australia_hopman_cup_per116.jpg

After the win :D
http://us.news2.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20021231/capt.1041323404.australia_hopman_cup_per118.jpg

http://us.news1.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/rids/20021231/i/1041336023.2617294922.jpg

:hearts: :angel:
http://us.news2.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/nm/20030101/mdf176759.jpg

Lleyton, Daniela, Alicia and Dominik after the match :D
http://www.archive.newspix.com.au/photolib/images2/lores/11563627.jpg

C'mon_Lley
01-02-2003, 10:45 PM
Lleyton celebrating victory over Czech republic in the mixed doubles :D
http://us.news1.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/rids/20030102/i/1041526552.2617311305.jpg

Lleyton and Alicia giving high fives :D :D
http://us.news2.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20030102/capt.1041527888hopman_cup_per137.jpg

And finally......
Lleyton and Alicia hugging after their win AWWWW :hearts: :angel: ;) :D
http://us.news1.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/rids/20030102/i/1041526100.2147483718.jpg

budgirlbz
01-03-2003, 04:13 AM
oh no...kim just lost to serena...7-5; 6-3...

xavier has to win his match then win the doubles!!!

good luck xavier and kim!!!

Stefke
01-03-2003, 08:24 AM
:sad: :mad: :sad: :mad: I HATE USA (I already did but it's getting more and more:fiery:)
They kept us away from a Lleyki final and I'll never forgif them that:p

nomes
01-03-2003, 11:02 AM
I know I hate USA too. That bad line call in the final set tiebreaker when Kim served and Serena hit it long but it was called good was crap:fiery: :fiery: The lines man may as well of given USA the match.

It was so funny though on the next point USA hit it long and IT WAS CALLED OUT and Xavier just stood and stared at the linesman till he got the call and then Kim gave the linesman a thumbs up:D

duck
01-03-2003, 01:05 PM
Is that like getting out of jail?
(Alicia) Better.
(Lleyton) I donít know, I havenít been in jail. Itís a big relief, I guess. Obviously when youíre in the mixed doubles, 6-4, 5-2 down, you havenít had any opportunities really to break most of the match. Somehow I got out of my service game and then I served pretty well to save a couple of match points. Then of all the servers it was going to be Jiri serving, and we had to break him to stay in the match. It was a bloody good effort to get out of it.

Where did the game turn, do you think?

(Lleyton) I think definitely that game at 5-4 with Jiri serving. The momentum just changed. We saved one match point on that game, he made a first serve and I felt like I put in a really good return. I knew Bedanova wasnít going to cross so I felt like I had half the court. I just had to hit a crosscourt backhand in. I made him play a low volley, and he probably shouldnít have gone for a drop volley like he did. Once we got that next point, Alicia put up a tough sort of lob Ė not a really high defensive lob Ė but a tough one, and Bedanova couldnít quiteÖit was one of those awkward ones you donít know whether to volley or smash, and she smashed it into the net. I knew as soon as I got break point that I wasnít losing that next point. I think that was the turnaround Ė those two or three points in that game.

Youíve been in matches where the momentum has shifted Ė just like that.
(Lleyton) Well, Iíve been in some matches where itís done that. Probably the Tommy Haas match a couple of years ago in the Australian Open, two years ago in the Australian Open, in the second round. I was 5-0 down in the second set and I got out of it and won that 7-5. I was 4-1 down in the second and won that 6-4. I was 2-0 down in the third and won that 6-3. It doesnít happen very often, and when it does happen youíve got to take it.

Alicia, youíve had an incredible week. Did you think you could play that well on a sustained performance?

(Alicia) Yeah, Iíve been practising really well the last couple of weeks. I really expected myself to perform the way I have been. But, no doubt, with the quality practice Iíve come into this event with a lot of confidence. I mean, I have been playing great, but I havenít been surprising myself too much Ė a couple of shots here and there Ė but on the whole Iíve really expected myself to play at this level.

The fact that youíre now in the final, Alicia, Australia has a chance to win two times.

(Alicia) Yeah, absolutely. This is our second year having a shot at it, Lleyton and myself. Come the finals, thatís going to be tough either way Ė Belgium or the US. They are quality players. Weíll be doing our best. Weíll have that Ďnever say dieí attitude like we did out there today, and hopefully things will fall our way.

Will you two sit down after tomorrowís finalists have been decided and have a five or ten minute talk about what to do, come Saturday?

(Lleyton) Not really. I think going into the singles matches weíve both got to concentrate on our own games. At this stage I donít think we can worry about the doubles too much. Our priority is to go out there and obviously try and get the job done in two matches and make it a lot easier and not have to have too many heart attacks out there on the court again. You know, Alicia is going to be watching Kim and Serena play, and Iím going to be trying toÖwell, I know both James and Xavier well. Iíve played them a few times, so Iím going to know how they play anyway. If it comes down to the mixed doubles then, after the singles, weíve played enough together. We grew up together. We know what each other is thinking as well as anyone around the place. Weíve just got to go out there and believe in it. I think if we donít spend too much time dwelling on ĎIím going to serve hereí, ĎIím going to do thisí, and trying to work on itÖI think in mixed doubles itís a situation youíve got to play point-by-point a little bit and see how the flow is going and how the opposing girl, for me, is playing, and just little things.

Alicia, is that your thought on the mixed as well? It just seems youíve been improving your combination all week. How much does that help you in the finals?

(Alicia) Yeah, like Lleyton said, weíve played enough together, really, in the past Ė especially the last couple of matches. Yeah, when weíre walking out there and change of ends, obviously weíre discussing it, but itís not like we sit down and map out a game plan or anything. Like Lleyton said, we just have to check the flow of the match and see what the guy is doing and ways to counteract his big serve or to get on top of the girlís serve. We just have a chat about it when weíre out there.

Lleyton, youíve either got to play against the world number one or your girlfriend Ė which one would you prefer?

(Lleyton) Iíd prefer my girlfriend. Even though it would be extremely difficult, I guess, to go out there and play. Yeah, Iíd love to see Kim and Xavier Ė obviously Iím closer to the Belgians with Kim. If weíre both in the final, obviously one of us is going to win it, and I think if youíre not playing for the same country, thatís as well as you can do. Iím pushing for the Belgians, hopefully.

Lleyton, you said in the beginning of the tournament it was important to be here because you have three matches. Now you have four. How far away are you from your best level?

(Lleyton) Still a bit away, I guess. The other day, two days ago, I felt like I played really well against Dominik. I served and packaged my game together really well. Tonight I just didnít serve well Ė itís as simple as that. I just made life too difficult on myself. I served a lot of double faults; I didnít get a high percentage of first serves in. When you play a guy like Jiri, he was going for it out there on second serves. He was putting me under pressure and it paid off. In other times there were chances where maybe if he went for it he could miss it, and I may have held a couple more service games a little bit more easier. Still, saying that though, I fought the second set out not playing great tennis. I had two break points in the first game of the third set and I had chances. I canít remember the first one, but I dumped a backhand when I went for the winner crosscourt on the second one. I played a very slack game the next game to go down the break and that was the set, basically, from there.

Is there some extra special pressure for you playing Melbourne as a Grand Slam as opposed to the US Open or Wimbledon?

(Lleyton) Yeah maybe thereís more outside pressure, I think. I donít put any more pressure on myself going into the Australian Open. I really look forward to it. Itís something that everyone knows by now I love challenges and I love going out there and competing and seeing where Iím at. The Australian Open for me, thatís sort of a goal. I couldnít care less if I win it in ten years or this year. But, If I could win it someday it would be fantastic. Still, saying that, I think the way that I handled the situation being number one seed at Wimbledon, thatís a pretty prestigious thing, to be number one seed at Wimbledon and go through the tournament. Apart from one little hiccup there in the quarterfinals, I played pretty faultless tennis there. I donít think itís any more pressure on myself than going into Wimbledon as number one seed.

Reports are the courts are a bit quicker this year. Peter McNamara puts a ten per cent estimate on it. Does that suit you?

(Lleyton) I donít know how he puts a percentage on it. Last year I thought it was extremely slow. I thought it suited a lot of the clay court players that came over. I think they performed a lot better on that kind of court. Iíve grown up on rebound ace. Iíve hit on Memorial Drive so many times, and every year itís not exactly the same. Itís such a tough surface to get exactly the same every year Ė itís nearly impossible. So I think itís always going to be a little bit different. If itís a little bit quicker, I think itís probably a good thing. I think the balls over the last year have probably been a little bit heavier. There was that one year that I played Corretja and ended up losing to Norman, I think, in the fourth round. That year was lightening Ė that was real quick. From what Iíve heard I donít think itís going to be anything like that.

The weather is more of a factor with rebound ace than other surfaces?

(Lleyton) Yeah, it is. Obviously the ball is going to come through a lot quicker if youíre playing a day match where itís 38 degrees or 35 degrees, rather than overcast. You just donít know with Melbourne weather either. Thereís a good chance that Iím going to be playing night matches as well, hopefully if I can stay in the tournament, at some stage during it. Thatís going to be a totally different situation. A night match is going to be a lot heavier conditions. Itís going to be tougher to put the ball away. Youíve just got to go out there, I guess, and weigh it up on the day, and who youíre playing against and see what happens.

Alicia, is it quicker, Melbourne Park, from your experience at the training camp?

(Alicia) I thought it was a little bit quicker than last year, but not a great deal. I just think the top layer, the top surface, just seems to be a little less grit in it than last year. I thought they were a little bit quicker. (Lleyton) Itís hard to tell when they first lay it, I think. I hit on Adelaide as soon as it got laid and it was pretty slow, I thought, straight up. Itís meant to be pretty similar, I think, to Melbourne Park. The more you hit on it, by the time it gets to the Australian Open tournament I think it will be a lot quicker than when itís first laid anyway.

Just back to the finals for a minute. Apart from having a look at the singles, will you have any special preparations? An extra practice session?

(Lleyton) Not really.
(Alicia) Stick with what works, I reckon.
(Lleyton) Yeah, Iíve been playing golf on my days off, thatís probably a chance.

Will you have a game of golf?

(Lleyton) Iím not sure. Iíll see how I wake up. Itís pretty late anyway

So you have one practice session each scheduled?

(Lleyton) Yeah, Iíll hit once just with Jason and go out there and do exactly what Iíve been doing. Itís been a good schedule for us, weíve been playing every second day. Itís like a Grand Slam where you get that one day off where you can have a bit of a sleep in and relax and not worry about your match so much. And go out there and have a good hit out and sweat it out for an hour or so, an hour and a half, and sort of relax for the rest of the day.

Goonergal
01-03-2003, 05:18 PM
USA :rolleyes: Hope Lleyton & Alicia can sort them out :D LL should get revenge for Kimmie :D Love the pics of LL & Alicia :D

Goonergal
01-03-2003, 05:20 PM
Lleyton, youíve either got to play against the world number one or your girlfriend Ė which one would you prefer?

(Lleyton) Iíd prefer my girlfriend. Even though it would be extremely difficult, I guess, to go out there and play. Yeah, Iíd love to see Kim and Xavier Ė obviously Iím closer to the Belgians with Kim. If weíre both in the final, obviously one of us is going to win it, and I think if youíre not playing for the same country, thatís as well as you can do. Iím pushing for the Belgians, hopefully.

Aww :angel: Makes it even more of a shame that it's not gonna happen :fiery: :sad:

ikke
01-03-2003, 05:26 PM
So true Cilla!! I really was looking forward to Belgium-Australia!
Anyway, I really hope that Australia wins tomorrow!!!!
Gooo Australia!!!

Goonergal
01-03-2003, 05:29 PM
More pics :)

http://eur.news1.yimg.com/eur.yimg.com/xp/reuters_ids/20030102/i/2881957720.jpg

http://www.archive.newspix.com.au/photolib/images2/lores/11574213.jpg

http://www.archive.newspix.com.au/photolib/images2/lores/11574005.jpg

The last two pics are really sweet :D

duck
01-03-2003, 07:29 PM
Aw so cute. Esp when she lifted him up.

Did you read Serena's response when she wasasked what would it be like ot share a court with Ll? She woulsn't say until they went and asked Ll first. She was asked three times. Maybe she didn't mean it that way but I thought it was rude. Ll would have answered.

C'mon_Lley
01-03-2003, 07:48 PM
Couple more pic of Lleyton and Alicia....:angel: :D

http://www.archive.newspix.com.au/photolib/images2/lores/11574212.jpg

http://foxsports.news.com.au/common/imagedata/0,5001,228289,00.jpg

C'mon_Lley
01-03-2003, 07:54 PM
Lleyton, Alicia bank on Adelaide connection

By DIGBY BEACHAM
04jan03

LLEYTON Hewitt thrives on pressure . . . that is a given.

It was evident on Thursday night when Hewitt picked up his game to guide Australia out of a perilous position in its live mixed doubles rubber against the Czech Republic and into the Hopman Cup final.

In today's showdown against the US, again he will carry much expectation as Australia seeks its second victory in the international mixed teams championship.

Carrying the hopes of a nation today shapes as the perfect preparation ahead of the Australian Open, the Grand Slam he craves more than any other.

The world No. 1 heads to Melbourne tomorrow for a week of training ahead of the year's first showpiece event, starting on January 13.

However, he denies the spotlight that will shine brightly on him later this month is unnecessary baggage as he strives to become the first Australian male to win in Melbourne since Mark Edmondson in 1976.

"Maybe there's more outside pressure, I think (but) I don't put any more pressure on myself going into the Australian Open," Hewitt said.

"I really look forward to it. It's something that everyone knows by now Ė I love challenges and I love going out there and competing and seeing where I'm at.

"The Australian Open for me Ė I couldn't care less if I win in 10 years time or this year Ė but if I could win it someday, it would be fantastic."

Hewitt pointed to his effort when successful at Wimbledon last year as a gauge of his temperament.

"I think the way I handled the situation being number one seed at Wimbledon, that's a pretty prestigious thing, to be number one at Wimbledon and go through the tournament.

"Apart from one little hiccup there in the quarter-finals, I played pretty faultless tennis. I don't think it's any more pressure on myself than going into Wimbledon."

Alicia Molik, unbeaten in her three singles matches despite being the highest-ranked woman in the event at 94, faces her toughest assignment to date Ė world No. 1 Serena Williams.

If she is unable to repeat her heroics that netted wins against world No. 17 Silvia Farina Elia and world No. 37 Daja Bedanova, Hewitt will need to defeat James Blake to ensure a live mixed doubles is required to determine the tournament's winner.

That does not phase Hewitt, who is confident of getting the job done with his fellow South Australian. "If it comes down to the mixed doubles after the singles, it's not a problem because we've played enough together, we grew up together," Hewitt said. "We know what each other is thinking as well as anyone around the place. :angel: :D

"We've just got to go out there and believe in it. I think if we don't spend too much time dwelling on `I'm going to serve here' and `I'm going to do this', we'll be okay."

C'mon_Lley
01-03-2003, 08:00 PM
Some pics from the Novak match :(

http://www.newspix.com.au/images/Sports/lores/11574245.jpg

:D
http://www.newspix.com.au/images/Sports/lores/11574243.jpg

http://www.newspix.com.au/images/Sports/lores/11574242.jpg

C'mon_Lley
01-03-2003, 08:04 PM
Comfortable Aussies Eagerly Eye Hopman Cup

Fri Jan 3, 8:40 AM ET

By Ossian Shine

PERTH, Australia (Reuters) - Lleyton Hewitt and Alicia Molik won't be discussing tactics before heading into Saturday's Hopman Cup final -- there's little point, they say.

The pair of 21-year-olds grew up playing tennis together as kids in South Australia and know each other's games inside out.

"We grew up together... we know what each other is thinking as well as anyone around the place," Hewitt said after the pair guided Australia into the final of the mixed team event at the Burswood Dome with a sensational mixed doubles victory over the Czech Republic.

"We've just got to go out there and believe in it."

They may need a little more than belief considering they will face women's world number one Serena Williams (news - web sites) and James Blake in Saturday's showpiece.

Still, Hewitt and Molik are on a mission.

Last year's bid here was cut short against eventual winners Spain when Hewitt was felled by chickenpox having eluded it on the playgrounds as a youngster.

This year, spot-free and full of life, he is determined to make amends.

"It was obviously pretty disappointing last year," he said. "I felt like I played really well here the two matches that I played.

"It was obviously pretty disappointing for both Alicia and myself that we had a very good chance, I thought, last year. Alicia went out and beat (Arantxa) Sanchez, and I felt pretty bad that the way I was playing I was pretty sure I was going to beat (Tommy) Robredo.

"That would have put us through and then they ended up winning it, so it was disappointing.

"I don't know if it's just with another South Australian -- it would always be fantastic to win it."

Molik vows the pair will give it their all. "This is our second year having a go at it," she said. "And it is going to be tough.

"We'll be doing our best, we'll have that 'never-say-die' attitude... and hopefully things will fall our way. (LOL! Someone's spending too much time with Lleyton! :p)

C'mon_Lley
01-03-2003, 08:08 PM
Lleyton and Alicia's interview after the mixed duboules win over Czech republic :D

Is that like getting out of jail?
(Alicia) Better.
(Lleyton) I donít know, I havenít been in jail. :p Itís a big relief, I guess. Obviously when youíre in the mixed doubles, 6-4, 5-2 down, you havenít had any opportunities really to break most of the match. Somehow I got out of my service game and then I served pretty well to save a couple of match points. Then of all the servers it was going to be Jiri serving, and we had to break him to stay in the match. It was a bloody good effort to get out of it.

Where did the game turn, do you think?

(Lleyton) I think definitely that game at 5-4 with Jiri serving. The momentum just changed. We saved one match point on that game, he made a first serve and I felt like I put in a really good return. I knew Bedanova wasnít going to cross so I felt like I had half the court. I just had to hit a crosscourt backhand in. I made him play a low volley, and he probably shouldnít have gone for a drop volley like he did. Once we got that next point, Alicia put up a tough sort of lob Ė not a really high defensive lob Ė but a tough one, and Bedanova couldnít quiteÖit was one of those awkward ones you donít know whether to volley or smash, and she smashed it into the net. I knew as soon as I got break point that I wasnít losing that next point. I think that was the turnaround Ė those two or three points in that game.

Youíve been in matches where the momentum has shifted Ė just like that.
(Lleyton) Well, Iíve been in some matches where itís done that. Probably the Tommy Haas match a couple of years ago in the Australian Open, two years ago in the Australian Open, in the second round. I was 5-0 down in the second set and I got out of it and won that 7-5. I was 4-1 down in the second and won that 6-4. I was 2-0 down in the third and won that 6-3. It doesnít happen very often, and when it does happen youíve got to take it.

Alicia, youíve had an incredible week. Did you think you could play that well on a sustained performance?

(Alicia) Yeah, Iíve been practising really well the last couple of weeks. I really expected myself to perform the way I have been. But, no doubt, with the quality practice Iíve come into this event with a lot of confidence. I mean, I have been playing great, but I havenít been surprising myself too much Ė a couple of shots here and there Ė but on the whole Iíve really expected myself to play at this level.

The fact that youíre now in the final, Alicia, Australia has a chance to win two times.

(Alicia) Yeah, absolutely. This is our second year having a shot at it, Lleyton and myself. Come the finals, thatís going to be tough either way Ė Belgium or the US. They are quality players. Weíll be doing our best. Weíll have that Ďnever say dieí attitude like we did out there today, and hopefully things will fall our way.

Will you two sit down after tomorrowís finalists have been decided and have a five or ten minute talk about what to do, come Saturday?

(Lleyton) Not really. I think going into the singles matches weíve both got to concentrate on our own games. At this stage I donít think we can worry about the doubles too much. Our priority is to go out there and obviously try and get the job done in two matches and make it a lot easier and not have to have too many heart attacks out there on the court again. You know, Alicia is going to be watching Kim and Serena play, and Iím going to be trying toÖwell, I know both James and Xavier well. Iíve played them a few times, so Iím going to know how they play anyway. If it comes down to the mixed doubles then, after the singles, weíve played enough together. We grew up together. We know what each other is thinking as well as anyone around the place. Weíve just got to go out there and believe in it. I think if we donít spend too much time dwelling on ĎIím going to serve hereí, ĎIím going to do thisí, and trying to work on itÖI think in mixed doubles itís a situation youíve got to play point-by-point a little bit and see how the flow is going and how the opposing girl, for me, is playing, and just little things.

Alicia, is that your thought on the mixed as well? It just seems youíve been improving your combination all week. How much does that help you in the finals?

(Alicia) Yeah, like Lleyton said, weíve played enough together, really, in the past Ė especially the last couple of matches. Yeah, when weíre walking out there and change of ends, obviously weíre discussing it, but itís not like we sit down and map out a game plan or anything. Like Lleyton said, we just have to check the flow of the match and see what the guy is doing and ways to counteract his big serve or to get on top of the girlís serve. We just have a chat about it when weíre out there.

Lleyton, youíve either got to play against the world number one or your girlfriend Ė which one would you prefer?

(Lleyton) Iíd prefer my girlfriend. :hearts: Even though it would be extremely difficult, I guess, to go out there and play. Yeah, Iíd love to see Kim and Xavier Ė obviously Iím closer to the Belgians with Kim. :angel: :hearts: If weíre both in the final, obviously one of us is going to win it, and I think if youíre not playing for the same country, thatís as well as you can do. Iím pushing for the Belgians, hopefully.

Lleyton, you said in the beginning of the tournament it was important to be here because you have three matches. Now you have four. How far away are you from your best level?

(Lleyton) Still a bit away, I guess. The other day, two days ago, I felt like I played really well against Dominik. I served and packaged my game together really well. Tonight I just didnít serve well Ė itís as simple as that. I just made life too difficult on myself. I served a lot of double faults; I didnít get a high percentage of first serves in. When you play a guy like Jiri, he was going for it out there on second serves. He was putting me under pressure and it paid off. In other times there were chances where maybe if he went for it he could miss it, and I may have held a couple more service games a little bit more easier. Still, saying that though, I fought the second set out not playing great tennis. I had two break points in the first game of the third set and I had chances. I canít remember the first one, but I dumped a backhand when I went for the winner crosscourt on the second one. I played a very slack game the next game to go down the break and that was the set, basically, from there.

Is there some extra special pressure for you playing Melbourne as a Grand Slam as opposed to the US Open or Wimbledon?

(Lleyton) Yeah maybe thereís more outside pressure, I think. I donít put any more pressure on myself going into the Australian Open. I really look forward to it. Itís something that everyone knows by now I love challenges and I love going out there and competing and seeing where Iím at. The Australian Open for me, thatís sort of a goal. I couldnít care less if I win it in ten years or this year. But, If I could win it someday it would be fantastic. Still, saying that, I think the way that I handled the situation being number one seed at Wimbledon, thatís a pretty prestigious thing, to be number one seed at Wimbledon and go through the tournament. Apart from one little hiccup there in the quarterfinals, I played pretty faultless tennis there. I donít think itís any more pressure on myself than going into Wimbledon as number one seed.

Reports are the courts are a bit quicker this year. Peter McNamara puts a ten per cent estimate on it. Does that suit you?

(Lleyton) I donít know how he puts a percentage on it. Last year I thought it was extremely slow. I thought it suited a lot of the clay court players that came over. I think they performed a lot better on that kind of court. Iíve grown up on rebound ace. Iíve hit on Memorial Drive so many times, and every year itís not exactly the same. Itís such a tough surface to get exactly the same every year Ė itís nearly impossible. So I think itís always going to be a little bit different. If itís a little bit quicker, I think itís probably a good thing. I think the balls over the last year have probably been a little bit heavier. There was that one year that I played Corretja and ended up losing to Norman, I think, in the fourth round. That year was lightening Ė that was real quick. From what Iíve heard I donít think itís going to be anything like that.

The weather is more of a factor with rebound ace than other surfaces?

(Lleyton) Yeah, it is. Obviously the ball is going to come through a lot quicker if youíre playing a day match where itís 38 degrees or 35 degrees, rather than overcast. You just donít know with Melbourne weather either. Thereís a good chance that Iím going to be playing night matches as well, hopefully if I can stay in the tournament, at some stage during it. Thatís going to be a totally different situation. A night match is going to be a lot heavier conditions. Itís going to be tougher to put the ball away. Youíve just got to go out there, I guess, and weigh it up on the day, and who youíre playing against and see what happens.

Alicia, is it quicker, Melbourne Park, from your experience at the training camp?

(Alicia) I thought it was a little bit quicker than last year, but not a great deal. I just think the top layer, the top surface, just seems to be a little less grit in it than last year. I thought they were a little bit quicker. (Lleyton) Itís hard to tell when they first lay it, I think. I hit on Adelaide as soon as it got laid and it was pretty slow, I thought, straight up. Itís meant to be pretty similar, I think, to Melbourne Park. The more you hit on it, by the time it gets to the Australian Open tournament I think it will be a lot quicker than when itís first laid anyway.

Just back to the finals for a minute. Apart from having a look at the singles, will you have any special preparations? An extra practice session?

(Lleyton) Not really.
(Alicia) Stick with what works, I reckon.
(Lleyton) Yeah, Iíve been playing golf on my days off, thatís probably a chance.

Will you have a game of golf?

(Lleyton) Iím not sure. Iíll see how I wake up. Itís pretty late anyway

So you have one practice session each scheduled?

(Lleyton) Yeah, Iíll hit once just with Jason and go out there and do exactly what Iíve been doing. Itís been a good schedule for us, weíve been playing every second day. Itís like a Grand Slam where you get that one day off where you can have a bit of a sleep in and relax and not worry about your match so much. And go out there and have a good hit out and sweat it out for an hour or so, an hour and a half, and sort of relax for the rest of the day.

C'mon_Lley
01-03-2003, 08:12 PM
Originally posted by Lleyton's_Chick

http://www.archive.newspix.com.au/photolib/images2/lores/11574005.jpg

I LOVE THAT PIC! Its sooooo CUTE! :angel: :hearts: :D

Thanks :kiss: and Hey Cills! :wavey:

Goonergal
01-03-2003, 10:44 PM
Hey Dolly :kiss: :wavey: I have it as my avatar! :D

Goonergal
01-04-2003, 09:04 AM
Australia got hammered 3-0 :o :fiery: Alicia lost to Pred 6-2, 6-3, Lleyton lost to Blake 6-3, 6-4 and they lost in the doubles too 6-2, 6-3. Pred 2 really did ruin it all :rolleyes:

Here are some pics of his defeat from yahoo.

http://us.news2.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20030104/capt.1041668108australia_hopman_cup_per128.jpg
Australia's Lleyton Hewitt looks at his racquet in frustration during his mens singles match against USA's James Blake in Perth, Saturday January 4, 2003. Blake won the match giving the USA wins in both singles' matches and the Hopman Cup Mixed Teams Tennis Championship. USA's James Blake won 6-3, 6-4 and Serena Williams 6-2, 6-3. (AP Photo/str)

http://us.news2.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20030104/capt.1041664507australia_hopman_cup_per123.jpg
Lleyton Hewitt of Australia, left, can still manage a smile for James Blake of the United States after their singles match at the Hopman Cup Mixed Teams Tennis Championship final in Perth, Saturday Jan. 4, 2003. The United States won the Hopman cup after Blake defeated Hewitt 6-3, 6-4 and Serena Williams won her match against Alicia Molik 6-2, 6-3 . (AP Photo/str)

Goonergal
01-04-2003, 09:08 AM
Here is a pic y'all may not have seen :)

http://www.archive.newspix.com.au/photolib/images2/lores/11550876.jpg
DECEMBER 28 2002 Sport Hopman Cup Lleyton Hewitt at practise training

Goonergal
01-04-2003, 09:23 AM
Posted: Saturday, January 4, 2003
Hewitt thumped as US take out Hopman Cup

World number one Serena Williams and partner James Blake have carried the United States to a convincing victory over Australia in the final of the $1 million Hopman Cup tennis tournament in Perth.

Williams scorched to a straight sets victory over Alicia Molik to give the United States a 1-0 lead before Blake upset Australia's top-ranked Lleyton Hewitt to clinch the crown.

Blake, ranked 28th, won 6-3, 6-4 in 64 minutes.

It was the American's first win over Hewitt in five meetings.

Displaying awesome power, Williams outclassed Molik, ranked only 94th, and won 6-2, 6-3 at the Burswood Dome.

"I have gone a little bit better each time I have played here this week," said Williams, who has won all four singles clashes in convincing fashion.

"Yes, I am definitely getting better and better, and I am happy that I have got some useful matches under my belt."

Her number one target for the New Year is the Australian Open, starting in just over a week.

Williams, returning in blistering fashion, broke the Australian in the opening game of the first set.

Holding her own service comfortably, she romped to a 2-0 advantage in the opening five minutes.

Steadying, Molik held service in the third to pull back to 1-2.

But, after the next three games had gone with service, Williams broke again in the seventh and served out in the eighth to win in a canter in 22 minutes.

Williams won every one of her four service games with an ace.

In the second set, Molik began promisingly, establishing a 2-1 lead after holding her first two service games.

But Williams broke in the fifth, moving to a 3-2 advantage and hanging on to wrap up the set and match.

In the men's singles, Blake captured the first set in 33 minutes in a match featuring long, probing rallies.

The crucial game was the sixth in which the fast-moving American broke Hewitt's service and hung on.

Hewitt began the second set disastrously, dropping service in the opening game.

duck
01-04-2003, 12:37 PM
*Shakes head* But Ll seems chilled. Hmmm. Brain not engaged at all.
ABC Online
Saturday January 4, 2003 9:50 PM AEDT


James Blake and Serena Williams celebrate [Getty Images]

Hewitt thumped as US win Hopman Cup

World number one Serena Williams and partner James Blake have carried the United States to a convincing victory over Australia in the final of the $1 million Hopman Cup tennis tournament in Perth.

Williams scorched to a straight sets victory over Alicia Molik to give the United States a 1-0 lead before Blake upset Australia's top-ranked Lleyton Hewitt to clinch the crown.

The pair then completed a clean sweep in the mixed doubles, winning 6-3, 6-2.

Blake, ranked 28th, won 6-3, 6-4 in 64 minutes.

It was the American's first win over Hewitt in five meetings.

Displaying awesome power, Williams outclassed Molik, ranked only 94th, and won 6-2, 6-3 at the Burswood Dome.

"I have gone a little bit better each time I have played here this week," said Williams, who has won all four singles clashes in convincing fashion.

"Yes, I am definitely getting better and better, and I am happy that I have got some useful matches under my belt."

Her number one target for the New Year is the Australian Open, starting in just over a week.

Williams, returning in blistering fashion, broke the Australian in the opening game of the first set.

Holding her own service comfortably, she romped to a 2-0 advantage in the opening five minutes.

Steadying, Molik held service in the third to pull back to 1-2.

But, after the next three games had gone with service, Williams broke again in the seventh and served out in the eighth to win in a canter in 22 minutes.

Williams won every one of her four service games with an ace.

In the second set, Molik began promisingly, establishing a 2-1 lead after holding her first two service games.

But Williams broke in the fifth, moving to a 3-2 advantage and hanging on to wrap up the set and match.

In the men's singles, Blake captured the first set in 33 minutes in a match featuring long, probing rallies.

The crucial game was the sixth in which the fast-moving American broke Hewitt's service and hung on.

Hewitt began the second set disastrously, dropping service in the opening game.


Hewitt unperturbed

However, he shrugged off his second successive defeat, saying he was not concerned only just over a week before the Australian Open.

The loss came only two days after Hewitt lost in three sets to the Czech Republic's Jiri Novak.

"You don't always want to go into Grand Slams playing your best tennis right at the start," Hewitt said.

"I know the year I won the US Open (2001) I was not playing my best tennis until I got to the fourth round.

"The competitive juices will get working as soon as I get out there (in Melbourne).

"You get the smell of a Grand Slam - and I think I will be able to get up for it."

Hewitt conceded that his first-serve percentage was still not what he was aiming for.

"I felt I have not quite had the rhythm there in the last two matches," he said.

"It was there in patches today (against Blake), but it just wasn't consistent enough.

"I felt I had a lot of chances out there, but today he played the big points a lot better than I did."

Hewitt described Blake, whom he beat in a five-set marathon in last year's US Open, as a good player.

"I felt I should have beaten him in straight sets there," Hewitt said.

"I wasted a lot of opportunities there, and I felt he had played just as well as he could that day.

"He is a tough player - sometimes very hot and cold. He can play extremely well and have off days as well.

"Even though I lost to him today in straight sets, I had a lot of opportunities to break serve and get back on serve - but I didn't take them.

"My aim now will be to get some rhythm and consistency in readiness for the Australian Open."


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duck
01-04-2003, 03:53 PM
Hewitt still Open fancy
January 5 2003
By Linda Pearce
Perth





It is not the time to panic, far from it, but nor is it the month for Lleyton Hewitt to search too long for his best. The Australian Open favourite has suffered successive losses for the first time in nine months and if the Hopman Cup is not the world's most meaningful event, then it is still Hewitt's last before the Melbourne Park grand slam tournament begins.

Still, the idea is not to peak too early, and there is no danger of that. Tuesday's brilliance against Dominik Hrbaty was followed by lapses against world No. 7 Jiri Novak and the 28th-ranked James Blake. Yesterday's 6-3, 6-4 result against Blake followed Alicia Molik's 6-2, 6-3 loss to Serena Williams, and ensured the United States would win its second mixed teams title.

Hewitt bloodied his knuckles in the first set by pounding them against his racquet strings in frustration. His competitive spirit means any loss is unwelcome, regardless of the circumstances.

But to put the week in perspective, it is all about easing back into match play and preparing for what is to come, and Hewitt was less disappointed than another expectant, capacity Burswood crowd that capped a record attendance week.

"Not always, I don't think, you want to be going into grand slams and playing your best tennis right at the start," said the Wimbledon champion. "I know the US Open the first year I won it, I wasn't playing my best tennis until I got probably to the fourth round.



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"I think the competitive juices will be flowing as soon as I get out there and you get the smell of a grand slam, and I think I'll be able to get up for it."

Blake has similar expectations for the world No. 1. When asked about Hewitt's Australian Open prospects, he said: "Pretty darn good, still. He can play well on this surface. Obviously, he grew up on it.

"He's going to have the crowd support. Maybe that could be a double-edged sword (as) it could be tough with all the pressure, being the first Australian to win it in I'm not sure, 30 years or so. He's going to have to deal with that every single match he plays.

"I think people are going to be asking him about that. But he's dealt with some tough situations in grand slams before and ended up winning 'em, so I think he'd probably still be the favourite."

As against Novak, Hewitt struggled on serve yesterday and again piled up the unforced errors - 28 in the first 11 games - in a 64-minute finale against Blake, whom Hewitt had beaten in all four previous encounters, including two US Open five-setters.

Improving the success rate of his first serve will be a priority for Hewitt during his practice week in Melbourne. "I'll just be doing a little bit of fitness work I guess, and hitting, and just trying to find some rhythm and consistency, I guess," he said. "Basically, you just want to be feeling good so that come Monday or Tuesday in a week's time, you're ready to go."

The optimism was shared by Molik. The 21-year-old had upset three higher-ranked players - Daniela Hantuchova (8), Silvia Farina Elia (17) and Daja Bedanova (37) - in the round-robin stage, but was soon reminded that Williams is the highest and best of all.

While Molik's serve was broken in the opening game, the first set was dominated by her opponent's. Williams won each of her service games with an ace and closed out the set with three in succession, losing just one point out of 16 and three points for the match on serve. It was not painfully one-sided, but it was 6-2, 6-3, and comprehensive.

Williams was called "Alicia" by the courtside interviewer, but there was no mistaking the world's leading player, whose form built encouragingly over the week and who will take clear favouritism to Melbourne Park, where she could become the fifth woman to win four consecutive grand slam titles.

"I feel definitely I've gotten a little bit better with a couple of matches. I'm glad I came over early this year," said Williams, who travels to Melbourne today. "I'm definitely happier. I'm serving much better and pretty satisfied." And where she would like to be before the Australian Open? "I'm insatiable. I'm never where I would like to be."

Molik leaves Perth for the Hobart international tournament with the twin benefits of the confidence gained from her three victories and the lesson learnt from her only loss. For all her gains, the distance to the top is still substantial, if a little less intimidating than it may have seemed a week ago.

"It's good to see an Aussie coming up on the female side," said Williams, having earlier predicted that the under-rated Molik would enjoy an improved year. "We already have one on the men's side, but it's good to see her doing so well."

Molik, too, was hugely encouraged. "I've been feeling like my tennis has really been solid this week. I'm really excited to be going to Hobart and then the Australian Open this year with the form that I've had."

Goonergal
01-04-2003, 04:11 PM
Hewitt bloodied his knuckles in the first set by pounding them against his racquet strings in frustration.

:eek: Well I hope he uses this fire productively @ the Open!

kit
01-04-2003, 06:39 PM
Thanks for the pics and the articles:bounce: :bounce: :bounce: :bounce: