DC Finals... Aussi! Aussi! Aussi! Oi! Oi! Oi! [Archive] - MensTennisForums.com

DC Finals... Aussi! Aussi! Aussi! Oi! Oi! Oi!

Knockers LaBroad
10-22-2003, 05:05 PM
Let the war begin...MWUHAHGAHAH..:devil:

Newk: Stick it up Spain:eek:
By Mark Stevens
October 23, 2003

TENNIS legend John Newcombe has urged Australia to "stick it up" Spain in next month's Davis Cup final as payback for its disrespectful behaviour.

Newcombe, the former Australian captain, has branded abuse the team copped in the 2000 final loss in Barcelona as the worst of his career.

"The best way to stick it up them is to beat them, and beat them five-love," Newcombe said.

"I've been around for a long time and that's the worst I've ever seen."

Newcombe told the November edition of Australian Tennis Magazine it would be "embarrassing" if the crowd behaved as poorly during the November 28-30 tie at Melbourne Park.

The three-time Wimbledon champ criticised the Spanish players and then captain Javier Duarte for fuelling anger in the 15,000-strong crowd.

"They were inciting the crowd and constantly encouraging the crowd to over-participate . . . that's against the rules in Davis Cup," Newcombe said.

"They refused to recognise anything. If any of our players did anything extraordinary, they'd boo to drown out the Australian applause."

Two players who will be in Melbourne next month -- Alex Corretja and world No. 1 Juan Carlos Ferrero -- were at the centre of controversy.

Corretja, likely to play doubles in the final, launched calculated attacks on Lleyton Hewitt in the lead-up to the final, focusing on his "c'mon" antics.

"His behaviour irritates me," Corretja said. "He can behave as he wants, (he's) free to do it. We have to be patient with him if he behaves provocatively.

"We will see how the crowd will react, but in Barcelona the crowd doesn't like provocation."

Sparked by Corretja's comments, the Barcelona crowd unleashed unprecedented abuse at Hewitt on the first day of the tie.

"Definitely, that last game was the worst I've ever seen," Hewitt said after serving out the match. "It was the toughest thing I've ever had to do in tennis. It's not a soccer match."

Hewitt was booed when introduced at the opening ceremony and again during the warm-up to his match.

Newcombe was furious that Ferrero did not get around to shaking Hewitt's hand after he won the reverse singles, sealing victory for the Spanish.

Ferrero's teammates swamped him, leaving Hewitt standing at the net.

"That's just completely disrespectful and shows a lack of class," said Newcombe, who also vividly recalls the treatment dished out to Mark Woodforde, who was booed when he walked on to court.

"It was so bad, I just started laughing. It was like 'these people don't get it'," Newcombe said. "They totally missed the point (of Davis Cup)."

Woodforde said at the time that he felt like a "caged animal".

"I thought the crowd were pretty disgraceful," Woodforde said.

"I know, sure as hell, if we played in Australia, it wouldn't be like that."

10-22-2003, 05:18 PM
Newk :worship:

The crowd was ridiculously bad. They had absolutely no class whatsoever. Apparently every Spaniard in the building had been raised by a pack of wolves :p

C'mon Aussies :bounce:

Chesty Larue
10-22-2003, 05:57 PM
The crowd was pretty horrible at Madrid as well :( Poor French fans get roasted all the time for being the worst crowd..but the Spanish crowd seems much worst to me.

Anyhoo..Go Aussies!! :D

10-22-2003, 06:36 PM
Nobody notices the Spanish crowds because 1) their horrible behavior to the Aussies was in DC, which isn't as big in Canada and the US and 2) because they don't have a Slam :p

10-23-2003, 09:32 AM
Yeah, go Aussie boys!

I hope the crowd is exuberant but behaves - we should show them how it's done rather than give them a taste of their own medicine. Luckily good Aussie crowds are the norm and ratbags the exception (probably because we just have so much sport around! we get practice!).

10-27-2003, 04:09 PM
I remember watching that final in 2000 and the crowd were shocking. Even worse than the French. They were bad as well during the semi with Argentina and in Madrid during the JCF/Ferreira match. The Aussie crowd is racous, but it's more friendly banter rather than classless behavoiur.

10-31-2003, 03:42 AM
just found out that 'relatively good seating' at DC is $325!!! :eek: thats aussie $ by the way...

10-31-2003, 09:47 AM
GO Aussies!:bounce:

11-03-2003, 04:13 PM
Hewitt's ranking slide could be factor in cup
By Linda Pearce
November 4, 2003

Lleyton Hewitt's spectacular 10-rung tumble to No. 18 on the latest ATP rankings has not merely installed Mark Philippoussis as the Australian No.1, but substantially altered the dynamic of the Davis Cup final against Spain at Melbourne Park.

Hewitt, in the unfamiliar role of Australian No. 2, will now meet Juan Carlos Ferrero on the opening day, November 28.

If, as expected, Carlos Moya is nominated as the second Spanish singles player, Hewitt will not meet his nemesis until the clash of the respective No.2s in the second reverse singles, and will not play Moya at all unless the fifth is a live rubber. Moya has prevailed in five of the pair's eight meetings.

Philippoussis, who has not won a match since reaching the Tokyo quarter-finals in early October, has nevertheless risen three spots to ninth on the entry system list released yesterday, just one place below his career peak of eighth, achieved in April, 1999.

Having started the year at No.72 as a result of his most recent knee injury, the Wimbledon finalist and Shanghai titleholder is first alternate for the Masters Cup starting in Houston on Saturday.

Philippoussis is guaranteed $70,671 just to make the trip to Texas, with the prospect of substantially more hinging on the fitness of eighth qualifier David Nalbandian.

Hewitt, meanwhile, has chosen to stay at home since the US Open and prepare for the Davis Cup final, but his ranking has taken a battering as a consequence. The slide could also damage his Australian Open chances, for the tournament's most recent top seed will have only one chance - the Sydney International in January - to return to the top 16 and improve his seeding at Melbourne Park.

11-04-2003, 08:32 AM
Hewitt's ranking slide could be factor in cup
By Linda Pearce
November 4, 2003

Lleyton Hewitt's spectacular 10-rung tumble to No. 18 on the latest ATP rankings has not merely installed Mark Philippoussis as the Australian No.1, but substantially altered the dynamic of the Davis Cup final against Spain at Melbourne Park.

Hewitt, in the unfamiliar role of Australian No. 2, will now meet Juan Carlos Ferrero on the opening day, November 28.

If, as expected, Carlos Moya is nominated as the second Spanish singles player, Hewitt will not meet his nemesis until the clash of the respective No.2s in the second reverse singles, and will not play Moya at all unless the fifth is a live rubber. Moya has prevailed in five of the pair's eight meetings.

Philippoussis, who has not won a match since reaching the Tokyo quarter-finals in early October, has nevertheless risen three spots to ninth on the entry system list released yesterday, just one place below his career peak of eighth, achieved in April, 1999.

Having started the year at No.72 as a result of his most recent knee injury, the Wimbledon finalist and Shanghai titleholder is first alternate for the Masters Cup starting in Houston on Saturday.

Philippoussis is guaranteed $70,671 just to make the trip to Texas, with the prospect of substantially more hinging on the fitness of eighth qualifier David Nalbandian.

Hewitt, meanwhile, has chosen to stay at home since the US Open and prepare for the Davis Cup final, but his ranking has taken a battering as a consequence. The slide could also damage his Australian Open chances, for the tournament's most recent top seed will have only one chance - the Sydney International in January - to return to the top 16 and improve his seeding at Melbourne Park.

i still believe that a coach would be more useful than a risk analyst :rolleyes:

11-04-2003, 08:37 AM
Even if LL is called for the YEC, I'm pretty sure he won't play it. He was at the Melbourne Cup race meeting yesterday with the cream of Aussie society. He loves horse-racing. :D

11-05-2003, 07:06 PM
Hewitt given private court
By Bruce Matthews
LLEYTON Hewitt has been given his own specially prepared grass court to assist his preparation for the Davis Cup final later this month.

Hewitt started adjusting to the fast surface with a tough two-hour practice session on the court at Kooyong yesterday.

The private club answered a call from Australian captain John Fitzgerald to let Hewitt start hitting on the surface that will be installed at Melbourne Park for the final against Spain from November 28-30.

"Obviously there wouldn't be too many grasscourts ready at the moment, only because we've had such bad weather in Adelaide and Melbourne in the last few weeks," Hewitt said.

"They have worked really hard on this court and it has come up pretty well. It's just a matter of trying to get your footing on a different kind of surface.

"Grass is tough to adjust to, especially (for) me because I didn't grow up on it."

Fitzgerald was impressed with the form of Hewitt, who hasn't played since he beat Wimbledon champion Roger Federer in five sets to seal the home semi-final against Switzerland in September.

The linchpin of Australia's team drilled with his coach Roger Rasheed, only taking short breaks for drinks.

"Lleyton has been hitting balls for a couple of weeks. He would've been hitting on grass if it had been warmer weather, but this is the first time he has been able to get on the grass," Fitzgerald said.

"The people concerned at Kooyong have been fantastic. I'm amazed the court is that good considering the weather we've had."

Fitzgerald has enlisted the Victorian Peter Luczak, a Davis Cup hitting partner, to work with Hewitt today as the Wimbledon and US Open champion gradually increases the workload in a build up to playing practice sets.

"A few of the young guys are playing a Challenger down at Beaumaris this week. But Peter is out of that, so he's ready to play all week," the captain said.

"These young guys will have to go hard to stay with Lleyton. He has been hitting a lot of balls and he's going to hit a million more before we play. He will play a few sets this week and he will be ready to go."

Hewitt will return to Adelaide for a short break next weekend before teammates Mark Philippoussis, Todd Woodbridge and Wayne Arthurs join him at Kooyong on Monday week for official practice.

The Australians and the Spanish team - Juan Carlos Ferrero, Carlos Moya, Alex Corretja and Feliciano Lopez - will be allocated practice courts at Kooyong until the grass court at Melbourne Park is ready for play on November 24.

The portable court has been stored and maintained at turf company StrathAyr's facilities at Seymour since it was last used for the 2001 Davis Cup final against France.

It will be laid this weekend over the existing Rebound Ace surface in Rod Laver Arena.

11-08-2003, 08:17 AM

11-10-2003, 08:11 PM
Hewitt goes all out
By Leo Schlink
November 11, 2003

LLEYTON HEWITT's renowned attention to detail will span two states this week as the former world No. 1 continues to prepare for the Davis Cup final.

Desperate to be in prime form for the November 28-30 clash with Spain at Rod Laver Arena, Hewitt will monitor developments at the Uncle Toby's International in Frankston while he practises on grass at Memorial Drive in Adelaide. Eager to assemble a small squad of hitting partners, Hewitt will invite early-round Frankston casualties to Adelaide to play sets under match conditions.

Hewitt, now 18th in the world after bypassing a string of European events after having a troublesome foot wart treated, will be joined in South Australia tomorrow by Davis Cup captain John Fitzgerald.

Wimbledon and US Open winner Hewitt spent last week in Melbourne at Kooyong with his coach Roger Rasheed, who worked with Peter Luczak to hone the world champion's groundstrokes.

Hewitt will increase the intensity of his work this week in the centre court complex at Memorial Drive, which will host the first-round tie next season against Sweden. He'll be pitted against selected opponents in simulated five-set conditions by playing successive best-of-three-sets matches. It is understood Hewitt's junior doubles partner Nathan Healey – a highly-rated juvenile talent – will be among those to test the former world No. 1.

Hewitt's work will be varied with relentless drilling by Rasheed and Fitzgerald.

Tennis Australia will move the portable court to be used for the final from Seymour to Melbourne on Friday, using 14 semi-trailers.

The court, last used for the 2-3 loss to France in the 2001 cup decider, will be in place by Monday but will not be used in practice by either team until the following week.

Australia will renew its long rivalry with Sweden in Adelaide from February 6-8 – either on grass or Rebound Ace.

A decision on the surface will be left to the players following the final against a powerfully equipped Spanish outfit.

"Adelaide will give us the flexibility in selecting a surface as well as being able to accommodate a tie that is likely to generate substantial levels of interest, particularly if Australia wins the forthcoming final," Tennis Australia president Geoff Pollard said.

11-12-2003, 08:27 AM
Hewitt's break good for Australia's chances: Fitzy
Lleyton Hewitt's long break from tennis will help rather than hinder Australia in their Davis Cup final against Spain, captain John Fitzgerald says.

Hewitt, who has slipped to number 18 in the rankings, has cut his schedule back to concentrate on the final.

He last played in a five-set win over Switzerland's Roger Federer in the semi-final in September.

In Australia's last Davis Cup final in 2001, which they lost to France, the former world number one looked washed out after a hectic schedule following his US Open victory, Masters Cup triumph and elevation to the top ranking.

"It's a very different preparation and it's difficult I think to get the formula absolutely perfect," Fitzgerald told a news conference in Adelaide.

"Two years ago he did exactly what Juan Carlos (Ferrero) did and in the final (against France) he actually lost his first match, and maybe he was just a little bit exhausted."

Fitzgerald says the Spanish squad, which includes world number two Ferrero and number seven Carlos Moya, is in great shape, but has warned his team is also in outstanding form.

"Mark (Philippoussis) has finished ninth in the world, so it's a pretty big step over a 12-month period for him, so it's pretty exciting to have a team of that calibre," he said.

Fitzgerald watched Hewitt practise in Adelaide this afternoon and says the former world number one is looking fresh.

"He has this innate ability to walk onto a different surface and hit the ball right in the middle of the racquet," Fitzgerald said.

"There's not too many players that can do that.

"He's hitting the ball very well, and he's certainly fresh."

The Australian squad of Hewitt, Philippoussis, Todd Woodbridge and Wayne Arthurs will assemble in Melbourne next week for the November 28-30 tie.

The final will be played on a specially laid grass court at Melbourne Park.

-- ABC and Reuters

11-13-2003, 01:57 PM
Hewitt tunes up
By Linda Pearce
November 14, 2003

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If the Davis Cup final is decided by the fifth match, it will involve Lleyton Hewitt and Carlos Moya, whom the Australian has beaten only three times in eight attempts. Better to strike early is Hewitt's theory, which is why his target is Spain's world No. 2 Juan Carlos Ferrero.

The recent rankings reshuffle installed Mark Philippoussis as Australia's No. 1 and ensured that Hewitt and Ferrero - career record 3-3 - will meet on the opening day on the portable grasscourt being laid this weekend at Rod Laver Arena.

"Hopefully, it won't come down to the Moya match if I've got to play him in the fifth rubber, but I'm obviously putting all my eggs in one basket and going after Ferrero on day one," Hewitt told Tennis Week magazine from Adelaide.

"He's two in the world at the moment and one of the best players in the world . . . (so) I don't think playing on grass is going to be a huge disadvantage for Ferrero. He . . . can adjust his game to any surfaces, I think. Day one is going to be pretty interesting."



The two-time No. 1 will end the ATP season at No. 18 as a result of mediocre grand slam results and his voluntary lack of tournament play since the US Open. Davis Cup is Hewitt's focus, and he will join Australia's first official practice session at Kooyong on Monday.

"I'm training particularly hard and I feel like I've made the right move to stay at home and practise for a few weeks," Hewitt said.

"I've put the Davis Cup ahead of anything else this whole year. It's not that often that you actually get to play in the Davis Cup final for your country, especially at home in Australia."

11-13-2003, 02:57 PM
thanks for the article and go aussies

i've been keeping my fingers crossed since the victory vs switzerland and i'm getting serious cramps :p

11-14-2003, 09:53 AM

11-15-2003, 04:43 PM
go aussies :bounce:

Cajun Moon
11-15-2003, 10:57 PM
Not only am I hoping for an Australia win :dance:, but I am also anticipating some :kiss: Lleyki :kiss: news and pics after a long couple of months!

Knockers LaBroad
11-16-2003, 04:13 PM
Fitzy tips Spanish recovery
By Leo Schlink
November 17, 2003

AUSTRALIAN captain John Fitzgerald predicts a swift return to form for Juan Carlos Ferrero and Carlos Moya ahead of the Davis Cup final showdown with Spain at Rod Laver Arena next week.

At Melbourne Park yesterday where he inspected the portable court to be used for the tie, Fitzgerald indicated he did not place much currency in French Open champion Ferrero's vapid Tennis Masters Cup showing.

The classy baseliner, bidding to snare the season-ending world No.1 ranking, performed abysmally against elite performers, losing all three of his round-robin pool matches to ensure arch-rival Andy Roddick topped the year-end lists.

Moya, who holds a 5-3 record against Lleyton Hewitt, won only one of his three matches, but Fitzgerald expects the pair to rebound.

"They're a class outfit, there's no doubt about that," Fitzgerald said. "Form comes and goes, we all know that, but they'll be very hard to beat."

Fitzgerald spent three days working with Hewitt on grass in Adelaide last week and is satisfied with his preparation.

"He's working very hard, hitting the ball well and he's very fit," Fitzgerald said.

Mark Philippoussis, an unused alternate at the Masters Cup in Houston, will arrive in Melbourne with doubles team Wayne Arthurs and Todd Woodbridge on Wednesday.

Moya forecast a spirited Spanish revival for the final.

"I think we will have a good chance to win," he said.

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Knockers LaBroad
11-16-2003, 04:16 PM
Hewitt needs hard work
By Chip Le Grand
November 17, 2003

THE last time Lleyton Hewitt arrived in Melbourne for a Davis Cup final, his instructions were to rest up and cool his heels on the Kooyong grass.

Hewitt, at age 20, had just completed a marathon year on tour. He had played an extraordinary 94 matches and won 77 of them. He had won the US Open, the season-ending Masters Cup in Sydney and was the world No.1.

All he needed before his opening rubber of the final against France was to fine-tune his game to grass. Long hours in the sun were strictly reserved for the golf course. Less tennis was definitely more.

When Hewitt arrives in Melbourne tomorrow for the final against Spain, starting next Friday week, his training schedule being mapped out by Australia's captain John Fitzgerald will be very different. This year, Hewitt will be hard at work the moment he steps off the plane.

Hewitt has not hit a ball in competition since September's Davis Cup semi-final. He has played less than half the tennis he did in 2001, sliding down the rankings to 18th.

For the first time since he turned professional, the challenge for Hewitt is not to spare his body the rigours of tennis, but to get enough tennis into him.

For the past two weeks, Hewitt has been sparring with hitting partners at Kooyong and Adelaide's Memorial Drive. From tomorrow, his preparation will shift into competitive sets and match simulation, training usually reserved for the last few days before a tie.

"In most Davis Cup lead-up weeks, if you've got different balls and a new surface, you would hit quite a bit for the first four or five days and then start playing sets," Fitzgerald said yesterday. "In Lleyton's case, he is ready to start sets straight away."

Hewitt's preparations are in stark contrast to Spain's top-ranked singles players, who were both in Houston last week for this year's Masters Cup.

Neither Juan Carlos Ferrero nor Carlos Moya could claim any great form in Houston. Ferrero lost all three of his matches while Moya won one of three.

Like Hewitt in 2001, Ferrero has run himself ragged this year, clocking up 83 singles appearances, winning five tournaments and laying siege to the world No.1 ranking. Moya, despite passing on the grass-court season, has played 76 matches.

At this stage, Fitzgerald does not know which road is more likely to lead to the silver punch bowl.

"It is difficult to get the perfect preparation and you don't know until afterwards," Fitzgerald said."I think ideally, you would probably have somewhere in between what both camps have had."

The Australian

Knockers LaBroad
11-16-2003, 04:24 PM
Davis Cup turf gets Fitzgerald seal of approval
By Peter Ker
November 17, 2003
Australian Davis Cup captain John Fitzgerald is confident the portable turf court for this month's final against Spain at Melbourne Park is far superior to the surface on which the Australians lost the 2001 final against France.

The final squares of grass were laid inside Rod Laver Arena yesterday, creating a surface that excited Fitzgerald. "I'm really happy with it, it looks great," he said, adding that the court looked more mature and should not wear as much as it did in 2001, when it was criticised for being patchy and uneven.

With Wayne Arthurs in Melbourne, the rest of the Australian team is expected to arrive within the next 48 hours.

Fitzgerald said he was confident the side was well prepared, despite low-key build-ups for Lleyton Hewitt and Mark Philippoussis.

"I think, ideally, you probably would have (a preparation) somewhere in between what both camps have had," he said.

Spanish ace Juan Carlos Ferrero has had a heavy build-up to the final, competing at the Masters Cup in Houston.

His bid to unseat Andy Roddick from the world No. 1 position was cruelled last week, after a loss to Andre Agassi killed off hopes of reaching the Masters semis. Fitzgerald compared that to Hewitt two years ago when he won the Masters Cup and pushed for the top spot and was a little flat when he played the Davis Cup against France.

11-16-2003, 10:32 PM
:yeah: for posting these articles, thanks!

11-16-2003, 11:22 PM

Hewitt not arrogant enough: Rafter
November 14, 2003 - 12:05PM

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Pat Rafter believes Lleyton Hewitt has fallen off his perch because of a lack of arrogance but predicts Australia's former world No.1 will inspire a comprehensive thumping of Spain in the Davis Cup final.

Rafter has tried for years to convince people that Hewitt's confrontational on-court demeanour, a classic case of white-line fever, belies a more gentle nature when he's around friends and family.

Hewitt officially lost the year-end world No.1 ranking to American dynamo Andy Roddick this week, capping a poor season of botched Grand Slams that can only be salvaged by a Davis Cup triumph in Melbourne from November 28-30.

"He's a very humble kid, when you really get to know Lleyton," Rafter told Fox Sports.

"He just doesn't have that real arrogance, that air of `I'm going to do this and shove it in your face' sort of thing. He knows his limitations and I guess he didn't back himself this year.

"It's hard to stay at the top of the game. When you're No.1 there's only one place to go. If we don't see big results from him next year, I definitely think the year after he'll develop more as a player and as a person."



Hewitt showed his trademark courage in the Davis Cup semi-final against Switzerland, clawing his way off the canvas to beat world No.2 Roger Federer in five gruelling sets.

Rafter warned that the Spanish should not be taken lightly on the specially laid grass court in Melbourne, despite their hopes resting largely on a pair of clay court machines in Juan Carlos Ferrero and Carlos Moya.

With Hewitt and Mark Philippoussis, Australia has the winner and runner-up from the last two years at Wimbledon.

"He loves playing Davis Cup," Rafter said of Hewitt.

"He's a great man to have in your team. There's not another man I'd have. He'd be the No.1 guy I'd pick every single time.

"Lleyton's all fired up - the Spanish are going to be tough, though, and the Australians had better not underestimate how good these guys are. Although it's on grass they'll be very, very competitive ... even though I back Australia to win three-nil."

Australia is heavily favoured, but the memory lingers of the debacle against France two years ago.

On grass in the same arena, Hewitt and Rafter were the major players in a stunning 3-2 loss.

Hewitt went down to Nicolas Escude in his opening singles. Rafter beat Sebastien Grosjean for 1-1. Hewitt and Rafter lost a shocker in the doubles to Cedric Pioline and Fabrice Santoro. Hewitt squared the ledger at 2-2 by beating Grosjean to start the final day, but Rafter mysteriously withdrew from the deciding fifth rubber, which was lost by a teary-eyed Wayne Arthurs.

Knockers LaBroad
11-18-2003, 07:36 PM
Scud a hit with teammates
By Linda Pearce
November 19, 2003

Teaming up: Lleyton Hewitt and Mark Philippoussis get reacquainted at Kooyong, watched by Davis Cup captain John Fitzgerald, soon after Philippoussis arrived from the US.

So thirsty is Mark Philippoussis for a second taste of Davis Cup success that he was practising at Kooyong yesterday only hours after disembarking from his long flight from the United States. The new Australian No. 1 arrived unexpectedly soon after 1pm, was greeted warmly by his squad mates, exchanged his thongs for tennis shoes, and went to work.

As each tie passes, it is becoming harder to recall, and to believe, that the last time Australia was preparing to meet Spain in a Davis Cup final, Philippoussis was elsewhere, unavailable and unwanted, just a year after leading John Newcombe's team to its last success, in Nice in 1999.

Yesterday, as he began preparing on his home-town turf for his first final since that solo singles effort in France, Philippoussis sweated in the afternoon humidity for well over an hour with national coach Wally Masur. Nearby, Lleyton Hewitt played three energetic sets with Todd Reid, both courts guarded by a security force befitting a CHOGM gathering.



"I'm sure he's feeling a bit tired right now," said captain John Fitzgerald of Philippoussis, whose last grasscourt match was the Wimbledon final. "But I think it's great to get off and have a sweat, and it helps you acclimatise a bit quicker, so I was hoping he'd play for that long. It was good to see.

"Feeling pretty good," Philippoussis said before departing. "It was just a light hit, just got off the plane, so loosen up, get a bit of sweat going, it was good. Anything can happen, as you saw against France (in 2001), but we're obviously very excited about being on the grass, so I think that's the most important thing."

The Spaniards, for obvious reasons, are less thrilled with the nominated surface, although coach Juan Avendano told reporters before leaving Barcelona that he was glad Australia would start clear favourite at Rod Laver Arena on Friday week. Less pressure, he reasoned, while acknowledging a hefty respect for the power game of Philippoussis.

"Juan Carlos (Ferrero) has taken the measure of Lleyton Hewitt on numerous occasions, he has played well against him," Avendano said, conveniently overlooking the pair's 3-3 record. "With Philippoussis, you have to be at the top of your game from the very first ball. He's a more difficult opponent."

Yet, at this stage, Hewitt is clearly the more advanced on grass. He spent five days hitting at Kooyong over cup week, and was then joined by Fitzgerald in Adelaide, having last played in Australia's semi-final defeat of Switzerland. Yesterday's workout lasted close to two-and-a-half hours.

Fitzgerald is satisfied with Hewitt's timing, and said more simulated practice sets would be played over the coming days, dubious weather forecasts permitting. In the interests of peaking at the right time, players' form and fitness will be monitored daily.

Todd Woodbridge lands this morning, but Wayne Arthurs may rest for one more day before joining the squad, which moves to the match court at Melbourne Park on Monday.

Spanish doubles team Alex Corretja and Feliciano Lopez will be the first Spanish arrivals today, while, curiously, singles pair Ferrero and Carlos Moya may not be here until Saturday, having - unsuccessfully - contested last week's Masters Cup.

"I don't think there's ever a perfect preparation," Fitzgerald said. "It's been a long year, and maybe they feel they need an extra couple of days. It's interesting. I guess I'd be a bit surprised if they don't arrive until Saturday, but just a little bit."

Knockers LaBroad
11-18-2003, 07:39 PM
Moya than a feeling
By Leo Schlink
November 19, 2003

SPANISH stalwart Carlos Moya yesterday fired the first psychological shot in the lead-up to next week's Davis Cup final by questioning Lleyton Hewitt's preparation.

Carlos Moya of Spain / AP

With a 5-3 win-loss record against Hewitt, former world No. 1 Moya said the South Australian could be vulnerable after not playing a match since September 21.

"Hewitt will arrive without competing in three months," Moya said.

"He has been practising, but the rhythm you get when you're competing is different and the confidence, too.

"He can feel the pressure and we have to take advantage of that."

Moya, whose monstrous forehand and serve have caused Hewitt headaches, also hinted at Mark Philippoussis's inconsistency.

"Philippoussis has more ups and downs, but if he has a good day (he) is almost unbeatable," he said.

Moya, overlooked for the 2000 3-1 victory over Australia in a poisonous Barcelona tie, said the Spanish outfit faced a daunting challenge.

"We have to deal with the worst situation: Australia on grass," Moya said. "But we have to give 100 per cent.

"We can't give up winning the cup.

"To be in a Davis Cup final is an honour. I wasn't in the team who won three years ago and to play in a final is amazing.

"It was one of my goals of this year. I don't know how you feel when you win, but I can imagine it.

"I cannot even compare it to the Roland Garros title or the world No. 1. It's something special."

Despite the underlying strand of pessimism that is feeding Spain's underdog mantra, Moya and fellow veteran Alex Corretja are plotting an upset success, emulating France's 2001 triumph.

"In a final everything is possible," Moya said. "It won't be easy. Maybe it is the most complicated tie.

"But we have Juan Carlos Ferrero, who can beat anyone on any surface, myself, Feliciano (Lopez) and Alex.

"It would be great, unbelievable, to win there. France made it with a team who maybe doesn't have our potential. That has got to give us confidence and a wish to win, too."

Corretja, the agent provocateur behind the anti-Australian sentiment in Barcelona three years ago, is more conciliatory now, but his message is just as plain.

"It will be tougher than the 2000 final," he said. "Right now they (Australia) are the favourites. But in our team, we also have great players.

"If we don't go to Australia thinking we can win, it would be a lack of courage. But we are courageous and convinced that we can win."

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11-19-2003, 08:47 AM
Thanks Elke :kiss:
by the way, I'm Keira (kim4eva)...you should know me if you visit CCL :wavey:

Knockers LaBroad
11-20-2003, 08:35 PM
Spain to follow French masterplan
By Linda Pearce
November 21, 2003

Spain has accessed a verbal copy of the 2001 French manual entitled How To Beat Australia At Home On Grass In A Davis Cup Final, and over the next 10 days intends to follow the successful blueprint established by Guy Forget's European raiders in 2001.

At last month's Paris Masters, Spanish captain Jordi Arrese, coach Juan Avendano and Jose Perlas - the leadership trio commonly known as the G3 - sought advice from French officials, including Forget, ahead of next week's final that will be played on the same portable turf.

France, through two singles points from Nicolas Escude and an upset of surprise Australian doubles selection Pat Rafter and Lleyton Hewitt, won the tie 3-2, with Wayne Arthurs an unprepared late substitution for Rafter in the deciding fifth rubber.

"We have spoken with a few French guys. We asked them at the tournament in Paris what they did to prepare for the tie and we are trying to do the same as they did that year," Avendano said yesterday during Spain's introductory hit at Kooyong, attended by the advance party of Alex Corretja, Feliciano Lopez and two hitting partners.



"The French came here (to Kooyong) for practice, they came (to Melbourne) on Tuesday, as we did. They said it is much windier here than the place we are going to play the tie, so we will feel more comfortable there."

And the potential Spanish Escude? Juan Carlos Ferrero reached the fourth round at Wimbledon this year, as did Lopez, who is the most natural grasscourter in the squad. Indeed, Carlos Moya's record against Hewitt is far more impressive than anything he has compiled on grass.

Moya is due to arrive today from Miami, where he has been resting since the Masters Cup. Ferrero will follow tomorrow, after a short break in Brazil.

"They've been playing a lot of tournaments, Ferrero and Moya, and it would be nice if they can practise on grass for a few more days, but it's OK," Corretja said.

"If they decided to stay a few more days, relaxing themselves, it's because they thought it's going to be better for them."

Knockers LaBroad
11-20-2003, 08:39 PM
Diligent Hewitt sweating his way to top form :eek::worship:
By Linda Pearce
November 21, 2003

There are no short cuts for Lleyton Hewitt in the latter stages of a unique Davis Cup finals preparation that began almost as soon as the semi-final ended two months ago. No easing up. No slacking off. "Doing it hard," he agrees, "but that's the only way it's got to be done."

For a period of about 20 or 30 points yesterday on the Kooyong grass that hosted a four-set workout against daily-Hewitt-fodder Todd Reid, the 22-year-old former world No. 1 played so flawlessly that he barely lost a point.

Evidence of Reid's frustration was the racquet decapitated in an act of equipment abuse that prompted a chuckle from spectator Mark Philippoussis. Practice, anyone? Still, it is some consolation to Reid, the recent winner of 10 consecutive Futures matches, that this is the best he has seen Hewitt play.

Indeed, recent days have been proof that, whatever the Spanish criticisms of the low-matchplay component of his preparation, Hewitt is in sparkling touch.

"He knows what he wants and he doesn't leave anything in the locker room," said captain John Fitzgerald.



"He wants to get the best out of himself every time he goes out on the court; that's part of the reason why he's so good. He went hard this morning, and he played four very strong sets.

"I'm always wary to talk him up too much. He's hitting the ball well, though. I think over the last three weeks I could say it after almost every session, and today was no exception. Look, let me say this: I'm glad he's in my camp."

Hewitt will ease back over the weekend and plans to play golf with Aaron Baddeley on Sunday at Moonah Links, as Fitzgerald does his best Bart Cummings impersonation and keeps his young stayer fresh ahead of Monday's move to Rod Laver Arena.

In recent weeks, while sitting out the European hardcourt season and Masters Cup, Hewitt has been tweaking several aspects of his game to prepare for the faster surface.

He will not alter anything dramatically, understandable when you are a three-time Queen's Club and 2002 Wimbledon champion, but Fitzgerald and coach Wally Masur are encouraging a slightly more aggressive approach.

"Not get in their faces as in chip-charge and serve-volley, but be aggressive within his groundstrokes," Masur said.

"Not to counter-punch too much, but to stand up in the court and be physical in the way that he plays; not just react to what they're doing, but to make things happen."

Hewitt said he was wary of departing from what has worked for him in the past. "I try and play my game as much as anything; I know what I've got to do on grass," he said.

"Obviously you've got to shorten your swing a little bit and just make slight adjustments, come to the net maybe a little bit more and basically getting a lot more rhythm on your return of serve. Just get that confidence in your ability to go for it on the big points."

The Australian team will this morning attend the funeral of respected tennis identity Bob Carmichael, and tomorrow night plans a private get-together in the team hotel to cheer on the Wallabies in a major international final of a different kind. Its own time will come soon enough.

Knockers LaBroad
11-20-2003, 08:41 PM
Forgiving Hewitt won't forget
By leo Schlink
November 21, 2003

LLEYTON Hewitt may have forgiven Alex Correjta for inciting a baying Barcelona crowd into hysteria and hatred against Australia in the 2000 final, but he has not forgotten.

While Corretja yesterday attempted to soften memories of the ferocious clash three years ago by confirming an apology to Hewitt last year, the world champion said images of a hostile tie were "all in the memory bank".

Hewitt was subjected to the worst crowd behaviour of his career during a tie Pat Rafter described as his "nastiest" as the pair reflected on three days of relentless abuse.

Corretja, at Kooyong to prepare for next week's final at Rod Laver Arena, sought out Hewitt at the US Open last year to discuss the tie.

"Fortunately, we had a talk already last year at the US Open," Corretja said. "I introduced myself to him and I said, 'Listen, I do apologise to you if I said something that bothers yourself. And I probably should have come straight to you and said to yourself'.

"He accepted and since that day I believe we are in good conditions to talk and we say hello to each other and I think it's pretty fine.

"There was a lot of controversy in that tie. We spoke with the guys afterwards and I think now everything's calmed down."

Hewitt drew energy from the venomous Barcelona crowd to uncork a magnificent performance to down Albert Costa who, along with former captain Javier Duarte, also upset Rafter and captain John Newcombe.

"There was very little respect for the whole game and the tradition of Davis Cup," Hewitt recalled.

"I don't mind loud crowds and whatever, but in Spain they were just throwing stuff and carrying on.

"There's no doubt that Alex and Duarte, the captain, were both headlining the whole situation and built it up that way, talking to the media."

Hewitt revealed the extent of the Spanish propaganda blitz.

"We went to a restaurant in Barcelona and this Spanish guy goes 'Have you seen the newspaper?' and he translated it for me.

"The article said 'You've got to learn to hate this guy' and there was a big picture of me. That made me all the more hungry to go out there and beat Costa on day one, which I was able to do.

"Going into this tie, I've talked to Alex since then, but it's all in the memory bank."

Corretja, twice voted by his peers winner of the Stefan Edberg Sportsmanship award, displayed a different side to his personality in the lead-up to the final by isolating Hewitt as a threat to Spain's Cup hopes.

The Spaniard declared in Lisbon at the Tennis Masters Cup he did not like Hewitt's on-court behaviour, notably his gesturing and "C'mon cry", describing it as strange.

Corretja has joined singles contender and Cup debutante Feliciano Lopez at Kooyong.

Twice able to reach Wimbledon's fourth round, Lopez remains strongly in contention to oust Carlos Moya from singles duty.

Moya is expected to arrive in Mel bourne today, with Juan Carlos Ferrero due tomorrow.

Knockers LaBroad
11-20-2003, 08:45 PM
Corretja ends Hewitt feud :rolleyes::yawn:*boring and faaaaaaaaaaaaaaar too late!*

Corretja has already been practising in Melbourne
Alex Corretja has revealed he apologised to Lleyton Hewitt for calling the Australian "arrogant" before the 2000 Davis Cup Final.
With Spain set to meet Australia in the final again on 28 November in Melbourne, Corretja played down any hint of a rift.

"Fortunately, we had a talk already last year at the US Open," Corretja said of the Hewitt situation.

"I said, 'Listen, I do apologise to you if I said something that bothers you'.

"'Probably I should have come straight to you and said it'.

The grass season is like time off for us

Alex Corretja
"He accepted and since that day I believe we are in good conditions to talk and we say hello to each other and I think it's pretty fine."

Next week's tie will be played on grass, and the Spaniards have been practising on the surface in Houston and Barcelona.

"The grass season is like time off for us," Corretja admitted. "I don't see any problem for us but of course we'd rather play on clay."

Corretja and 22-year-old Feliciano Lopez are expected to team up in the doubles, with Carlos Moya and world number two Juan Carlos Ferrero likely to feature in singles.

But Corretja insists that Lopez, who has a swinging left-handed serve and is a decent volleyer, could challenge for a singles place.

"Definitely he (Lopez) has a good chance to play (singles)," said Corretja.

"I mean he's ready, he's been practising on a different grass court and he's been playing pretty well at Wimbledon so far.

"We will see how his game develops here and what the captain decides."

11-20-2003, 10:28 PM
Wanker Corretja :rolleyes: Shut your damn mouth, you stupid asshole :rolleyes:

11-20-2003, 11:14 PM
I think these people apologise when they realise that Lleyton thrives on being insulted. It's like spinach for Popeye! Remember the USO 2001? The more the crowds tried to put him off, the better he got!

But to be fair I think people are only shocked when it happens in tennis because they are generally nice to each other. If this was cricket, Corretja's comments would barely get reported.

Knockers LaBroad
11-22-2003, 10:24 AM
Hewitt at home a different proposition: Moya
By Linda Pearce
November 22, 2003

Carlos Moya prefaced his first practice session on Australian grass yesterday with a caution against overstating the significance of his world-best 5-3 record against Lleyton Hewitt, the Spaniard's likely opponent should the fifth rubber decide next week's Davis Cup final.

If Moya had to nominate the most difficult cup finals assignment, he said it would be playing away, against Australia, on a surface he last experienced at Wimbledon more than two years ago. The flipside is that he has been Hewitt's toughest opponent, although none of their eight matches has been on grass.

"It's always good to have a positive record against your opponent, but if we get to play here, it would be the fifth point, and Davis Cup, grasscourt, best-of-five sets, so it would be a totally different story than any other match that we've played each other," said Moya, who has won twice on clay and three times on hardcourt.

Asked about the wisdom of Hewitt's no-matchplay route to the final, of which he had reportedly been critical earlier this week, the world No. 7 was diplomatic. "Each player is a different story," he said. "For me, it wouldn't work: what I need is to get the rhythm of the competition, to play matches, win a few of them to get confident.

"For him, I don't know how it is going to be, but it is true that he had two very tough years, and maybe he needed a rest, and decided to do it now, but for sure he has prepared very well and he's going to be ready for it."

Indeed, since September 21, Hewitt has dined with Brownlow medallists and lunched with an American president. He has pumped weights, run hundreds of kilometres and hit thousands of tennis balls. About the only thing he has not done is played a tennis match, a real one.

The intangible, therefore, for Spain is whether Hewitt's two months off the circuit to prepare for what may be just one outing, next Friday against Juan Carlos Ferrero, proves more disadvantageous than beneficial.

"Australia has a very good team, but in the tie we must wait and see first how Hewitt is playing after so long without playing in high competition," said captain Jordi Arrese. "He has the character to play well, but it's a long time without playing at a high level with the big guys."

So hard has Hewitt practised - yesterday, he completed another lengthy Australian practice session that involved mostly doubles - that he has earned a day off this weekend, while Ferrero is yet to touch down.

Moya, who has been preparing on hardcourts in Miami, said: "Hopefully, I'm going to get used to (the grass) on time. We know it's not going to be easy, but we are professional and we have one week to get used to it, and we're going to do our best."

Knockers LaBroad
11-23-2003, 09:30 PM
Hewitt Has Fun With New Brand Of Tennis

Lleyton Hewitt isn't appearing in Houston to defend his Tennis Masters Cup crown this week, but he's still battling the world's best players on several different surfaces without leaving the comfort of his living room.

Part of Hewitt's preparation for this month's Davis Cup final staged on grass has included spirited matches against James Blake, Sebastien Grosjean, Gustavo Kuerten and Pete Sampras. Hewitt has tested his skills against those players without suffering a single grass stain on his shirt as the matches have been played on Top Spin, Microsoft's new tennis video game designed for its Xbox system.

In a telephone interview with Tennis Week.com from Australia last night, the former No. 1 discussed his support of the newly-released Top Spin DVD that retails for $49.99 as well as the impending Davis Cup final showdown with Spain and his prospects for the 2004 Australian Open.

Developed by Power and Magic (PAM), Top Spin is Xbox Live-enabled, offering tennis fans a pulse-pounding glimpse into professional tennis and the opportunity to compete in matches against players from all over the world — including Hewitt, who competed against a few journalists last night.

The game challenges each player to master all the shots including slices, lobs, drops and spins while playing on various surfaces including clay, hard court and grass. Hewitt said the similarities he sees between himself and the video version of himself are astonishing.

"It's very similar," Hewitt said. "It's actually pretty incredible how close (the game comes to capturing my style). With the motion capture session I did, you can just tell with my return of serve and my service action, it's exactly the same. The fist pumps are there and when I win a big match I fall on my back and that's there too. "

Video designers dressed Hewitt in a black suit during the motion-capture sessions conducted at the 2002 Nasdaq-100 Open to monitor his movements and ensure the game would realistically capture Hewitt's distinctive style of play.

"The motion capture session probably took a couple of hours," Hewitt said. "It was cool. They had all the players in there doing it at different times. We had to put a suit on and they put all these electro gadgets all over your whole body — on your suit, on your hat, on your shoes — and they'd monitor the whole movement of your whole body. Every time you did a pump it would show up and go straight onto the computer."

Asked if his Top Spin tennis talent rivals the form he's shown in reaching the No. 1 rank, the two-time Grand Slam champion suggested when it comes to competing in the Xbox circuit, he's still strictly confined to the Challenger level.

"No, not quite," Hewitt said with a laugh. "I'm playing all right at the moment, today, but normally I'm just above average I'd say. I'd never played a tennis video game before so that was probably the biggest draw for me, I think, to be part of a tennis game. When I was growing up, I'd see a lot of Australian rules football games and stuff like that that I used to play. I thought it was pretty cool that they're just getting more and more realistic and this game is the best I've ever seen. To see how realistic it is and that you can play on any of the surfaces around the world, and create a player to play on center court at Roland Garros or at Rod Laver Arena at the Australian Open, is a lot of fun."

Though his two-year reign as tennis' top player in the year-end rankings has come to an end, the 18th-ranked Hewitt said he believes the self-imposed sabbatical he took from tournament tennis following his U.S. Open quarterfinal loss to Juan Carlos Ferrero has helped him prepare for the Davis Cup final, set for November 28-30th at Melbourne's Rod Laver Arena.

"I'm hitting the ball pretty good at the moment," Hewitt said. "The way things are going at the moment, I couldn't be happier. I'm training particularly hard and I feel like I've made the right move to stay at home and practice for a few weeks. My ranking has obviously taken a slide by not going and trying to get into the Masters Cup after winning it the last couple of years, but I feel like that's in the best interests (of the team). I've put the Davis Cup ahead of anything else this whole year."

The Australian foursome of Hewitt, Wimbledon finalist Mark Philippoussis, Todd Woodbridge and Wayne Arthurs will be a strong favorite on grass against a Spanish squad of the second-ranked Ferrero, seventh-ranked Carlos Moya, two-time French Open finalist Alex Corretja, who beat Pete Sampras on grass in the 2002 Davis Cup quarterfinals, and Feliciano Lopez, who has reached the fourth round at Wimbledon in each of the past two years and makes his Davis Cup debut as a probable partner for Corretja in doubles.

The 22-year-old Hewitt, who has split his six meetings with Ferrero and is 3-5 lifetime against Moya, said beating Ferrero on the first day of the tie is crucial to Australia's dreams of reclaiming the Davis Cup it last won in 1999.

"Hopefully it won't come down to the Moya match if I've got to play him in the fifth rubber, but I'm obviously putting all my eggs in one basket and going after Ferrero on day one," Hewitt said. "He's two in the world at the moment and one of the best players in the world at the moment. I don't think playing on grass is going to be a huge disadvantage for Ferrero. He's the kind of guy who has a lot of class and he can adjust his game to any surfaces, I think. You know, we're expecting a real tough tie and I think day one is going to be pretty interesting. If I can get us off to a good start, I think Philippoussis will be pretty fired up as well."

The 2002 Wimbledon winner and Philippoussis were the singles starters on the 1999 Australian squad that beat host France, 3-2, to claim Australia's 27th Davis Cup championship. Hewitt said the demands of Davis Cup — and his desire to make the most of Australia's strong team and favorable schedule — prompted his decision to sit out the indoor fall season.

"I've put the Davis Cup ahead of anything else this whole year. It's not that often that you actually get to play in the Davis Cup final for your country — especially at home in Australia," Hewitt said. "It just depends every year on how the draw pans out and it's panned out bloody well for us this year that we've had three out of the four home matches. You don't know when it's going to be that you have four guys on the team like the four we've got this year."

The year began with Hewitt hoping to halt a frustrating streak of futility at the Australian Open that saw him fail to surpass the second round of his home major in four of his previous six appearances. In January, Hewitt's hopes for an elusive Australian Open title ended in the fourth round as Younes El Aynaoui's sensational serving helped him create a compelling conquest of the top-seeded Hewitt with a 6-7 (4-7), 7-6 (7-4), 7-6 (7-5), 6-4 victory.

Asked to assess the biggest factors in his annual Australian Open struggles, Hewitt said he's been pleased with his play for the most part, but came up short against an opponent who was playing better this year.

"I've actually felt like I played pretty well at the Australian Open," Hewitt said. "This year, I felt like I was getting better and better with each match and I ran into a guy who was serving (well). For me not to break serve in four sets of tennis is nearly unheard of, I think, and I didn't break serve against El Aynaoui. He just served too well. If I got through that match then it would have been a huge opportunity as Rainer Schuettler go through to the final so it might have been a good opportunity to play Andre in the final. The year before (2002) I got the chicken pox and was pretty useless in the first round (loss to Alberto Martin) because of that. You know, I've been a little bit sick the last couple of years."

Rested, relaxed and rejuvenated by his break from the Tour, Hewitt said the draw will play a part in his ability to contend for the title at the 2004 Australian Open.

"I'm sure my fitness will hold up coming into January this year," Hewitt said. "Playing the Hopman Cup and Sydney the weeks before, I'm hopefully going to have enough matches under my belt going into it. But you never know. A lot of it depends on the draw, I think, and how the early rounds go."

copyright Tennis Week, 2003

Knockers LaBroad
11-24-2003, 04:56 PM
Aussies court in speed trap
By Mike Hedge
November 25, 2003

AUSTRALIA'S Davis Cup team entered the "Twilight Zone" at Rod Laver Arena yesterday – and for its two biggest stars it was not a happy experience.

The Australians will play the 2003 Davis Cup final against Spain from Friday on the same portable court used in the 2001 final loss to France. That clash was supposed to have delivered an Australian victory but instead turned into a nightmare.

Yesterday the court at Rod Laver Arena was giving the Australian singles players Lleyton Hewitt and Mark Philippoussis one major problem.

It was too slow.

Hewitt loudly and frequently expressed his dismay at the slowness of the court. Philippoussis was the same as ball after ball failed to come through off a surface that was lush and long. Had an umpire been present at yesterday's practice session both players would have been fined for audible obscenities.
The court, with two years extra growth, should be a better quality surface than the one which was breaking apart by the final day against the French.

According to Australian Davis Cup captain John Fitzgerald, this grass court isn't going to backfire on his team as it did in 2001.

"I think everyone is going to see a magnificent court come Friday," Fitzgerald said.

"Sure it was slow today, but you couldn't have it like match day or there'd be nothing left of it," Fitzgerald said.

Of greater concern to Fitzgerald was the strangeness of playing on grass while the arena roof was closed.

"It's a weird feeling, like being in the twilight zone," he said.

"A grass court indoors with a funny light, it's not something you get anywhere else and it strikes you as being a bit odd."

Philippoussis had the better of Hewitt in yesterday's session, although he caused a slight concern as he left the court rubbing his troublesome shoulder.

But Fitzgerald put that down to the power with which Philippoussis hits the ball rather than any recurrence of the injury which has plagued him for several years.

The Spanish team also had its first practice on the match court yesterday. Spanish No. 1 Juan Carlos Ferrero, who flew in on Saturday, has endured a gruelling season but will still look for plenty of practice on grass this week.

At the Masters Cup in Houston, played in a round-robin format, Ferrero was the only player in the eight-man field not to win a match.

The Advertiser

Knockers LaBroad
11-24-2003, 04:57 PM
Corretja forgiven, not forgotten
By Leo Schlink
November 25, 2003

DESPERATE for Davis Cup final success, Lleyton Hewitt has questioned Spanish veteran Alex Corretja's inflammatory role in the 2000 decider.

Hewitt blames Corretja for the vicious crowd treatment the Australians received from the Barcelona crowd three years ago.

The 22-year-old said Corretja's sustained campaign against him finally led to an angry Pat Rafter confronting Corretja during a doubles match in Germany.

In a wide-ranging interview, Hewitt said betting should not be allowed on tennis and that he was unsure if tennis was drug-free.

Describing 2003 as a season of missed opportunities, he said he was puzzled why coach Roger Rasheed attracted so much criticism.

While Hewitt has accepted Corretja's apology for his verbal attacks leading into the 2000 Davis Cup final with Spain, the Wimbledon and US Open winner has not forgotten what happened.

"That was the worst crowd I've ever played in front of," Hewitt said.

"There's no doubt Alex and (Davis Cup captain Javier) Duarte were headlining the whole situation and built it up that way."

Hewitt said Corretja was confronted by Rafter in Germany six months later after the Spaniard drilled a drive straight into the Australian's head from close range.

"Corretja got a short ball and basically just took my head off," Hewitt said. "Then Corretja's basically making a lot of excuses.

"Pat just confronted him and said 'Mate, Lleyton's done nothing wrong here. "You're the guy who's been at his face the whole day and you could have gone anywhere with that ball.'

"It was nice to have a guy like Pat Rafter on your side at a time like that.

"Going into this tie, I've spoken to Alex since and it's all in the memory bank."

Hewitt also dismisses theories the Spaniards will not be competitive on grass at Rod Laver Arena, warning Carlos Moya "could be the most dangerous", while lauding Juan Carlos Ferrero's class.

The Advertiser

11-25-2003, 07:37 AM
Aussie players get special number on tracksuits
November 25, 2003

Tennis Australia has introduced a special number on its players’ tracksuits for the forthcoming Davis Cup by BNP Paribas Final against Spain to mark the rich history of Davis Cup in this country.


The Australian team with Ken Rosewall centre: Mark Philippoussis, Lleyton Hewitt, Todd Woodbridge and Wayne Arthurs.

Each Team member will have an individual number embroidered on their tracksuit top and pants alongside their name and the Australian Coat of Arms. The number relates to the order in history that they have been selected to represent Australia in Davis Cup since Australia first played in 1905. To date, 91 Australians have represented their country in Davis Cup.

Tennis Australia President Geoff Pollard, said, "Australia has a rich tradition of players who have stepped forward to represent their country in Davis Cup and Fed Cup over the last century and we were looking for a way to further acknowledge the history and prestige of this competition.

"The players were very supportive of this idea of a player number and the ITF has given our Team a special dispensation to wear their numbers on their tracksuits for the Final.

"We hope that this will become a permanent feature of Davis Cup and Fed Cup tradition not just for Australia, but for other countries as well."

The current Team of Captain John Fitzgerald (Player No.73), Coach Wally Masur (75), Todd Woodbridge (83), Mark Philippoussis (86), Lleyton Hewitt (89) and Wayne Arthurs (90), received their numbered tracksuits from tennis legend Ken Rosewall (43) in a private ceremony on Monday evening.

It is envisaged that Australia’s former Davis Cup and Fed Cup players, or their surviving relatives, will each be given a special numbered certificate at an appropriate date in the future.

A full list of Australia’s Davis Cup members is listed below.


1905 - 2003

Players in Order of Appearance:-

1. Sir Norman Brookes
2. A Wilding
3. A Dunlop
4. H Parker
5. L Poideven
6. G Sharp
7. R Heath
8. H Rice
9. A Jones
10. S Doust
11. J Anderson
12. G Patterson
13. R Thomas |
14. P O’Hara Wood
15. J Hawkes
16. N Peach
17. C Todd
18. R Wetherim
19. I McInnes
20 F Kalms
21. J Crawford
22. H Hopman
23. E Moon
24. J Willard
25. J Clemenger
26. C Sproule
27. V McGrath
28. A Quist
29. D Turnbull
30. J Bromwich
31. L Schwartz
32. C Long
33. D Pails
34. G Brown
35. W Sidwell
36. F Sedgman
37. K McGregor
38. M Rose
39. G Worthington
40. I Ayre
41. L Hoad
42. R Hartwig
43. K Rosewall
44. A Cooper
45. N Fraser

46. M Anderson
47. R Laver
48. R Emerson
49. R Mark
50. F Stolle
51. K Fletcher
52. J Newcombe
53. O Davidson
54. A Roche
55. W Bowrey
56. J Alexander
57. P Dent
58. R Ruffels
59. R Crealy
60. A Stone
61. R Case
62. J Cooper
63. C Dibley
64 R Giltinan
65. G Masters
66. S Ball
67. M Edmondson
68. K Warwick
69. B Drewett
70. R Frawley
71. P McNamara
72. P McNamee
73. J Fitzgerald
74. P Cash
75. W Masur
76. P Doohan
77. B Dyke
78. D Cahill
79. M Woodforde
80. J Stoltenberg
81. R Fromberg
82. M Kratzmann
83. T Woodbridge
84. J Morgan
85. P Rafter
86. M Philippoussis
87. S Draper
88. S Stolle
89. L Hewitt
90. W Arthurs
91. A Ilie

11-25-2003, 07:38 AM
Transcript of Australian Team Press Conference
November 25, 2003




28-30 NOVEMBER, 2003




QUESTION: Mark, what did you think of the court yesterday?

MARK PHILIPPOUSIS: It was pretty exciting walking out and seeing that grass court out there. It made me feel pretty good. I am pretty excited about it. It was playing a little heavy yesterday but every day the court is cut a millimetre and by the time the matches start on Friday it will nice and quick which will be great.

QUESTION: In terms of the bounce, Mark, are you happy with the evenness?

MARK PHILIPPOUSIS: Like I said, yesterday was a little heavier and today will be a little quicker, it will be down a millimetre, down to seven millimetres today and, you know, I'll be looking forward to getting out there and seeing what it is like today. Especially I think the court is going to be a little harder and a little better after each day of hitting, so all in all it's pretty fair.

QUESTION: Mark, you had a bit of a stiff shoulder yesterday; how has that pulled up this morning?

MARK PHILIPPOUSIS: Not really a stiff shoulder, just like Rusty :D said, and I haven't been at it for a few weeks so I just want it to be close enough for me and I just wanted to relax and get ready for today, it felt pretty good. I just want to make sure my body is in good condition on Friday so if there is any niggling things that are bothering me, I just want to take care of them earlier on.

QUESTION: So no problem?

MARK PHILIPPOUSIS: No problem at all.

QUESTION: Mark, we all know about your feelings after you lose in May but do you agree with the remarks of Mr Hewitt about the lack of the Spaniards for the Davis Cup tradition and everything in Barcelona?

MARK PHILIPPOUSSIS: I definitely think Rusty said that in that way. I don't want to say anything negative. We are thinking about preparing for Friday and that is where our mind is. Anything else, I am sure we don't want to discuss anything like that or talk about that. We just want to keep things nice and positive and think about the tie that starts on Friday. This is the finals, as big as it gets, and I think it will be a shame to shadow it with negative things.

QUESTION: Mark, the last time you led the team was in Nice for the final and all four of you were there. Have you thought back to that time at all, and it is sort of like you have come together again, this group, and have you thought back and can you take some confidence and inspiration from that time?

MARK PHILIPPOUSIS: I think we can all definitely look back and take things away from that final. For me it was the last final I played in Davis Cup and I have always said that it was the best experience and best feeling I have ever had in tennis in my career so far. I think if there is anything that could top a Davis Cup win away is a Davis Cup win at home, so with that, every Davis Cup is a different tie, anything can happen so obviously I can take some experience away from Nice but I feel like this is so much bigger.

QUESTION: Mark, was there ever a point in your tennis career you thought perhaps with your injuries and then you play a bit hard, you think that you might not ever get back to this position preparing for a final?

MARK PHILIPPOUSIS: No, I never thought that. I definitely thought we have got such a strong team, in depth and everything and if we come together as a team and compete and just drive each other on, which we have been doing all year, we are going to be a hell of a tough team to beat and tough country to beat and that has always been my feelings as well as everyone else in the team. So I am even sure this won't be our last year.

QUESTION: Given what happened at Wimbledon, Mark, is it sort of a repeat of your journey back to be playing in the final in your home town?

MARK PHILIPPOUSIS: It's just pretty much - if this was a story, then it couldn't be much of a better ending, hopefully that Davis Cup cup on the weekend.

QUESTION: Mark, have you given much thought to who your first singles match might be against?

MARK PHILIPPOUSIS: No, whether it be Moya or Lopez, I honestly don't care, I know what I have to do and I really don't care who they put up to play me.

QUESTION: Would you prefer to play any particular one?

MARK PHILIPPOUSIS: No, I wouldn't care. For me I will be looking at a face at the other end, I will be concentrating on the ball and taking it one point at a time.

QUESTION: Fitzy, your gut feeling of whether they play Moya or Lopez?

JOHN FITZGERALD: Have a rest, okay.

MARK PHILIPPOUSIS: I will take this one.

JOHN FITZGERALD: Look, I think it's a guess. We don't know who they are going to play. I don't think I can add anything else except what I said yesterday, they have a big decision to make and that's their decision and we won't be surprised either way, whoever they choose out of those two.

QUESTION: Lleyton, the Spanish have said a lot about the fact you haven't played a match for a couple of months. What is your response to the doubts about your preparation?

LLEYTON HEWITT: It is a different kind of match, I think, playing on grass so it is a bit of an equalizer in that whole sense. I have had a lot more practice on grass than any of those guys have. They have played a lot of matches, they have played them all indoors, most of them indoors, last few weeks, last few months and I guess I can draw a lot of confidence from my last two matches that I played and they were two on this very arena and against especially Federer, a worthy opponent. So, I am just going to take those memories out there and hopefully get off to a great start.

QUESTION: Is this as fresh as you have felt?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yes, probably I guess, especially big ties, when we played the finals before, quite often I played the Masters Cup and the whole indoor circuit and played a lot of matches and maybe was physically run down a little bit going in and trying to bounce back and stay fresh for that whole time and it's pretty tough. I know exactly what Ferrero and Moya are going through. I am in a totally different situation myself this time but hopefully it is going to be the right preparation.

QUESTION: Have you enjoyed your time away from the game?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yes, it has been good. I have just been resting and I have been training extremely hard though, putting in a lot of hours both on the court and in the gym and done a lot of miles running and fitness work and I feel like I have prepared as well as possible and hopefully I haven't left any stones unturned.

QUESTION: You have bulked up too. ;)

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, I'm massive. :D

QUESTION: Lleyton, you are the number two singles player, you were the number one singles player for a couple of years; does it feel any different, and in fact is it a good thing that you are the number two singles player because it shows the strength of the team? How do you feel about that?

LLEYTON HEWITT: I don't think it makes any difference at all. You know, I am going to go out there and I feel like if I can beat Juan Carlos on day one then it gives Australia a huge advantage and that is all my focus is on, is on Ferrero on Friday and I feel like I have probably been given the opportunity in this tie to crack the whole Davis Cup final wide open I think on day one and I feel like I am good enough to do it and everyone talks about all the pressure's on us. Well, they have got two guys in the top ten played who have just played in the Masters Cup. We have got no one so we will wait and see what happens.

QUESTION: I know you don't want to say anything negative but in the 2000 in your first game you used the word revenge as your motivation for getting back in that great game.

LLEYTON HEWITT: 2000 in the final?

QUESTION: In your first match there.

LLEYTON HEWITT: I wasn't really revenge at the time.

QUESTION: You said it was revenge from all the shit that you had gotten out there?

LLEYTON HEWITT: It wasn't really revenge because that is when I actually got it, out there during that match. It was more trying to block it out as much as possible during that match.

QUESTION: How much of that is still even in the background, in your mind at the moment?

LLEYTON HEWITT: I am on the only one sitting here who played in that tie. Fitzy and Wally weren't the captain at that tie and I have very strong memories about it. I think any final in Davis Cup it is tough to take and especially I know Wayne has felt it a couple of years ago when you are the last match out there. I was the fourth match out there and I knew if I didn't win that match against Ferrero on the third day then Australia lost and it's a tough pill to swallow. It takes you a while to get over it, but it always stored up in the memory bank I guess. This is a totally different tie in a totally different country on a different surface. I have just got to go out there and worry about my game.

QUESTION: Are you hoping the Aussie crowd might give them a bit of their own medicine?

LLEYTON HEWITT: There is no way the fanatics could behave that badly.

QUESTION: You said you have Ferrero on Friday. What about if you have to you play Moya?

LLEYTON HEWITT: I will worry about him in the fifth match if I have got to play him. Hopefully I won't have to worry.

QUESTION: Are you saying Juan Carlos is not playing?

JOHN FITZGERALD: Do you know something we don't know?

LLEYTON HEWITT: It would be cruel not to play your world number 3.

QUESTION: It's a chance.

QUESTION: What do you all think of the concept of the numbers?

LLEYTON HEWITT: I think it's awesome. I am probably speaking on behalf of the whole team here, but I reckon it's incredible and I don't know who actually came up with the first idea, whether it was Fitzy or Wally.

MARK PHILIPPOUSIS: I think it was too good an idea for Fitzy to come up with it

JOHN FITZGERALD: He set it up.

LLEYTON HEWITT: Fitzy and Wally came up with the idea and I think it's great. It's something that we can cherish for our whole careers, I guess, and even when we stop playing and it's something that the years building up for a guy like Todd Reid and Chris Guccione and the young guys, it's something they can look towards and sort of get presented with the gold tracksuit I guess, and get your name on it and the Coat of Arms on it as well. I think this is the ideal tie to present it.

QUESTION: Wayne, from a couple of years ago you got that last minute call up; are you ready again?

WAYNE ARTHURS: I am ready, yes. Hopefully I won't have to have that call up again but, no, I am ready; ready for this one. I have been putting in the yards since India last year, we wanted to make this our goal to win the Davis Cup this year. As Lleyton said, there is no stone unturned and everybody is prepared and everybody is ready, no matter which situation we call upon.

QUESTION: Lleyton, you had a tough match against Ferrero at the US Open; how much can you take from that match?

LLEYTON HEWITT: That is as well as I have seen Juan Carlos ever play, that day and also against Agassi the following day, I watched a little bit on TV and he played incredibly well. Hard court is different to grass though but, you know, he is a tough competitor and he obviously won Madrid a couple of weeks ago and was in the Masters Cup even though he didn't perform at his best but, you know, he is a tough player and getting better and better each year and he's getting more and more successful on other surfaces such as hard court and grass. This year he has taken big steps obviously reaching the final of the US Open and round 16 at Wimbledon.

QUESTION: Have you learnt something from each of your matches against him do you feel like you are getting in the groove against him and his weapon?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yes, I felt like before, you know, I felt a bit of a twinge in my hip in that match, I felt like I was actually playing incredible tennis. I thought we were playing extremely well, it was as well as I had played all year up to that point. It was one set at all, and I had two set points at to win the third set 6-4 as well and go up two sets to one, so I was a little bit unlucky I guess in that match and I took a lot of confidence into the semifinal tie and playing such a good match against Ferrero at the US Open. So, you know, you always have little ideas up your sleeve but, you know, what you see is pretty much what you get with Juan Carlos. He is not going to come out and serve volley just because it's on grass.

QUESTION: Do you have any opinion about Feliciano Lopez?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Never played him, no. Obviously he is a good grass court player and he plays well on grass, for a Spaniard it's one of his worst surfaces, I'd say, with his game, looking at his results anyway. He is going to be a tough competitor but, you know, it's a big call I have to say, you know, do you put a rookie in like that in a Davis Cup final against Mark and myself; a big call.

QUESTION: Todd, having been through these before, how do you tailor your practice so that you hopefully peak on the Saturday; are you easing into it now or are you at full throttle?

TODD WOODBRIDGE: No, I think one thing we have done well as a team in the last couple of years is individually we know what we do week in, week out that gets us to playing well at the majors or the big tournaments and Fitzy and Wally have been very good at letting us all go to our own sort of agenda in that regard. For me, I have had three or four good days where I have been on the court for a lot of hours and now it's just a matter of working on some serving, returning, a couple of sets and being fresh come the weekend. So, the preparation I think is good. It doesn't mean it will be perfect, but it's the things that I always do well at the majors to try and play well and it generally has worked for me.

QUESTION: You obviously have played more Davis Cup teams than anyone else. What is the particular characteristic, or the different thing about this team compared with others you have played in that make it stand out to you about what will make this a good final.

TODD WOODBRIDGE: I think this year, in particular, we have gone about being a very good team in the sense that we have had to carry the load, everyone has done their bit. It hasn't relied solely on one player. You know, the doubles has been important, particularly in that last tie to keep Roger out on the court in that match and you have got a big gun with Flip who is so dangerous the way he plays and guys are scared of him. You have got Lleyton who guys are scared of because they know they have got to stay there four hours to beat him and You've got Wayne and I who this year have been two of the best doubles players in the world. So, the whole core of the team blends very well, it's a good match up, we cover each other's weaknesses well.

QUESTION: John, do you compare this with France and why would you win this one when we lost against France under similar sorts of circumstances?

JOHN FITZGERALD: That's a thought I guess for conjecture. I don't know how you can answer that really. We thought we had a good chance against France. We played against a team that played probably at their peak, Nicholas Escude was outstanding that weekend. I probably haven't seen him play as well since or before and they had a very, very talented all round time. So, you know, this another two horse race. You fight all year to put yourself in this position and give yourself a chance to take home the silverware and it is a long road, but there is still no guarantees when you get here. I don't know how you compare it to France. I think both of those teams - France and Spain - are extremely high quality. The Spanish team is full of class and as you would expect if you get to a Davis Cup final, there is no way you are ever going to play a team of bunnies if you are in a Davis Cup final, you expect to play the best and we feel we are doing that this weekend. So, there is no guarantees either way.

QUESTION: Todd, the fact that you have had the same team all four ties, has that helped a lot to engender a good spirit?

TODD WOODBRIDGE: Yes, I think so. I've talked about we have a really good core of people knowing what their job is, what they have got to try to do. Like Wayne said, we have all prepared very well, although sometimes it's individually, it has given us a good opportunity to know how we should feel and what we should be doing when we get to the final. I don't think any of us feel enormous pressure or nerves because we have been doing this all year now and we know what we have to do. The thing about Davis Cup matches is that they are all difficult, no matter whether they are the first round or the final, they are all played the same way. So, this time around we are doing nothing different to what we have done all year. I think that helps you in terms of your confidence and where you are.

QUESTION: Mark, Mark Philippoussis and the Australian Davis Cup team hasn't always been easy for you, but seems to be very comfortable now. What is it about? Is it something that has changed in you or the way the team operates that explains why you seem to be just so comfortable in the company now as part of a Davis Cup team member?

MARK PHILIPPOUSSIS: I would say I have always been comfortable in the Davis Cup. I wouldn't say I haven't been an easy fit in the past but every time I have been a part of the Davis Cup squad and in the team there has been nothing but positive things. You know, I enjoy - tennis is such an individual thing. You are travelling, you are on the court on your own and travelling non-stop and it's refreshing and it's great to stop after a while and be part of a team and do things with a group for a change and train and you pat each other on the back when you have a good session and help each other, which is what it is all about. When that happens I think I enjoy that and I come together well, especially with this team I get along with everyone on and off the court extremely well and you have got to be comfortable with each other. I think we are, we go to dinner every night, we play golf or whatever we have to do. I am pretty happy to be a part of a team like this.

QUESTION: I guess what I was getting at, do you feel like a team now, you are well accepted for who you are rather than maybe in the past we might have seen a round peg trying to get jammed into a square hole?

MARK PHILIPPOUSIS: The thing is everyone is different. I think one thing that has made me even more comfortable with this team and with Fitzy and Wally, Fitzy and Wally understand everyone is different, accepts that and okay, they get together and think okay, what's the best way to go about this, what's the best progression for Flip or for Todd or Rusty or Wayne on the court and they work and make that happen, you know. Whether Rusty has to hit for three hours a day and myself for an hour and a half or two hours, you have got to try and work that in and we have been doing that and for me that is very important and makes me very comfortable and if I am happy, I play good tennis and I am very happy with this team and very comfortable with this team.

QUESTION: Fitzy, as a team did you sit down and take pow wows and ice breakers with these guys and watched video of the opposition to try and find a way of unsettling their camp or working out what your approach will be?

JOHN FITZGERALD: There has been a touch of that. There will be more of that as we lead into the weekend. Look, Mark is right, you know, a team together in Davis Cup. They are a group of individuals and they are all very different and they come together as a team to work together. So adaptability is needed by everyone, by Wally and I but by the four guys in the team and we all think differently at times and that is the secret of a successful team. There is a sense of history I think in this team. History and playing for your country is very important and that's part of the reason why we have got these new gold jackets or whatever we are going to call them, the golden fleece or the new golden jacket we are going to produce every time to a young kid who gets into this team. Because it's important and it is a sense of history. There has only ever been 91 players in the history of our sport in this country that have represented Australia at Davis Cup level. It's a small group over 90 or 100 years and I think all of these players feel that and yes, they are a group of individuals they are all different but that's the beauty of it. They are so different it's just an interesting experience every day and I think that's what bonds them together when they come together as a team to fight for a common goal and this gold jacket is going to be important to us, all of us as time goes on.

QUESTION: What I was getting at, have the boys told you things that you didn't know about the Spanish, has it worked that way?

JOHN FITZGERALD: We all contribute with any information that we have got, all of us. The guys that have played against them, they have watched them on the tour and so would any team. Quite often these guys see more of them than Wally than I these days. We see a fair bit of them but they are there at the coal face and see them playing most weeks. There is a lot of tidbits that they share of their own experiences about when they play the opposition and we get together as a team over dinner at times and we throw those around and each individual takes away what he thinks he can use. Its a constant learning experience I guess.

QUESTION: Do you prefer that it would be played with a roof or open air? Is it very important for you the kind of game?

JOHN FITZGERALD: Personally I think it is ridiculous to play grass tennis indoors. I think it's ridiculous. My request or Tennis Australia's request that this was an outdoor tournament and not that we don't think we can play well on an indoor grass court but it's like playing in a twilight zone. It's very different and strange and it's an experience that you don't experience normally. So, yes, I strongly believe their should be an outdoor tie but the ITF in their ultimate wisdom decided the roof will close if it rains. I disagree with that personally and in fact I think it will take away some of the character of the tie like I think it did in 2001. But, having said that, they are the rules, we are not making the rules and we will abide by the rules but I find it very interesting that we have the greatest technological tennis stadium in the world here and maybe in a round about way we are penalized for that.

QUESTION: The play should be suspended until rain stops?

JOHN FITZGERALD: I understand there is TV but I think the character of the sport and the character of grass tennis, it's an outdoor event and I don't know how vividly you remember the 2001 last game but it was very strange. When you play for what we think is the greatest annual team event in world sport and the last day is played indoors on a grass court it seems very strange to me.

QUESTION: Would there be any chance of the roof going on the blink if there's rain or a fuse going?

JOHN FITZGERALD: This doesn't happen in this country. I can name a few where it does happen. It will be played in the true spirit of international competition here, I can promise you that and that's the way it should be.

QUESTION: Fitzy, have you made those thoughts well known to whoever it has to be.


QUESTION: The response.

JOHN FITZGERALD: Through the appropriate channels, yes. It's not a big deal. It's not a big deal for this team at all.

TODD WOODBRIDGE: It never rains in Melbourne anyway.

- - - - -

11-25-2003, 09:42 AM
24 Nov 2003 - Rod Laver Arena, Melbourne Park, AUS - Daviscup.com
Grass Isn't Perfect - Yet, say Australians
After the first day's practice on the temporary grass court in Rod Laver Arena, it is the Spanish who seem the happier with the way the court is playing - at least, that is what they are saying.

This morning it was the Australian team who got the first chance to hit some balls on the court, the same one that they lost the final to France on two years ago. Although the court looks healthy and green enough, and seems to be providing an even bounce, the joins between the 153 modules that make up the court are still visible in places.

The Australian squad certainly seemed to be taking a very close interest in the surface, with players and coaches alike often bending down to have a closer look - and running their hands over it to get a good feel for it - during the two and a half hour session.

Captain John Fitzgerald was seen talking to Murray Macfarlane, the grass court consultant responsible for the maintenance and preparation of the surface, on more than one occasion.

After the practice, Fitzgerald and coach Wally Masur admitted that the court wasn't entirely as they wanted - yet.

"You can't have it exactly as you want it on matchday all week," said Fitzgerald, confirming that the court was indeed playing a bit slower than the home team would like or expect.

He explained that, according to Macfarlane, the court has much more grass coverage this time around compared with two years ago, and even has a root system now. This should make it much tougher - in 2001 it began to break up badly as the weekend went on - but it is slowing the ball up at this stage. Of course, the grass, which appears quite long at the moment, can be cut to make the court harder, faster and with a lower bounce, and you'd certainly expect this to happen before Friday as that would suit the Australians more.

"It's like a haircut," added Masur. "You don't cut too much off to begin with because then you have nothing to work with."

In what seemed a tense practice - Fitzgerald acknowledged that the players had been 'edgy' and 'competitive' - it was Lleyton Hewitt who put in the most time on court, hitting with Mark Philippoussis and, later, hitting partner and promising youngster Todd Reid. It was an oddly silent session, the quietness broken only by shouts of frustration from the players who were clearly taking the practice sets seriously.

The roof was closed for much of the session due to rain, and then only partially opened as the threat of showers remained, something that seemed to irk Fitzgerald.

"It's a bit like the Twilight Zone with the roof closed," he said. "In an ideal world you'd practise all week and play all the tie outside, grass is an outdoor surface."

The Spanish, meanwhile, had a seemingly more relaxed session in the afternoon, albeit with the roof fully open as the sun was finally showing its face. Juan Carlos Ferrero hit with Felciano Lopez before Carlos Moya and Alex Corretja took to the grass, with a marked increase in conversation and joviality compared with the Australians. There was also less obvious inspection of the court.

"It seems a good court, not too fast, not to slow," was Lopez's verdict.

"It is much slower than Kooyong [where the teams had been practising up to today], but that is normal as this is a new court," he added. "It is still a grass court, and what we expected."

He also hinted that he felt this might change during the week, and that they would have to wait and see what happened with the surface.

As for who might play for the Spanish, Lopez stuck to the line that they have been putting out all week: the singles players are very likely to be Ferrero and Moya, but that it might change. Earlier Fitzgerald had said that he also thought it a long shot that Lopez would come in for a singles rubber, but that he was preparing his own team for any eventuality.

With both squads playing their cards so close to their chest, the tension looks set to build throughout the week.


till now i tried to convince myself that i was worrying without reason; now i've one more reason to worry :mad:

11-25-2003, 01:02 PM
Hewitt hopeful of victory

Hewitt has been practising hard
Lleyton Hewitt says his slide down the world rankings could work to Australia's advantage in the Davis Cup final against Spain.
The former world number one has tumbled down to 16th and is in the unfamiliar position of being Australia's number two behind Mark Philippoussis.

This means he will play Spain's top-ranked player, world number three Juan Carlos Ferrero, in Friday's first day of singles in Melbourne.

Hewitt said: "I feel like if I can beat Juan Carlos on day one it gives Australia a huge advantage.

"I've been given the opportunity in this tie to crack the whole Davis Cup final wide open."

Hewitt is feeling fresh after missing the Masters Cup but thinks Ferrero and Carlos Moya could struggle after competing in the end-of-season event.

He added: "I've been training extremely hard, putting in a lot of hours on the court and in the gym and done a lot of miles running."

Philippoussis, Wimbledon runner-up this year, led Australia to victory over France in the 1999 Davis Cup final by winning both his singles matches.

But this will be his first final in his hometown of Melbourne.

He said: "If there's anything that can top a Davis Cup win away, it's a Davis Cup win at home.

"We've got such a strong team and if we come together as a team and just drive each other on, we're going to be tough to beat."

11-25-2003, 07:51 PM
Come on Aussies!!!
I can't wait till the weekend.
Good luck guys, especially Lleyton ;) !!! :bounce: :bounce: :bounce:
I wish you all the best and cross my fingers.
:yeah: I believe in you.... :worship: :worship: :worship:

11-26-2003, 12:14 AM
QUESTION: You have bulked up too. ;)

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, I'm massive. :D


Thanks for the articles Elke, Tara, Dani and Keira. I can't wait till DC!

11-26-2003, 04:28 AM
when it says "QUESTION: You have bulked up too." it was mark philipoussis (sp?) that said that. :p

11-26-2003, 08:21 AM
http://www.click-smilies.de/sammlung0903/huepfen/jumping-smiley-015.gifhttp://www.click-smilies.de/sammlung0903/huepfen/jumping-smiley-001.gif Good Luck Aussies!http://www.click-smilies.de/sammlung0903/huepfen/jumping-smiley-001.gif http://www.click-smilies.de/sammlung0903/huepfen/jumping-smiley-015.gif

11-27-2003, 07:14 PM
:worship: Good luck Aussies!!!! :worship:
:bounce: Come on Lleyton and Filp!!! :bounce:
:bigclap: You can do it.

11-27-2003, 09:42 PM

11-27-2003, 09:58 PM
I am getting very excited about this final! Go team!

11-27-2003, 10:06 PM
I'm really excited now.
Just hoping the scoreboard is going to work properly.... not optimistic.

11-27-2003, 10:07 PM
GO SPAIN GO!! we will eat the aussies

11-27-2003, 10:21 PM
Glad to see the Spaniards getting excited too, that's what it's all about ;)

Not sure why they're doing it in a Lleyton Lounge though ...

11-27-2003, 10:36 PM
We cant compare Moya or Ferrero with Hewitt or Scud.. even in grass!!! the qualiy always is the quality :)

11-27-2003, 11:04 PM
Eyy what joke is that.. shit the aussis not play the spanish himno!!! :mad:


11-27-2003, 11:09 PM
This is awful - the scoreboard isn't working properly, it just said that Ll RETIRED! and now that Spain are 1-0 up in the tie... and now they're 40-40 in the first game. It's almost worse than not seeing anything at all!

11-27-2003, 11:19 PM
Im seeing the match live in TV Jessi. all is ok.. now KIM in image LOL

11-28-2003, 12:46 AM
C'mon guys :bounce:

11-28-2003, 12:58 AM

11-28-2003, 01:21 AM
2-1, one more lleyton :) (joke)

11-28-2003, 01:23 AM
Raul-Lopez, I think the forum you were looking for is here:


Sorry you got lost, happens sometimes with all these crazy forums :( No need to thank me for helping you find your way :)

11-28-2003, 01:25 AM
Come ON Lleyton! :bounce:

11-28-2003, 01:34 AM
Raul-Lopez, I think the forum you were looking for is here:


Sorry you got lost, happens sometimes with all these crazy forums :( No need to thank me for helping you find your way :)

:eek: Sorry but this forum is about Lleyton , and now is playing.. this is not an australian only people ¿isnt it?

11-28-2003, 01:39 AM
:eek: Sorry but this forum is about Lleyton , and now is playing.. this is not an australian only people ¿isnt it?
Of course it's not only for Australians... I'm not Australian myself, Canadian actually. We've also got a lot of Belgians, Americans, etc... in here so of course it's not limited to Australians :) This is however a Lleyton fan forum so while the forum isn't only for Aussies, it is only for Lleyton fans.

GO SPAIN GO!! we will eat the aussies

Or perhaps I was mistaken and you actually are a Lleyton fan :confused: If that is the case, I would suggest editing your earlier posts to avoid any confusion :)

11-28-2003, 01:41 AM
Glad to see the Spaniards getting excited too, that's what it's all about ;)

Not sure why they're doing it in a Lleyton Lounge though ...

Read it, this is the life of sport.. nothing more, i have no problems, is only a game :sad:

11-28-2003, 01:43 AM
Read it, this is the life of sport.. nothing more, i have no problems, is only a game :sad:
What are you crying about?? You came into the Lleyton fan forum to cheer for Spain during Davis Cup and you expect us to what, welcome you in with open arms?? There's a Spanish forum, a Davis Cup Forum and general messages forum where you can cheer for Spain.

11-28-2003, 01:46 AM
Ok ok then in this forum.. only Lleyton can be a god and great player, the best... cant i critic his game?

11-28-2003, 01:50 AM
Ok ok then in this forum.. only Lleyton can be a god and great player, the best... cant i critic his game?
If you're not a Lleyton fan, you're not welcome in this forum. Luckily for you however, there's a whole thread in GM where you can critic Lleyton as much as you like, others will even join in and nobody will tell you to be quiet :)


11-28-2003, 01:52 AM
angele87 recognizes that if Lleyton was winning the game my presence here would be with more humor than now :)

11-28-2003, 01:54 AM
angele87 recognizes that if Lleyton was winning the game my presence here would be with more humor than now :)
Raul-Lopez, I have been as nice to you can I can possibly be to anybody who's not a Lleyton fan and comes into the Lleyton forum. You are NOT a Lleyton fan and you are NOT welcome here. Please get out now!

11-28-2003, 01:56 AM
Also, please don't make excuses, it only makes you look petty. This has nothing to do with Lleyton winning or losing. The bottom line is that you're in a Lleyton FAN forum cheering for somebody else and that is clearly unacceptible!

11-28-2003, 01:59 AM
Perhaps Raul is new to this forum and doesn't understand that these particular forums are only for people who want to cheer a player. JCF has one just like this one, and people who are cheering for Lleyton would not be welcome there.

11-28-2003, 02:02 AM
OK , Sorry angele87

Good luck

11-28-2003, 02:02 AM
Awww naw guys you are being a bit too harsh, Remember i used to cheer for Zhenya whenever he played Llegs... it's ok to cheer against sometimes, just a little bit ;)

11-28-2003, 02:05 AM
Sorry Ana but one thing I cannot tolerate is people going against Lleyton in this forum, especially in a thread like this ( i.e a cheering thread). We have to put up with so much crap about Lleyton in GM and everywhere else that most of us just stay in LLL now because there's really no where else for us to go and be able to like Lleyton without hearing things against him.

11-28-2003, 03:12 AM
Awww naw guys you are being a bit too harsh, Remember i used to cheer for Zhenya whenever he played Llegs... it's ok to cheer against sometimes, just a little bit ;)

Yes, and remember all the times I bitched you out about it? :p Or was that for you defending Corretja's behavior, I can't recall precisely :p In any case, I think I may have copped a bit of flak for it at the time. I certainly hope no one decides to harangue Angele.

And oh look, Lleyton did win. Irony is fun, isn't it?

11-28-2003, 03:15 AM
Lleyton :woohoo: :yippee:

And Marly even though I don't know what harangue means ( :o ) I'm pretty sure I can say thanks lol :kiss:

11-28-2003, 03:40 AM
I think I spelled it right. *looks in dictionary* Aha, I did!

harangue--a tirade; a pompous, wordy address

We've gotten our share of those in this forum, haven't we? :p

Chesty Larue
11-28-2003, 03:43 AM
Yay Lleyton!! :D :bounce:

Harangue..it's a good word ;) Unfortunatly, for me it always brings to mind harass or bother..which really isn't the definition :p

11-28-2003, 03:55 AM
Look. Lleyton's shoes even coordinate. :)


11-28-2003, 03:58 AM
Don't even get me started on Corretja's behavior in that other final. If Lleyton had done anything half like that, people would have been all over him.

Here is is doing a dreadful thing..... pumping his fist. Soooooo bad. ;)


Knockers LaBroad
11-28-2003, 04:08 AM
<those shoes......:o:p

Well done Lleyton!:bounce:

Hewitt Comeback Gives Australia 1-0 Davis Cup Lead
11 minutes ago Add Sports - Reuters to My Yahoo!

By Julian Linden

MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Lleyton Hewitt staged a remarkable comeback to beat French Open (news - web sites) champion Juan Carlos Ferrero, 3-6, 6-3, 3-6, 7-6, 6-2, on Friday and give Australia a 1-0 lead over Australia in the Davis Cup final.

Reuters Photo

The former world number one drew on all his fighting spirit to twice claw his way back from a set down in searing 86 degree Fahrenheit heat.

Ferrero looked to have put the brakes on Hewitt's comeback when he recovered from a service break down to force the fourth set into a tiebreak but the Australian raised his game one more time to runaway with the match.

"It was hard work out there in tough conditions," Hewitt said.

"My thoughts and training for the last eight weeks have all been on this match and trying to get Australia off to a great start."

Hewitt's fighting qualities are already legendary and despite his slide down the world rankings he remains one of the most difficult opponents around.

He rallied from two sets down to beat Wimbledon (news - web sites) champion Roger Federer in the Davis Cup semi-final with Switzerland in September and his performance against Ferrero was just as impressive.

Ferrero, ranked three in the world, had the edge over Hewitt in the early stages of the match, clinically finishing off his break chances to open up a two sets to one lead.

But Hewitt, playing his first match in eight weeks, slowly wore him down, using his superior grass court skills to find a way through Ferrero's steady baseline game.


He failed to serve out the fourth set after leading 5-4 but regained his composure to win the ensuing tiebreak then broke Ferrero's serve at the start of the fifth as he moved in for the kill.

He broke the Spaniard again in the seventh game then served out the match in just under four hours before falling to the ground in triumph.

Mark Philippoussis (news) was due to play Carlos Moya (news) in Friday's second singles match with the doubles scheduled for Saturday and the concluding reserve singles on Sunday.

There was a major controversy before the final began when Tennis Australia inadvertently played the wrong Spanish national anthem.

Spanish Sports Minister Juan Antonio-Angulo, who was watching the ceremony from the stands, left the stadium in protest after the wrong song was played and demanded the correct anthem be played.

Tennis Australia later issued a statement apologizing for the mistake and saying the proper anthem would be played before Saturday and Sunday's matches.

11-28-2003, 04:15 AM
There was a major controversy before the final began when Tennis Australia inadvertently played the wrong Spanish national anthem.


Gee, I thought it was only in the U.S. where that happened.

Good article. Thanks for posting it. :)

11-28-2003, 06:36 AM
:woohoo: :worship: :woohoo: :worship:

Congrats Lleyton! :kiss:

:woohoo: :worship: :woohoo: :worship:

11-28-2003, 06:38 AM
Hewitt claws to victory
By Toby Forage
November 28, 2003

LLEYTON Hewitt needed all his bullish spirit to put Australia 1-0 up in the Davis Cup final against Spain this afternoon, defeating Juan Carlos Ferrero 3-6 6-3 3-6 7-6 6-2.

Hewitt's serve let him down.

The Australian No.2 had to fight back from a set down twice before beating his Spanish counterpart in an epic battle that lasted close to four hours.

In a fascinating battle that favoured both men in equal measure, Hewitt only managed to turn the screws towards the end, cleaning up his opponent in a fourth-set tie-break 7-0 before dousing some late Ferrero fire in the fifth and final set en route to victory.

Hewitt got away to a 3-0 lead in the final stanza before the Spaniard clawed back to 3-2. But by then, the momentum had been well and truly lost as Hewitt just squeezed a little tighter to choke all life out of the match.

However, it was Ferrero who had Spain in the box seat for large chunks of the match as Hewitt made uncharacteristic errors, not least on serve.

The Australian served seven double faults to Ferrero's one through the first three sets, and struggled to win on his second serve after a two-month layoff left him bereft of match form.

While his looked rusty, Hewitt's enormous heart clearly hasn't missed a beat, and after close to four hours, he was the one smiling while Spanish eyes were holding back tears.

Ferrero had shown signs of winning, not least in a see-saw third set, when he kept his cool in searing temperatures to blast his fifth and sixth aces as he served for the set.

Hewitt had already rallied to win the second set, improving his errant serve to put Ferrero under extreme pressure with fierce groundstrokes.

It earned the Australian a break point in the eighth game, an opportunity he duly grasped before serving out comfortably for the set 6-3.

But it was after the tie-break that Ferrero lost heart, and despite a couple of late surges, he couldn't muster enough to halt the Hewitt steamroller.

Mark Philippoussis plays Carlos Moya in the second rubber with a game perfectly suited to the slick grass.

If he can put Australia 2-0 up, the final will be as good as won on the first day.

11-28-2003, 06:39 AM
Australia take early lead

Lleyton Hewitt bt Juan Carlos Ferrero 3-6 6-3 3-6 7-6 6-2
Lleyton Hewitt twice came from a set behind for a breathtaking five-set win over Spain's Juan Carlos Ferrero to move Australia into a 1-0 lead over Spain in the Davis Cup final.

Hewitt, who had not played a competitive match for two months, struggled with his form in the early part of a topsy-turvy contest.

And his array of unforced errors seemingly paved the way for a comfortable victory for Ferrero, who moved two sets to one clear.

But the Spaniard, who had bounced back from a break down in the fourth set, lost his nerve in the tie-break and Hewitt seized his chance, winning it to love.

From there, Ferrero's challenge faltered as a pumped-up Hewitt played up to the crowd with an inspired selection of ground strokes after four hours of play.

Afterwards Hewitt said: "It's good to come out with a win. It was a tough match.

"Ferrero is one of the best players in the world and I gave everything I had in the tank. I played a flawless tie-break and then my best tennis of the match in the fifth set."

World number three Ferrero, best known as a clay-court player, said he had found it difficult to get used to the specially-laid grass court.

"The ball was bouncing in a funny way. There were holes or uneven levels on the surface and it was rather dry," he said.

"You can't come up with as many winners because on the hard ground the ball bounces faster and so on and it's a different game."

Ferrero initially looked the more at ease on the grass surface laid for the final in Melbourne as he won the first set 6-3 in 39 minutes.

Although Hewitt had yet to find his range, he managed to level the scores in the second set, having broken Ferrero's serve in the eighth game.

Ferrero had dominated the game early on

But a brief lapse of concentration allowed Ferrero to pull clear once more, breaking Hewitt to go 4-2 clear and shortly afterwards wrap up the set.

As Hewitt lifted the tempo of his game, his Spanish opponent struggled to keep in the contest, just managing to take the fourth set to a tie-break.

But after losing his opening two serves, he was never in contention as the remainder of the fourth and subsequently fifth sets became increasingly one-sided.

The build-up to the opening rubber was marred when the Republican anthem "Himno de Riego" was played rather than the Spanish national anthem.

Initially Spanish secretary of sport Juan Antonio-Angulo refused to let the Spanish players start the final until an apology was made, which was eventually given by Australian captain John Fitzgerald.

Mark Philippoussis is currently playing Carlos Moya in Friday's second singles match at the Rod Laver Arena.

On Saturday, Todd Woodbridge and Wayne Arthurs will team up for the doubles against Feliciano Lopez and Alex Corretja.

11-28-2003, 06:41 AM
Hewitt wins opening singles in Davis Cup final
Nov. 27, 2003
SportsLine.com wire reports

MELBOURNE, Australia -- Australia's Lleyton Hewitt beat Spain's Juan Carlos Ferrero 3-6, 6-3, 3-6, 7-6 (7-0), 6-2 on Friday in the opening match of the Davis Cup final.


"All my thoughts were to try to get Australia off to a great start," said Hewitt, playing his first match in more than two months. "I'm glad I did."

The competition got off to a controversial start when a long-outdated Spanish national anthem was played during the opening ceremony.

Spain's Sports Minister Juan Antonio Gomez-Angulo waved furiously and yelled from the stands as the anthem of Spain's first republic, the Himno de Riego, was played instead of the current anthem. The correct anthem was then played, and will be repeated before the matches Saturday and Sunday.

"I was quite surprised," Ferrero said. "I had never heard that (anthem) before. It was a big mistake but I had to keep my mind focussed on the match ahead."

Hewitt shut out Ferrero in the fourth-set tiebreaker, broke serve in the first game of the fifth set and dominated the rest of the way before a sellout crowd of about 14,000 at Rod Laver Arena.

Lleyton Hewitt gets Australia off to a great start with a marathon opening victory.(AP)
Australia's Mark Philippoussis faced Carlos Moya in the second singles match Friday on the temporary grass court.

On Saturday, Australia's Todd Woodbridge and Wayne Arthurs will face Feliciano Lopez and Alex Corretja in doubles. In the reverse singles Sunday, Philippoussis will play Ferrero, and Hewitt will face Moya.

Tennis Australia officials apologized courtside after they were alerted to the anthem error, and sent a letter of apology to the president of the Spanish tennis federation, Augustin Pujol Niubo.

"It is unfortunate the outstanding opening ceremony was marred by this regrettable occurrence and, as a mark of respect, Tennis Australia will be playing the Spanish and Australian anthems before play tomorrow and again on Sunday," Tennis Australia president Geoff Pollard said in the letter.

Pollard said the error occurred because "a CD of world national anthems provided to the performer by Tennis Australia contained what we have subsequently been advised is not the correct national anthem."

Australia has won the Davis Cup 27 times, four behind the leading United States. Spain's only win came in 2000 against Australia.

11-28-2003, 06:45 AM
Hi :wavey:

I don't think these were posted before. anyways :worship: for Ll's win

11-28-2003, 06:49 AM
Some more :)
The third is a very interesting caption ;) :p

11-28-2003, 06:57 AM
Philippoussis fights back in final
Australia's Mark Philippoussis has taken the third set against Spain's Carlos Moya to trail two sets to one in the second singles rubber of the Davis Cup tennis final in Melbourne.

The Australian won the third set 6-4, after Moya took the first two 6-4, 6-4.

Earlier, Lleyton Hewitt put Australia 1-0 up with a come-from-behind five-set win over Juan Carlos Ferrero.

Hewitt came from two sets to one down to triumph 3-6, 6-3, 3-6, 7-6, 6-2 on the portable grass court.

The gruelling five setter lasted three hours and 49 minutes, with players forced to endure 31 degree heat.

A fighting Hewitt wore the world number three down, sweeping the fourth set tie-breaker 7-0 and breaking Ferrero twice in the final set.

It was Hewitt's seventh straight singles victory in Davis Cup competition and took his singles record to 23-5.

The 22-year-old went into the match having not played since his epic five-set victory over Switzerland's Roger Federer in the semi-finals in September.

Australian number one Mark Philippoussis will play Spanish number two Carlos Moya in the second singles match.

Hewitt says he knew he was going to beat Ferrero after he took the fourth set tie-break.

"Obviously I played an awesome tie-break," he said.

"When you go into a tie-break and you're down two sets to one you just want to get off to a good start, but 6-0 wasn't bad and to finish it off 7-0. I just played faultless tennis. I went for it."

Heroic Hewitt

Ferrero started brightly enough, breaking Hewitt in the sixth game of the first set when the Australian's backhand found the net.

Hewitt, who was struggling with a high unforced error count, managed to hold serve in the next game.

But Ferrero cruised to a 40-0 and three more set points in the following game - clinching the opening set in 39 minutes with an ace.

Hewitt lifted in the second set, improving the number of points won on his second serve from 27 per cent in the first set to 71 per cent in the second.

The Australian created three break-point opportunities and converted one. He eventually wrapped up the set 6-3 in 35 minutes.

The third set proved a tight tussle, with both players creating break-point chances.

Ferrero was the first to break serve, going to a 4-2 lead after Hewitt stumbled on serve in the sixth game.

The Australian responded by breaking back straight way, hitting a backhand winner to the corner.

But the Spaniard moved in front again, breaking Hewitt in the next game to lead 5-3.

Ferrero served for the set and a 2-1 lead, but was made to work for it as he went down two break points.

But the world number three fired consecutive aces to take the set 46 minutes.

The fourth set stayed on serve until Hewitt, leading 4-3, gained three break points on Ferrero's serve.

Ferrero, to his credit, fought back to deuce and gained the advantage.

But a fiery Hewitt contested every point and, after a marathon deuce, finally got the break to go ahead 5-3.

Hewitt stumbled as he attempted to serve out the set, with Ferrero winning every point to break back to 5-4. The Spaniard then held his serve to level at 5-5.

Hewitt kept his nose in front 6-5 with a better service game, but Ferrero was hardly troubled on his serve, forcing the set to a tie-break.

Lleyton won the first point of the tie-break, and grabbed a mini break when he got to his feet after slipping to hit a forehand winner.

A great return of serve saw the Australian push his lead out to 3-0, and from there he was never troubled.

Another strong return, at Ferrero's feet, saw Hewitt seal the tie-break 7-0.

Hewitt powered through the fifth set, breaking Ferrero twice to set up the chance to serve for the match.

The final game went to deuce but the Australian prevailed to take the set and give his team a dream start.

11-28-2003, 06:58 AM
Hewitt Comeback Gives Australia 1-0 Davis Cup Lead

By Julian Linden

MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Lleyton Hewitt staged a remarkable comeback to beat French Open (news - web sites) champion Juan Carlos Ferrero, 3-6, 6-3, 3-6, 7-6, 6-2, on Friday and give Australia a 1-0 lead over Spain in a dramatic start to the Davis Cup final.

The match almost did not proceed after Spain's sports minister ordered the team not to start until an apology had been issued after officials played the wrong anthem at the opening ceremony.

Juan Antonio-Angulo, who was watching from the stands, left the Rod Laver Arena in protest over the incident. He returned after an Australian apology and the tennis began.

"This reparation was done but the Spanish delegation is not quite satisfied and we have indicated to the International Tennis Federation, that prior to the commencement of the doubles match, the correct anthem be played," he later told a news conference.

Hewitt, the former world number one, drew on all his fighting spirit to twice claw his way back from a set down in searing 86 degree heat.

Ferrero looked to have put the brakes on Hewitt's comeback when he recovered from a service break down to force the fourth set into a tiebreak, but the Australian raised his game one more time to runaway with the match.

"It was hard work out there in tough conditions," Hewitt said. "My thoughts and training for the last eight weeks have all been on this match and trying to get Australia off to a great start."

Hewitt's fighting qualities are already legendary and despite his slide down the world rankings he remains one of the most difficult opponents around.

He rallied from two sets down to beat Wimbledon champion Roger Federer in the Davis Cup semi-final with Switzerland in September and his performance against Ferrero was just as impressive.

Ferrero, ranked three in the world, had the edge over Hewitt in the early stages of the match, clinically finishing off his break chances to open up a two sets to one lead.

But Hewitt, playing his first match since September, slowly wore him down, using his superior grass court skills to find a way through Ferrero's steady baseline game.


"It was a long match and it was difficult at any point to decide who was going to win," Ferrero said.

"It was fairly even match (and) I think there was very little difference between us except for the fifth set.

"I guess he played better than me, but you have to consider that I have been sick (with sinusitis). I haven't been that well."

Hewitt failed to serve out the fourth set after leading 5-4, but regained his composure to win the ensuing tiebreak then broke Ferrero's serve at the start of the fifth as he moved in for the kill.

He broke the Spaniard again in the seventh game then served out the match in just under four hours, falling to the ground in triumph.

11-28-2003, 07:51 AM
Some more :)
The third is a very interesting caption ;) :p

:wavey: rèka

great to see you, hope you're fine

:bounce: :bounce: :bowdown: :woohoo: :woohoo: :bigclap: :bigclap:

the return of the king

11-28-2003, 08:29 AM
Even reading the thread was suspense-filled! Great work LL and Angele. :kiss:

11-28-2003, 10:23 AM
Cup rests on Hewitt gamble
By Chip Le Grand
November 28, 2003
At the time, it seemed a punt worth taking.

Australia had won through to another Davis Cup final and Lleyton Hewitt was exhausted. Three years of tennis had finally taken its toll. The year had been a disappointing one by Hewitt's standards and his reign as world No.1 was over. All that mattered now was the last weekend in November.

Hewitt sat down with his coach, Roger Rasheed, and talked about what to do. Davis Cup captain John Fitzgerald and coach Wally Masur came in on the discussions and everyone agreed. Hewitt would play no more tennis until the Davis Cup final. He would go home to Adelaide and take two weeks off to have warts removed from the bottom of his foot. He would take a much-needed rest and hit the practice courts with Juan Carlos Ferrero and Carlos Moya in his sights. It would be Melbourne or bust.

Two months on from that decision, Hewitt says he is fitter and stronger than he has ever been. His hunger for practice since arriving in Melbourne at the start of last week has been voracious; three hours a day nearly every day. His daily routine has been to absorb whatever punishment Mark Philippoussis can serve up then expend any remaining energy on young hitting partner Todd Reid. And always with Spain on the brain.

At yesterday's official draw, Hewitt could not stand still. As the various dignitaries made their speeches, he bounced and shuffled about like a restless kid at school assembly. "It has been a long eight weeks for me," he said. "All my focus has been on this tie and especially this match, knowing that I was going to play Juan Carlos (Ferrero) on day one. Now it has finally come and the show is about to start."

Hewitt is ready to play, but with any gamble comes a risk and Hewitt's is no small wager.

No-one in Australian Davis Cup circles can remember another player going cold turkey from competition for two months before the biggest match of the year. It is like a footballer playing a grand final after two months without a match, or a cricketer taking block in the Boxing Day Test without having faced a ball all summer.

What Hewitt will attempt today simply hasn't been done. It is, in the words of former Davis Cup player Paul McNamee, the great unknown.

"He is physically the fittest he has ever been but it is a disadvantage going in without a match for that length of time," McNamee said. "He would be aware of that but, nonetheless, it is still a disadvantage. Lleyton is a freak and if you want to put your last match in the memory bank, his was a good one. But it is an unknown and a disadvantage, you can't gloss over that."

John Newcombe says to beat world No.3 Juan Carlos Ferrero off a two-month break would be a "super-human effort." Hewitt might have been burning grass at Kooyong and Adelaide's Memorial Drive, but it is on the big points that a tennis player needs the edge which comes only with match hardness. The 30-40 points, the break points returning serve; it is on these tie-deciding points that long hours spent on practice courts count for nought.

Ferrero can't imagine walking into a Davis Cup final having not played a competitive match for eight weeks. Ferrero himself was not in great form in his most recent outing in Houston but at least he was there; opposite the net from Andre Agassi and Roger Federer.

"I would imagine it must take a little bit of an effort to start," Ferrero said. "I mean, it has been two months or so since he has played and all of a sudden to be playing in front of the public and so on. It must be a little bit strange. I am starting to feel pressure now. I don't know how Hewitt will feel, but I think he will feel the pressure as well."

It is telling that for the first time yesterday, Hewitt sought to qualify his decision. "It wasn't entirely my choice," he said. His foot needed fixing and it was either stay in Adelaide after it healed or return to Europe for a one-off tournament in Paris. Fitzgerald, Masur and Rasheed agreed the trip was not not worth it, he said. Hewitt's sub-text was clear; if it all goes pear-shaped, he's not the only one to blame.

There is a good chance it will never come to that. The biggest argument in favour of Hewitt's gamble is Hewitt himself. Whatever rules and conventions there are in tennis, few have applied to Hewitt's career. No one would predict them to hold for Hewitt this weekend.

This is the player who went to the US as an 18-year-old Davis Cup novice and beat Todd Martin on his own patch; the same player who taunted former world No.1 Yevgeny Kafelnikov after thrashing him in a Davis Cup semi-final; the same player who rose to defeat Gustavo Kuerten on clay in Brazil, Albert Costa in Spain and most recently Switzerland's Roger Federer from two sets down in Melbourne.

"Knowing Lleyton, he is such a great competitor, he will find a way," said Hewitt's former Davis Cup coach Tony Roche. "He is going to go down as our greatest Davis Cup player of all time. What he has achieved at such a young age -- I just know that he might be lacking a bit of match play, but he is going to find a way."

On this, Newcombe agrees: "He can pick it up real quick. He is going to want this as much as he has ever wanted anything. And if he does win they are in heaps of trouble."

Were this the first morning of Wimbledon or the Australian Open, there would be greater doubts about Hewitt's preparation for today's match. Because it is the first day of a Davis Cup final, those who believe in Hewitt point to the fact that, for his gamble to pay off, he needs only to win one match today and perhaps another on Sunday -- if it gets that far.

"There is no question he is short on match play and it has to carry a risk," says former Davis Cup player Peter McNamara. "But the kid was No.1 in the world and trains like an animal. The guy is physically fitter than most guys out there by a long way. His hunger for it is probably greater than everyone else out there.

"Davis Cup is all about emotion. It is all about playing one or two matches and winning. He hadn't played too many matches before playing Federer and he came from two sets to love down and beats the guy who has probably been the best player in the world this year.

"Ordinary rules are out the window."

11-28-2003, 10:24 AM
Newcombe backs fighter Hewitt
Shaun Phillips

JOHN Newcombe says Lleyton Hewitt will need every ounce of his renowned fighting spirit when he leads Australia into Davis Cup battlethis morning. Hewitt yesterday drew to play Spanish ace Juan Carlos Ferrero in the opening match of the final in front of 15,000 fans at Melbourne Park.

Hewitt has not played a competition match in two months, preferring to practise on grass in the lead-up to the final, Australia's 47th.
Newcombe, who captained Australia to its 27th title, against France in 1999, said Hewitt was the key.

"So much depends on the first match," he said.

"I think it's going to be very tough for him, given his lack of matches and the person he's playing.

"But Lleyton's a special person with special qualities and I think he'll overcome it."

Hewitt said he was aiming to "crack the whole Davis Cup final wide open on day one".

"It's been a long eight weeks for me," he said.

"All my focus has been on this tie, and probably especially this match, knowing that I was going to play Juan Carlos on day one.

"Now it's finally come and I'm just ready to go out and play."

Hewitt, 22, a former world No. 1, is now ranked 17th after a disrupted year. Ferrero is ranked No. 3.

They play at 11am, with home town boy Mark Philippoussis (ranked No. 9) and Carlos Moya (No. 7) then taking to Rod Laver Arena.

Todd Woodbridge, in an Australian record 29th Davis Cup tie, and Wayne Arthurs take on Alex Corretja and Feliciano Lopez in the doubles tomorrow, with the reverse singles on Sunday.

Australia is hot favourite to win on the portable grass court.

And Newcombe said the home crowd would be a big advantage.

But it would be a very different atmosphere from the one that confronted the Australians in Barcelona during the 2000 final, he said.

Then Ferrero downed Hewitt in the reverse singles to secure Spain's only Davis Cup title.

"The crowd in Barcelona was very bad; it was embarrassing," Newcombe said.

"I walked out with Mark Woodforde for the doubles, in his last Davis Cup match, and everyone booed.

"That's how they acted. We won't act like that.

"Australian crowds are fair. They'll be very vocal for Australia, but fair."

The final was a sell-out until yesterday, when Spanish authorities handed back 150 tickets.

Seats inside Rod Laver Arena were offered on a three-day basis only, at $325. The returned tickets were not expected to last long.

The forecast of 30C-plus should see hundreds flock to Melbourne Park's Garden Square to watch the matches on the big screen. Day passes cost $10.

Festivities start early today with a free breakfast at Federation Square from 7am to 9am.

11-28-2003, 10:29 AM
Cup rests on Hewitt gamble
By Chip Le Grand
November 28, 2003
At the time, it seemed a punt worth taking.

The biggest argument in favour of Hewitt's gamble is Hewitt himself. Whatever rules and conventions there are in tennis, few have applied to Hewitt's career. No one would predict them to hold for Hewitt this weekend.

"Ordinary rules are out the window."


11-28-2003, 10:41 AM
Come on Aussies! :bounce:

11-28-2003, 10:51 AM
Lleyton :yeah: Too bad Mark lost though :(

Good luck guys in the doubles :kiss:

11-28-2003, 01:20 PM
Congratulations Lleyton, always keep fighting

A present photo from spanish website :


Greetings :)

11-28-2003, 01:43 PM
:hug: Awwwwwww that was nice, Raul

11-28-2003, 01:47 PM
"I guess he played better than me, but you have to consider that I have been sick (with sinusitis). I haven't been that well."

Is this Ferrero or Ezel talking?

11-28-2003, 01:55 PM
Ferrero has no excuse. He had his chances to win the match.

Knockers LaBroad
11-28-2003, 03:03 PM
Nothing went to script at Melbourne Park yesterday, but heart and passion ultimately carried the day, writes Greg Baum.

Australia and Spain each had to make several types of recovery yesterday. Spain had to recover dignity and Australia face after the embarrassing faux pas of the opening ceremony, in which the wrong Spanish national anthem was played. The mortified Spanish called it an "intolerable offence", spoke of their "absolute indignation" and threatened not to play at all until there was an apology and a correction.

Both were made, the apology in the first instance on court by Australian coach John Fitzgerald, the correction by playing the proper anthem just before the rubber began. Tennis Australia, realising that the ball was in its court, promptly faxed an apology to Spain and the anthems of both countries will be played again before today’s doubles clash.

In all ways, it will be like starting again, since Lleyton Hewitt’s victory over Juan Carlos Ferrero and Carlos Moya’s defeat of Mark Philippoussis squared the ledger on the opening day. These were the two less likely results, but this is the Davis Cup final, famous for pleasant and unpleasant surprises, in which countries frequently find that no one is playing their song.



In the charged and warlike atmosphere of Davis Cup, and remembering the bad blood that flowed between these countries in the final of 2000, it was as well that the Spaniards chose to accept that this was a mistake and not a provocation. In the modern scheme of things, it is likely that Spain felt equally hurt by the fact that Ferrero ultimately was made to dance to Hewitt’s tune. Equally, Australia would suffer many rounds of God Save The Queen in exchange for victory for Philippoussis.

Hewitt made a more orthodox type of recovery, twice making up a set deficit to win in five over Ferrero, until three weeks ago the No.1 player in the world. This is becoming something of a habit for Hewitt, whose last competitive match was his epic, five-set win over Roger Federer on this same court eight weeks ago.

Philippoussis also came back after a thrashing in the first two sets, but foundered in the fourth set tie-break.

Hewitt’s heroic effort thrilled the crowd, for nothing is more endearing to an Australian audience than a sports performer who manages to be both underdog and victor on the same day. But not for the first time, desperation for victory blinded Hewitt to other sensibilities.

Twice he bawled out linesfolk with all his red-faced might in a way that, frankly, is unforgiveable and in the cricket world would lead now to a report. It is not as if officials get a chance to save their faces.

Ferrero also made his protests, but strictly to the chair umpire. Still, in the modern sporting ethos, victory puts right even the most culpable wrong.

Nothing about the day unfolded as expected. John Newcombe was one of several to say that the Hewitt/Ferrero encounter was the key because it was impossible to see Moya beating Philippoussis on grass. In the event, the instant surface seemed not to matter.

Hewitt and Ferrero are both baseliners who played as if there was a moat between them instead of a net, and the grasscourt afforded no advantage to Philippoussis, who served faster but fewer aces than his opponent, and more double faults. Moya, without a grasscourt game in 18 months, took to the surface like a sparrow.

Hewitt began sluggishly, for he was fit, but not match hardened, and at the peak of any sport, physical and match fitness are poles apart. Hewitt served poorly and made many errors. He pointed out later that he had also made many winners, and said he had attacked more than is his custom, and that Ferrero had played conservatively.

None the less, Rod Laver Arena was for long stretches mute, an uncharacteristic state during a Hewitt match.

Ferrero’s mistake was to allow Hewitt a sniff, for as the match wore on, Hewitt warmed to his task, the crowd warmed to Hewitt and the day warmed to a nicety. The heat began to take a toll of both players, but especially of Ferrero, who has had a long and tiring year and who, oddly, chose to play bareheaded throughout.

This day, the cap would not fit. Hewitt’s break in the second set came out of nowhere, in a game in which he was still muttering and cursing to himself about his failings.

But the way he ultimately seized the match was emphatic. He broke Ferrero’s first serve of the fourth set tie-break after tumbling mid-point and rising again, and thus inspired won 11 points in a row to win the tie-break and the first game of the fifth set against Ferrero’s serve. No one was more impressed than Hewitt himself. "I just played faultless tennis," he said. "I went for it. I laid it all on the line."

The game had changed now, the service percentage and error count had evened out and body language was telling. Hewitt twice ran from the court at change of ends, fists pumping energetically, and once exchanged high fives with Fitzgerald. Ferrero cut an image of drooping helplessness as the match ebbed away.

When the formalities were complete, Hewitt flung himself onto his back, hugged all of the Australian entourage, then went to his knees to thank the crowd. "If that doesn’t win the hearts of a nation, nothing will, will it?" he said to Fitzgerald on court.

Philippoussis, soundly outplayed in the first two sets by Moya, bid for more hearts by coming back, too. The muteness of the morning became a hush in the afternoon as Philippoussis won the third set and took the fourth into a tie-breaker.

But for the second time in less than a week, Australia discovered that home ground, patriotism and a full house does not guarantee victory. Unlike Telstra Stadium last Saturday, there is more to come and much to anticipate. Diplomacy saved this day at its beginning, but heart and passion won it in the end.

Knockers LaBroad
11-28-2003, 03:05 PM
Seems like we're all Lleyton's fans again!:yawn::rolleyes::p

Hewitt, again, comes back from the dead
By Linda Pearce
November 29, 2003

Lleyton Hewitt's only suffering yesterday was by comparison. He won another epic five-set Davis Cup match against a higher-ranked player to earn an opening-day singles point for just the second time in four finals. If only the performance had not followed his own recent semi-final magnificence against Roger Federer, the appreciation would have been greater still.

Certainly, there were similarities between Hewitt's back-from-the-death revival against the Swiss No.1 in September, and yesterday's retrieval of a two-sets-to-one deficit against Spanish spearhead Juan Carlos Ferrero on a grassed version of the same court.

The memory of his part in Australia's finals qualification helped to drive Hewitt during his long lay-off from tennis, and yesterday it helped to sustain him.

"Not such a big deficit this time, but I guess always knowing the situation, playing Davis Cup and how big a match it was and the outcome, they were obviously good memories for me and they helped out a lot," Hewitt said after yesterday's 3-6, 6-3, 3-6, 7-6 (7-0), 6-2 triumph on Rod Laver Arena.



"I was going for it a lot out there today, probably more than I normally do, and I just tried to take it to him. I may have had a lot more errors (51 to 40) than I normally have, but I had a hell of a lot more winners (43 to 17). I don't know the last time that I had more backhand winners than my forehand, so that's pretty pleasing for me."

If the comeback was not quite of Federer-like proportions, finishing over the top of the world No. 3 in a punishing baseline match that was his first in nine weeks takes both a special talent and a mighty resolve. "I had to find absolutely everything in my body again and be very strong out there," said Hewitt, of whom, perhaps complacently, we have come to expect nothing less.

In the opening set-and-a-bit, Hewitt seemed Rusty in more than just nickname. His timing was scratchy, his radar askew, the errors mounting at a most un-Hewitt-like rate. Pat Rafter's words in the official program that the crucial aspect of the match would be Hewitt's "ability to be at the top of his game even after extended lay-offs" were looking increasingly ill-advised.

Hewitt, though, felt he had played reasonably well even early in the match, and was surprised by the conservative nature of the Ferrero game, uncertain whether the surface was the determining factor. The Spaniard's forehand is his big shot, but Hewitt out-hit him 21-9 for winners off that side. A rare statistic, but one that told a decisive story.

The match was effectively Hewitt's after what he called a "faultless" fourth-set tie-breaker, in which the second point proved critical. On Ferrero's serve, Hewitt slipped and fell playing a backhand, but spun, recovered, scrambled, then prevailed with a forehand down the line. The Spaniard did not win another point until already a service break down in the fifth.

Ferrero attributed Hewitt's superiority late in the fourth set and in the fifth largely to the "luxury" of his lengthy preparation, which the Spaniards had collectively questioned before the tie began. "Yes, he did come stronger in the fourth and fifth sets and I guess, yes, he played better than me," Ferrero said. "But you have to consider that I have been sick . . . but I do assert that I gave 100 per cent and I tried, and I think I did well."

Indeed, while Hewitt's strokes may have gradually slipped back into the groove, his body was fresh and positively purring after a pre-season-style training regimen under coach Roger Rasheed in Adelaide, long before Ferrero had even arrived in Melbourne for the last leg of a demanding year. In energy-sapping heat, in five sets, over three hours 50 minutes, it proved to be a little too much.

"The work he'd done in the last eight weeks, the sacrifices that he's made, he was out there today in an absolute arm wrestle, and if he wasn't as physically fit and as mentally strong as he was today, he wouldn't have got over the line . . . once again," said coach Wally Masur of Hewitt.

"When Tony Roche walked in the locker room, he said, 'When is he going to stop surprising us?' He keeps surprising us."

Knockers LaBroad
11-28-2003, 03:07 PM
Corretja rejects Fanatics' accusation :rolleyes::yawn:*tsktsk*
By Linda Pearce
November 29, 2003

Alex Corretja has sought to clear his name of damning allegations over his behaviour at the 2000 Davis Cup final in Barcelona, accusing the head of the Australian cheer squad of unfairly painting him as some kind of "terrorist".

Twice voted by his peers as a winner of the ATP's Stefan Edberg award for sportsmanship, Corretja said yesterday that he would happily meet Fanatics organiser Warren Livingstone, who claimed that Corretja and his teammate Albert Costa had sworn, threatened and made obscene gestures at the Australian supporters from the Spanish bench, including running their fingers menacingly across their throats.

Lleyton Hewitt - to whom Corretja apologised last year for personal remarks he made at the 2000 Masters Cup - and retired doubles player Mark Woodforde said this week they had both forgiven what they considered to be provocative behaviour by Corretja, but would not forget. Livingstone promised Corretja a warm spectator reception in today's doubles rubber.



"I never looked at the Aussie bench, never. Never to the players, to their own faces, to make a provocation, and never, never, never look to the Fanatics, like they said, swearing at them, not true," Corretja said. "Putting fingers across my throat, this is the most amazing story I ever heard, and I can swear for my mother that I never did that.

"There is a bar where you have respect for regular human beings, and they broke that bar. I think they went too far when they said that we were looking at them and said, 'You are f---ing dead'. That's the most horrible thing I've heard in my life.

"Let's get things clear: this is a beautiful tie, a beautiful sport, and I like people to get behind the team, but in the right way. Here it's been fantastic, but I don't know where they've come up with this issue because it's completely wrong and false."

Corretja said he admired the support the Fanatics provided in Barcelona, despite being heavily outnumbered by local supporters. He said his intention had been only to generate greater support for the Spanish players, and said that the video of the Barcelona doubles match proved that he had tried to calm, rather than incite, the crowd that continually whistled during ball tosses and applauded between the Australians' serves.

"I won't have any problem to meet with the Fanatic guy to talk to him. Maybe we can sit down after the tie, just for five minutes, just to make things clear. If people read what he has said they will think I am a terrorist or something. Even Albert Costa called me last night from Spain to say that he was completely shocked from what he read. It was completely untrue.

"It's not just for my reputation, it's just that I feel sad that they said something that is completely out of mind, because I could never do that to anyone, and least playing tennis, so this is something that I was pretty shocked to read, because this is more than a sports issue.

"Anyone who knows me from the tour knows how I tried to treat people. I've never had any problems with anyone, so I don't know why Australia is trying to make a fight with me, because I love this country."

11-28-2003, 04:16 PM
Now he wants to pretend like it didn't happen. But everyone saw him and Duarte. Reprehensible behavior.

11-28-2003, 05:09 PM
Seems like we're all Lleyton's fans again!:yawn::rolleyes::p

"Do not trust to the cheering, for those persons would cheer just as much if you and I were going to be hanged."--Oliver Cromwell.

11-28-2003, 06:08 PM
I read this little tidbit in the Roving Eye column of the latest Tennis Week:

Meanwhile, the total prize money pot for all Davis Cup ties remains at $9.4 million, with each individual country making its own decisions about how much to pay its players. The Australians will be receiving their usual match fee of $10,000 each for the final against Spain in Melbourne, and any prize money will be shared equally amongst the four-man team, no matter who plays. The American players receive considerably more than that from the USTA, while the French Federation cut their players in on gate money.

11-29-2003, 12:22 AM
Are you all aware of the shirtless Lleyton photos on the french and spanish sites?? Or should I post them?

11-29-2003, 12:51 AM
I apologise if this information has already been posted somewhere, but I thought I'd write a little "TV Review".

* Lleyton has gained 3-4kg in weight and the commentators noted his increased upper body strength.

* His serve is getting better - more aces, more points won off his serve (he has been working hard!)

* Aaron Badley (Aussie golfer and one of Lley's good mates) was there, sitting next to Roger Rasheed.

* Hayden was there too, as were Lley's parents. I don't think Jas was there.

* Fitzy's starting to go bald :p (too much worrying about DC !! )

* Kim was there :D Being her gorgeous self, cheering her little heart out. I'm not entirely sure who she was sitting next to (it wasn't G and C). The commentators often talk about her and on Day 1 she has been called "Australia Davis Cup number one fan" and that she "Definitely gets honorary 'Sheila' status" ("Sheila" being a slang tern for an Aussie girl).

* The tie break in the 4th set was quite amazing. As you know Lley won it 7-0, a very impressive feat noted by the crowd and the commentators!

Overall, a really great game. It really was like watching two number ones going all out for it :p :)

Can't wait for the doubles! Go Aussies!

11-29-2003, 01:32 AM
short interview with Lleyton :D

11-29-2003, 04:17 AM
:worship: :worship: thanks for the info ,possie

Transcript: Interview with Lleyton Hewitt and Wally Masur
28- 30 NOVEMBER, 2003

QUESTION: Lleyton, any thoughts during that match of the Federa match from September?
ANSWER: I think for sure, you know, that's the last time I'd played a competitive match and that's a lot of similarities, I guess, in that match. Big match against one of the best players in the world. Coming back again, I guess, not such a big deficit this time. But I guess always knowing the situation, playing Davis Cup and how big a match it was and the outcome, in a lot of ways I guess, those memories and they were obviously good memories for me and they helped out a lot.
QUESTION: Lleyton, in the first three sets you had quite a few unforced errors. What was the reason?
ANSWER: I was going for it a lot out there today, probably more than I normally do, and I just tried to take it to him. I may have had a lot more unforced errors than I normally have, but I had a hell of a lot more winners than I normally had. If you look at my winners in the end of the match I think my forehand winners was 21 and my backhand 22. I don't know the last time that I had more backhand winners than my forehand, so that's pretty pleasing for a hole I think for me.
QUESTION: Lleyton, did you feel there was a turning point in the match out there today?
ANSWER: It probably flowed a little bit each way, I guess, a couple of times. I served for the fourth set, lost it, and then obviously I played an awesome tie break. When you go into a tie break and you are down two sets to one, you want to get off to a good start, but 6 nil wasn't a bad start and so to finish it off 7 nil, but I just played faultless tennis. I went for it and I laid it all on the line for that breaker and if you get to two sets all, you never know what is going to happen in a Davis Cup match.
QUESTION: Lleyton, how did you see Ferrero and the fact that you outscored him 21, 9 in forehand winners.
ANSWER: Probably because I'm just a lot stronger ? no, I went for it today a lot more, probably. He seemed to play a pretty conservative game out there. Normally he would definitely hit probably a lot more winners off his forehand than that. I think he tried to play more of a rallying kind of game, counter?punching today, whether that was because we were playing on a grass court I'm not sure.
QUESTION: Lleyton, that being your first match in the last two months, how did you feel actually out there?
ANSWER: I felt pretty good right from the start. I came out and I was aggressive even in the first game, and I could have very easily broken the first game. I didn't feel like I got off to a slow start. I felt like I played pretty good tennis the first set, He was just the better player. He played one better game on my service game than I did on his.
QUESTION: How would you have felt, Lleyton, playing Davis Cup overseas and they played the wrong national anthem? Can you understand that the Spaniards are upset about that?
ANSWER: Yeah, you know, you're playing for your country, you know. It's obviously a mistake and none of the Australians obviously knew it because we don't know the national anthem anyway. But it was the right thing to do to try and find the national anthem, the right one as soon as possible, and it's obviously something that you play for. The Davis Cup is all about representing your country and it's a huge honour for everyone to hear their national anthem. I know I get goosebumps before I play listening to the Australian national anthem and I'm sure the Spanish players are the same so I think it's great that they found it as soon as possible.
QUESTION: Lleyton, looking at the US Open match with Ferrero, do you think Ferrero was more tired today than then?
ANSWER: It's hard to say. I lasted a lot longer this match than I did last time. I twinged something in my hip flexor the last time I played and I felt like we were having an awesome match. I played a lot better I felt in that match than I had the whole US summer, and Juan?Carlos played probably the best tennis I have ever seen him play in that match and against Andre the next day, but he didn't really have to, I guess, use that much energy as much because I just ? in the end I couldn't really stand it with him. He was just too good and obviously with the injury it didn't help.
QUESTION: Lleyton, can you take us through, you're one nil up in that tie break, you slip over, can you just take us through that point because to me that was a massive turning point. He seemed surprised that you got that back.
ANSWER: Yes, it was. I didn't even really think about that before, but, yeah, now that you mention it, that point was a huge point. I got off to a good start, one nil up on my serve and always you want to get a mini break up. I was just a couple metres back behind the baseline. I just tried to hang in there, scrap a few balls. I knew that he wasn't coming to the net, so it didn't matter how high I hit it, I just had to get it back deep and then obviously I got an opportunity sort of. I think he was that disappointed that the point was still going, he hardly moved. I thought he could have maybe got that ball up the line and ended up hitting a forehand winner and hit a great return on the next point to go 3?0 up in the tie break.
QUESTION: Lleyton, John made a point in his little speech after the match of pointing out Roger Rasheed and saying what an influence he had in the time that you've been off, can you just give us an impression of what he has done and what you have been working on in that time and why you think that's such an important element of what you've done today?
ANSWER: Yeah. Well, I think the awesome thing about Roger was that he knew that I wasn't going to ? you know, we made the decision that I wasn't going to play any more tournaments, and leading into a Davis Cup, that's not necessary that he's going to get a lot of credit out of that, and he just put 110 per cent into everything to prepare me right for this Davis Cup tie knowing that I was going to go out there and obviously play for the country and play under Fitzy and Wally, so we've just done a lot of stuff in the gym. As soon as I could start putting weight on my foot after I had the small operation and then we were in the gym every day and then we would be practising on rebound ace, trying to work on grass court tactics. As soon as we could get on grass we got on it.
QUESTION: Lleyton, we've seen some dodgy bounces today again. If you compare the grass against France and today, has it improved?
ANSWER: Yes. I don't think there was as many bad bounces or dodgy bounces as a couple of years ago. That first day that I played Escude, there was a quite a few bad bounces, plus the court was breaking up behind the baseline a lot more than it was today. Probably I still would have liked it a little bit quicker, thought, I'd say, especially playing guys, you know, Ferrero and Moya are that good players that they can adjust their game. It's not a huge adjustment, as most people can see with my game on grass. So I probably would have liked it a little bit quicker.
QUESTION: Can I ask a question of Wally. Just your critique of Lleyton's performance today?
WALLY MASSUR: Si. No, it's tempered by the fact that the last time we were sitting here he had just beaten Federer to win the tie. Obviously, Mark is out there now, that's the nature of David Cup. I'm not sure I can quite enjoy it as much, but, you know, the work that he has done in the last eight weeks, the sacrifices that he has made, he was out there today. It was an absolute arm wrestle, and if he wasn't as physically fit and as mentally strong as he was today, he wouldn't have got over the line. So once again, I think Tony Roche walked in the locker room and said, "When is he going to stop surprising us?" He keeps surprising us. :D :angel:

11-29-2003, 06:55 AM
yay aussies won the doubles 6-1, 6-3, 6-1!!:worship:

11-29-2003, 06:59 AM
At risk of being abused...
Making a doll of Alex and throwing it around was the most disrespect thing i have seen in an Australian sporting event for a long time and any of you fanatics that were part of that...you should be ashamed of yourself. He DID NOT deserve that at all

11-29-2003, 07:31 AM
At risk of being abused...
Making a doll of Alex and throwing it around was the most disrespect thing i have seen in an Australian sporting event for a long time and any of you fanatics that were part of that...you should be ashamed of yourself. He DID NOT deserve that at all

Australian players/fans were spat on in Barcelona - who cares about some doll

11-29-2003, 07:49 AM
well that doesnt make aussies any better then does it

they were spat on i know...but dont blame it ALL ON ALEX!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

11-29-2003, 11:35 AM
Thanks you all, for all the info! :cool:

11-29-2003, 12:07 PM
At risk of being abused...
Making a doll of Alex and throwing it around was the most disrespect thing i have seen in an Australian sporting event for a long time and any of you fanatics that were part of that...you should be ashamed of yourself. He DID NOT deserve that at all

That's one person's opinion. :)

11-29-2003, 12:14 PM
DOUBLES!!!!! :woohoo: Wayne-O and Toddy!!!!

Australia will take a 2-1 lead into Sunday in the final of the 2003 Davis Cup by BNP Paribas, after Wayne Arthurs and Todd Woodbridge demolished Alex Corretja and Feliciano Lopez 63 61 63 in just 1 hour 34 minutes.

Today was all about records, redemption and revenge. Todd Woodbridge - clearly the outstanding player on court - took sole possession of the Australian record for the number of ties contested, 29, by appearing in this match, while Wayne Arthurs exorcised his personal demons in emphatic fashion on the same court where he had lost the deciding rubber in the final against France two years ago.

“That was the probably the lowest I have felt on a tennis court,” said Arthurs of that loss, “while today is probably one of the highest.”

And for the Australian crowd, orchestrated by the colourful hard-core supporters group the ‘Fanatics’, it was revenge over the Spanish and Alex Corretja in particular. Although the players have been side-stepping the issue for most of the week, sections of the Australian crowd clearly had not forgotten what they perceived as unfair treatment that the Australians received at the hands of the fans at the Barcelona final in 2000, and which they felt was orchestrated by Corretja.

Chants were frequently directed against the Spaniard, and at one stage an inflatable dummy dressed in a Spanish shirt was tossed around by the Fanatics. However, it was all reasonably good-natured and stopped short of becoming vindictive.

“The supporters were doing their job, they certainly did not accept me but I thought it was OK,” said Corretja diplomatically later. He had been putting a case in his defence in the Australian papers this morning, but it had obviously had little effect.

The Australians meanwhile claimed not to have heard any of the barracking, so focused were they on the job in hand.

“I’m a typical male, I can only think about one thing at a time,” said Australian Captain John Fitzgerald.

Despite this backdrop to the match, nothing could overshadow the remarkable play of Woodbridge today, who showed just why he has won eight men’s doubles titles on Wimbledon’s grass. His forehand in particular was a major weapon, with Feliciano Lopez often caught out at the net by the power and accuracy of the shot.

“I think I’ve played a couple of Wimbledon finals where I’ve played that standard,” said Woodbridge. “But when you look at the pressure and the situation, this is probably the outstanding one.”

He said that he had felt great even from the warm-up today, and it only took the Australian pairing until the fourth game to break Alex Corretja’s opening service to love. From then on it was one-way traffic, the second set in particular a stroll for the hosts . They broke Corretja again for 2-1 in that set, a flashing topspin lob from Arthurs sealing the break and demonstrating that he was providing more than able assistance to Woodbridge.

The second set was lost 6-1 and the Spaniards found themselves two sets down in less than an hour. Corretja took a toilet break and then a medical time out for a timely injury to his right shoulder, but Arthurs and Woodbridge were unfased by the interruptions.

They went on to break Lopez with the tall left-hander serving at 2-3 in the third set. Even so, Lopez acquitted himself well in his first Davis Cup rubber, although he did look slightly out of position playing in the deuce court as a left-hander. It was more a matter of the Australians playing too well, operating as a team clearly used to playing together, and making the Spanish pairing’s lack of experience – this was their first tie together and only their fifth match in total – all too apparent.

But, as both camps acknowledged afterwards, it was unlikely that any pair, Spanish or otherwise, could have lived with Arthurs and Woodbridge in this form. The Australians closed out the set 6-3, with Woodbridge fittingly serving out the match. Their joy and relief was clear for all to see at the end.

“To have them play so well all year has just been an inspiration, so I want to thank them both publicly,” said Fitzgerald of his charges, whom he views as the best doubles partnership in the world.

“They were from another planet,” agreed Corretja, while Captain Jordi Arrese said that he felt he had fielded the best Spanish combination available to him.

"We always felt from the start this was going to be our hardest day and it was proven so. It was the hardest," said Arrese.

Woodbridge has said here that he may retire from Davis Cup competition if Australia win this tie,:sad: but days like this must surely make him reconsider; for Corretja, it must be the opposite.

The tie has swung in the hosts’ favour now: only two nations have won a Davis Cup Final after losing the doubles rubber – Australia in 1977 and Russia last year, so Spain have a tough task to win tomorrow. Indeed, they must win both singles rubbers, while Australia needs just one point to claim their 28th Davis Cup title.

However, if there is no change to the line-ups – which seems likely at this stage – the Spanish can gain comfort from the head to head records. Juan Carlos Ferrero leads Mark Philippoussis 2-0, while Carlos Moya is 5-3 up on Lleyton Hewitt.

Both Captains were keen to stress that the tie is far from over.

'As difficult as it was yesterday' was Arrese's view, while Fitzgerald said, "There is no celebration in our locker room right now."

11-29-2003, 12:23 PM

11-29-2003, 12:26 PM
Nice arm on Lleyton. :)


11-29-2003, 12:28 PM

11-29-2003, 12:33 PM
Team captain John Fitzgerald has promised that a new-look Mark Philippoussis will walk onto the Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne today and win Australia its 28th Davis Cup.

If he does, the enigmatic Australian No. 1 will do a lot to redeem himself.

If he doesn't, a question mark will be inked in against his name.

To many tennis fans, Philippoussis is the alter ego of his teammate Lleyton Hewitt. Where Hewitt seems constantly on the verge of exploding, Philippoussis can give the impression that the fuse hasn't been lit.

Everyone knows that Hewitt is never beaten.

In contrast, the Philippoussis body language too often suggests that he isn't all that concerned, that he lacks passion.

When Hewitt is in trouble, he has an uncanny ability to graft and scramble and haul himself back into the game.

With Philippoussis, the last resort is to blast away even harder than normal.

The two sides of the coin have been graphically portrayed in this year's Davis Cup competition.

Hewitt, and Australia, were out for the count against Switzerland's Roger Federer in the semi-final; two months ago.

But he screamed and punched and swore and kept trying - and claimed a victory that will be remembered as a Davis Cup classic.

On Friday against Juan Carlos Ferrero, when he was playing his first match since the Federer miracle eight weeks earlier, Hewitt again forced himself to win.

It would have been reasonable to think that Philippoussis would have been inspired.

He may have been, but it didn't show.

Appearances, of course, can be deceptive.

Philippoussis has achieved far more than the average tennis player.

He is ninth in the world rankings, has reached a US Open final and, this year, got to the same stage at Wimbledon. Philippoussis also produced the goods in the Davis Cup final against France in 1999, winning his reverse singles against Cedric Pioline in four sets after Hewitt had lost both his singles rubbers.

He's also won 10 singles titles and close to $10 million in prizemoney, and he's done it on a dodgy knee and with a fragile shoulder.

But there seems to have always been a feeling that a player built like him, and who can hit tennis balls at opponents with frightening ferocity, should win more.

Fitzgerald is aware that Philippoussis' sullen look is not a reflection of what is going on inside.

"You'll see a different player out there on Sunday," Fitzgerald said after Philippoussis lost to Spain's Carlos Moya on Friday.

"I promise you, this guy tries his heart out when goes onto the court."

The Australian captain said it often took a player a match or two to find form on grass, even though it took Moya about 10 minutes.

"If he'd won the fourth set he may well have been favourite in the fifth." Fitzgerald said.

"I think he'll pick up from where he left off, on Sunday."

The trouble for Philippoussis is that he lost to a player who hates grass and who hadn't played tennis on the surface in more than two years.

Today he plays Ferrero, a player who this year reached the Wimbledon quarters, who is the No. 3 player in the world and who came close to beating Hewitt.

Philippoussis has had trouble embracing the Davis Cup concept in the past few years has got on the wrong side of Pat Rafter as a result of this controversial approach.

Today he has the chance to put everything right.

11-29-2003, 01:49 PM

Hewitt steeled for Cup glory
By Jon Ralph
THE Davis Cup will be on Lleyton Hewitt's shoulders should Mark Philippoussis succumb to Juan Carlos Ferrero today and girlfriend Kim Clijsters suspects that is how he wants it.

Clijsters said yesterday Hewitt would love nothing more than to win the Davis Cup for Australia in the fifth and deciding rubber against Carlos Moya.

"Hopefully he won't have to be in that position," she said. "Hopefully Mark can finish it off, but you never know, and that is Davis Cup.

"You never know what is going to happen, but I am sure that is a position he would love to be in.

"There will be a lot of pressure on him, but I think he is the type of player who has shown he can deal with pressure really well, so he can have it in his own hands."

Clijsters said regardless of the result of the reverse singles, Hewitt felt his unusual preparation for the Davis Cup final had been vindicated.

"From the moment he beat (Roger) Federer (in the semi-final), that is all he wanted to focus on," she said.

"Once he has got his mind set on something he puts himself 100 per cent into that.

"I think it showed at the end he was a lot fresher than Ferrero and, if he had been playing all the tournaments in Europe and the Masters (Cup), I don't think he would have been capable of pulling that one off in the end."

Clijsters said she and Hewitt would stay in Australia in the lead-in to the Hopman Cup and Australian Open.

Dubbed an "honorary Australian" during an appearance for sponsor Fila, she said: "It is very special. I spend most of my time here in Australia, especially at the end of the year."

11-29-2003, 02:39 PM
Thanks for the articles :) Congrats Wayno & Todd!

11-29-2003, 03:59 PM
Corretja took a toilet break and then a medical time out for a timely injury to his right shoulder, but Arthurs and Woodbridge were unfased by the interruptions.

How very Ezel-esque :p

11-29-2003, 04:08 PM
:wavey: Hi all! :)

Good to see you all still going strong :). Is there some conservation principle at work here: Nastya appears :) ;) and Dagmar disappears :( .

Elke and Cills you're doing a great job with the Gunners :bounce:!

pfft Angele, you're hanging out too much with that gunslinger Marls :p;
davai Zhenya!
y Moya ;)

Thanks for the great articles. Hasta pronto! :wavey:

11-29-2003, 05:52 PM
How very Ezel-esque :p

:eek: :confused: I really don't know where you're talking about! :confused: :angel:


11-29-2003, 05:54 PM
Well done Aussies!!!
I'm so happy for you. :)
Good luck tomorrow Lleyton and Flip.
I cheer for you,come on!!!! :bounce: :bounce: :bounce:

And thank you everybody for all the articles. :kiss:

11-29-2003, 05:56 PM
To all fellow Belgians (and anyone) deprived of LIVE DC coverage:

Spanish TVE1 is showing it live tonight, 1 AM! :bounce:

The past days it was always on TVE la2 so we could forget it.
I know, the Spanish comments wouldn't be the top (sorry , no offense meant to any Spanish in here) if you're cheering for the Aussies LOL, but anything better than nothing live and just a scoreboard, no?

So if you can get TVE1... it's a possibility then!

11-29-2003, 10:11 PM
KaseyL, but is it the Spanish version of the International one. I have TVE here but my Spanish colleagues always tell me it's the international version.
(gonna wait till 1 o'clock anyway to see what will be on)
(Cheering on the Aussies BTW, not the Spanish).

11-29-2003, 10:15 PM
KaseyL, but is it the Spanish version of the International one. I have TVE here but my Spanish colleagues always tell me it's the international version.
(gonna wait till 1 o'clock anyway to see what will be on)
(Cheering on the Aussies BTW, not the Spanish).

I was thinking that too, until I started checking their program. To me it seems that I have TVE1... at least that's what my encoding is saying on TV, I'll see, I'll know for 100% when it's 1 AM LOL. My TV display better be right! (x fingers it is)

11-29-2003, 11:14 PM
I was thinking that too, until I started checking their program. To me it seems that I have TVE1... at least that's what my encoding is saying on TV, I'll see, I'll know for 100% when it's 1 AM LOL. My TV display better be right! (x fingers it is)

Well, I did check at 1 AM, but my TV display isn't right at all: it says I have TVE 1 but it's TVE International that I'm getting through :sad: :mad: as it's past 1 AM here now and I still have a show on there (btw the show doesn't need much textiles :p half naked men and all :p and I never watched Spanish TV *slams herself* :p )

11-29-2003, 11:29 PM
I have this stupid show as well (good that I don't understand Spanish, I'm sure it's "onderbroekenlol")!!! GRRRRRRRRR!

11-29-2003, 11:34 PM

11-30-2003, 12:15 AM
Hagar, are you able to watch?

11-30-2003, 02:21 AM
Mark won 7-5 6-3 1-6 2-6 6-0 :D That means Australia wins the Davis Cup :D :worship:

Congrats boys, you deserve it :kiss:

11-30-2003, 02:26 AM
Great effort by Mark!

11-30-2003, 02:39 AM
Australia win Davis Cup

Australia have won the Davis Cup for a 28th time after Mark Philippoussis clinched a stunning five-set win over Juan Carlos Ferrero for an unassailable 3-1 lead in the final.
The Australian number two was severely hampered by a shoulder complaint, which looked set to scupper his chances of the win.

But a lengthy injury time-out after the fourth set inspired Philippoussis to a superb final-set display and a 7-5 6-3 1-6 2-6 6-0 victory in front of a partisan Melbourne crowd.

The result means Lleyton Hewitt's final singles rubber against Carlos Moya will have no bearing on the overall result.

Philippoussis got off to a stunning start in a rubber Ferrero and Spain needed to win to keep alive their Cup ambitions.

The scores had ended level at 1-1 on Friday after Hewitt and Moya beat Ferrero and Philippoussis respectively in the opening singles rubbers.

But the hosts moved ahead on Saturday as doubles pairing Todd Woodbridge and Wayne Arthurs sealed a straight-sets win against Alex Corretja and Feliciano Lopez.

In Sunday's reverse singles, Philippoussis had an early chance to break at 5-4 up in the first set, only for the world number three to hold serve.

It was only a matter of time, though, for Philippoussis, who broke Ferrero to go into a 7-5 lead.

Ferrero, who had produced some stunning tennis in the opening tie of the final against Hewitt, struggled again in the second set and was duly broken at 2-1.

From there Philippoussis went on to comfortably win the set, only for his opponent to hit back in commanding fashion in the ensuing two sets.

It was a complete role reversal, as the Australian's serve fell apart and his game was blighted by a series of double faults.

Ferrero levelled the scores with incredible ease before Philippoussis' time-out.

Revitalised, the player known as the "Scud" produced arguably the best tennis of the entire final to coast to a 6-0 final-set victory, sealed with a powerful overhead smash.

11-30-2003, 02:42 AM
Australia wins 28th Davis Cup title

DENNIS PASSA, Associated Press Writer Saturday, November 29, 2003


(11-29) 19:39 PST MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) --

Mark Philippoussis gave Australia its 28th Davis Cup title Sunday, fighting off a shoulder injury that nearly forced him to retire after the fourth set to beat Spain's Juan Carlos Ferrero 7-5, 6-3, 1-6, 2-6, 6-0.

Philippoussis gave Australia a 3-1 lead in the best-of-five competition on the temporary grass court at Rod Laver Arena. Australia's Lleyton Hewitt faced Carlos Moya in the meaningless final match later Sunday.

After receiving treatment on his right shoulder, Philippoussis held serve in the first game of the fifth set and broke Ferrero to go up 2-0. Philippoussis hit a hard overhand smash to finish the match, then dropped to the court while his teammates raced out to congratulate him.

"This is incredible," Philippoussis said. "At the end I was just completely numb. It felt like I wasn't playing, I was sort of watching from the side.

"I didn't know what was going on. Thank God those shots were going in."

In the opening singles matches Friday, Hewitt gave Australia a 1-0 lead with a five-set victory over Ferrero, and Moya beat Philippoussis to it. Wayne Arthurs and Todd Woodbridge beat the Spanish pair of Alex Corretja and Feliciano Lopez in straight sets Saturday to give Australia a 2-1 lead.

11-30-2003, 03:26 AM
Tennis: Lleyton Hewitt was criticised for hiring an inexperienced coach but it seems to work, says Eleanor Preston

Lleyton Hewitt and Mark Philippoussis made a rather touching scene as they sat side by side watching their team-mates, Wayne Arthurs and Todd Woodbridge, play the doubles rubber of the Davis Cup final yesterday.
The duo sat protected from the fierce heat of the early Australian summer by their own special umbrella, decked in T-shirts bearing the name of the Fanatics, their team’s noisy and well-organised supporters’ group.

While Philippoussis, as his wont, was content to sit back and observe, Hewitt was up and down like a bored toddler, standing up on his seat to talk to the two biggest influences in his life apart from his parents – his girlfriend Kim Clijsters and his coach Roger Rasheed.

Clijsters, who will have been with Hewitt four years in January, is now such a regular at Australian Davis Cup matches that she is an honorary Fanatic herself. Clijsters did not even bother to turn up to Belgium’s Fed Cup (the female equivalent of the Davis Cup) semi-final against the USA 10 days ago but has been noisily supporting the Australians all weekend.

Rasheed, whose coaching contract Hewitt renewed last month, cut a more reserved figure, as he has done throughout his six-month tenure as Hewitt’s coach. He is naturally gregarious and had a burgeoning career as a popular radio host and on-court announcer before Hewitt employed him. Since then, perhaps mindful of his client’s frosty relationship with the media, he’s become something of a wallflower.

Rasheed is a long-time friend of the Hewitt family but despite working as a coach in Adelaide, he had little or no record of success with world-class pros.

Rasheed’s relative inexper ience meant Hewitt’s decision to promote him from fitness trainer to coach when he parted company with Jason Stoltenberg before Wimbledon was widely criticised and when Hewitt went out in the first round to the 6ft 10 Ivo Karlovic, Rasheed took the blame.

“It was an awkward time for him to step up but I just wish people would actually see just how much work he puts in or know him before they start bagging him,” said Hewitt. “He got bagged at Wimbledon for supposedly not knowing enough about Karlovic but that’s rubbish because I’ve never had a coach who’s scouted more. It wasn’t as if I wasn’t prepared. Karlovic just had a freak day. Roger brings more to the table than any of my other coaches. ”

Rasheed’s work ethic seems to suit Hewitt, who is never happier than when running himself into the ground. “We’ve just done a lot of stuff in the gym,” said Hewitt, who, with Rasheed’s approval, missed eight weeks from the tour in preparation for the Davis Cup final.

“As soon as I could start putting weight on my foot after I had the small operation [he had a wart removed] we were in the gym every day and then we would be practising. I’ve been training hard, putting in a lot of hours.”

So many miles that even after Hewitt’s four-hour five-setter against Juan Carlos Ferrero on Friday, he and Rasheed still went for a half-hour run.

It will be interesting to see how Hewitt copes next year, when he says he intends to play a full schedule and where, for the first weeks at least, he will find life harder than before.

His decision to be a virtual part-timer this season means he will start 2004 as world No 17, outside of the top 16 seedings for the Australian Open and unprotected from the biggest names in the draw.

Under Rasheed’s tutelage he should at least start the year fitter and fresher than he has previous seasons, though the doubts about his coach’s exper ience may only be banished when Hewitt wins a major title. Until then Rasheed and Hewitt may just have to face the full glare of speculation.

11-30-2003, 03:27 AM
What a match :D

Mark's up, then he's down again. I'm just so glad he finished on top!

I'm sure the party has already begun :D (I was jumping around the house as soon as we won!)

In the end of the 5th set (when it was getting clear that Mark and Australia were going to win), Lley came out of the locker room / warm up room, and stood coutside with the other guys, so he could be right there for victory.

Upon winning, big hugs all round. Mark and Fitzy were quickly interviewed on the court, then the boys tipped an esky full of water / ice all over Fitzy :p (apparently part of some bet if they won!) All the boys changed into Fanatics t-shirts. They were all so happy and then started pouring champagne at each other!

The commentators interviewed Glynn and Nick. Nick was gorgeous - he burst into tears when Mark won. He was so proud of him.

Then we had the official presentation. The 4 boys and Fitzy all came out in their yellow tracksuits and were each presented with a medal and a mini replica of the Davis Cup trophy.

Fitzy gave a realy, really great speech - he congratulated the Spanish on their fine work, thanked the crowd and thanked all the boys / support crew. He was just so proud :angel: Todd, Wayne, Mark and Lley all got a special little thing said about them from Fitzy. Lley's was that basically he is a record-breaking machine in the making! In the years that Fitzy has been coach, Lley has won 13 of his 14 DC matches played :worship: :worship: The all time DC wins by an Aussie is currently held by Adrian Quist - 24 wins, "And this guy here (pointing to Lley) at the ripe old age of 22 has 23 wins" :worship: :worship: :worship:

All of them had smiles from ear to ear....and I don't think they'll fade in a hurry ;) :)

Can't wait for lots of pictures!!

11-30-2003, 03:29 AM
Thanks for the info Anne :D Did they show Kim's reaction?

11-30-2003, 03:34 AM
Thanks for the info Anne :D Did they show Kim's reaction?

Not Kim's. They showed a close up of Fitzy, Nick, Lley, the whole team on the side line, but once they had won, they didn't show Kim at all :( They cut off TV coverage after the presentation :( I just hope we get loads of pictures of the celebrations - and at least one good Lleyki pic. Even if its just one kiss I'll be happy.

11-30-2003, 03:36 AM
Not Kim's. They showed a close up of Fitzy, Nick, Lley, the whole team on the side line, but once they had won, they didn't show Kim at all :( They cut off TV coverage after the presentation :( I just hope we get loads of pictures of the celebrations - and at least one good Lleyki pic. Even if its just one kiss I'll be happy.
I'd be happy with one kissing picture :angel: I'm surprised that there aren't any celebration pics up yet. There are some pics from the match on Yahoo and Getty images but only pics from early in the match :( Hopefully we'll get some nice pics from the party afterwards as well but that might take a couple of days.

11-30-2003, 03:38 AM
Thanks for the report Anne :D

Do you know what was up with Flip's shoulder?

11-30-2003, 03:50 AM
Thanks for the report Anne :D

Do you know what was up with Flip's shoulder?

You're welcome!

I don't know what the whole problem was / is, but he was in agony poor guy. In the 4th and the 5th sets he was grimacing after every serve. He served 16 double faults in the match. He had treatment (courtside) at the end of the 4th set on his shoulder.

11-30-2003, 06:17 AM
Congratulations to the 2003 Davis Cup Champions...

:worship:AUSTRALIA! :worship:

11-30-2003, 10:07 AM
VIDEO (http://g1.ninemsn.com.au/aus4/1303)

but i think the video will only last for one day

11-30-2003, 10:30 AM
Australia claims Davis Cup
Mark Philippoussis seals victory for Australia in the Davis Cup final against Spain in Melbourne.

Real Broadband (http://www.abc.net.au/reslib/200311/r12782_30732.ram)

Real Dialup (http://www.abc.net.au/reslib/200311/r12782_30733.ram)

Win Broadband (http://www.abc.net.au/reslib/200311/r12782_30734.asx)

Win Dialup (http://www.abc.net.au/reslib/200311/r12782_30735.asx)

11-30-2003, 11:09 AM
Thanks for the video link! Actually works for once!

11-30-2003, 12:28 PM
VIDEO (http://g1.ninemsn.com.au/aus4/1303)

but i think the video will only last for one day

Thank you for that. :kiss: :kiss:

11-30-2003, 12:30 PM
Thanks for the videos Tara :kiss:

11-30-2003, 01:58 PM
Mark Philippoussis played in pain and finished in a daze and somehow won the Davis Cup for Australia.

After losing the third and fourth sets to Spain's Juan Carlos Ferrero, Philippoussis was treated for a chest muscle strain that would have caused him to default out of any other match, yet won the deciding set 6-0 in as heroic performance as has been put up for Australia in this storied competition.

It was the agony and the ecstasy, and it had taken scarcely half an hour.

Philippoussis's customary grunt became a groan of pain with each heavy shot he hit in that fifth set. He winced when coach John Fitzgerald put his hand on his shoulder between games, was careful to pick up his water bottle with only his left hand and grimaced as he put away the smash that finished the match.

His first instinct was relief that he did not have to play another point. Yet he had drubbed the highly regarded Ferrero.

Even his teammates had given up his rubber as lost.

"I don't know what happened in the fifth," Philippoussis said over and over. "I honestly don't know. It was just weird."

Even at the presentation ceremony, Philippoussis was the accidental hero. At one stage, he joined in a round of applause, only to be told by Todd Woodbridge alongside that it was for him. Courtside, he had told John Alexander that he had felt "completely numb" during the fifth set and felt as if he was watching himself from the sidelines.

Philippoussis had won the first two sets in fine style, but then had begun to feel the soreness in his chest and had lost the next two in less than an hour.

After the fourth set, Philippoussis called an injury time-out. He needed chiropractor Andrea Bisaz's healing hands, but also the stillness.

"It was good to have a breather and to get away from that centre court for a minute," he said.

In the change room, he found Lleyton Hewitt warming up vigorously for what looked certain to be a deciding fifth rubber; they could both laugh about it later. "I thought he was done, to be honest," said Woodbridge. "Done like a dinner."

Coach Wally Masur said that the treatment to his chest must somehow have also soothed his head.

Still, there was a mountain to climb. "There was no way I was going to pull out - I mean, this is the Davis Cup," Philippoussis said.

What ensued was stunning, not least to Philippoussis. He would have to finish this match in a hurry, or not at all. He hit his own serve as hard as he could, and chipped and charged Ferrero's.

He served two aces and two double faults in the first game, and won it. He broke Ferrero, then broke him again, and a madness came over Melbourne Park.

Lleyton Hewitt reappeared courtside, and his girlfriend, Kim Clijsters, cupped her hands and yelled as maniacally for Philippoussis as any Australian. :angel:

The crowd became a force of its own, buoying Philippoussis and pressing on Ferrero. Philippoussis said the cacophony helped to dull his pain.

When Philippoussis had put away his winning smash, he fell to his back, too hurt to raise his arms, too happy to care.

Philippoussis finally began to grasp what he had achieved when he put his hands on the trophy.

For Australia, this was its fourth final and second victory in five years, its 28th win in all and its first at home since the epic of 1986.

Veteran Woodbridge revealed that Prime Minister John Howard had said in the change room that he knew how it felt to be asked constantly about his future. Both are staying on.

11-30-2003, 02:24 PM
Mark II: Scud the hero again
By Chip Le Grand
December 01, 2003
It will be remembered as the charge of Philippoussis. The moment Mark Philippoussis, his serving arm numb and his game in tatters, charged headlong at Juan Carlos Ferrero in a desperate, determined gamble to win Australia the Davis Cup.

It also will be remembered as the moment the Australian team, having travelled together from the anguish of the 2001 defeat to France to the ignominy of tumbling out of the World Group altogether, finally put an end to past recriminations and returned Australia to the top of the tennis tree.

As the four of them sat side-by-side below Rod Laver Arena, Philippoussis having won his match and Australia the tie, they enjoyed that particular lightness of being that comes from suddenly being free of the tension of competition and pressure of expectation.

Every time Philippoussis mentioned his injured "pec", Lleyton Hewitt went into fits of giggles. Todd Woodbridge rolled his eyes like an older sibling enjoying the mischief and Wayne Arthurs just grinned.

Finally Philippoussis gave up and the next question came to captain John Fitzgerald. What is it about this team that it gets on so well?

"It helps when you win," Fitzgerald said.

Fitzgerald might have had his tongue planted inside his cheek, but no truer words were spoken for the next 20 minutes.

A win in this Davis Cup final was the difference between Fitzgerald paying tribute to a "special group of players" and Fitzgerald two years ago, taking the heat for the loss to France.

A win was the difference between Hewitt being able to claim vindication for the unorthodox preparation he took into this tie, a preparation that has salvaged another brilliant career achievement from a less-than-brilliant year.

A win was the difference in Woodbridge being heralded by Fitzgerald as a doubles "maestro", when two years ago Fitzgerald left him on the bench. Then Woodbridge could only look on as Hewitt and Pat Rafter lost; yesterday he shared a dressing-room conversation with Prime Minister John Howard about how to retire on his own terms.

A win was the difference between Arthurs being forever remembered for his fateful role two years ago in being asked to play the deciding singles rubber against France's Nicolas Escude, and Arthurs, at age 32, having his name engraved alongside the greats of Australian tennis on the silver punch bowl.

A win was the difference between Philippoussis, once estranged from Australia's Davis Cup fraternity, being able to put to rest any lingering questions about his commitment to playing for his country.

To win in Nice after two epic Philippoussis wins four years ago was one thing. To win in front of his home crowd, with his chest aching and his serving arm hanging limp between games, is quite another.

"Today's win was definitely the most important win of my tennis career so far without a doubt," Philippoussis said.

Fitzgerald said: "They are a special group of players, these four. They have all got their own sort of weird little habits, I guess you could say, but we had a common goal.

"There are some great tennis players sitting here and I think as time goes on, legends will grow a bit. It is a fabulous result for a bunch of committed players with a common cause."

Just how it happened that Philippoussis picked himself up, quite literally, from the floor of Rod Laver Arena, to run over Ferrero, not even he really knew. For the third and fourth sets, Philippoussis was a dead man walking.

His serve was finding the mark no better than one from every two and his total of service aces was fast being challenged by an alarming sequence of double-faults. He did not win a point from a Ferrero first serve in the third set.

Philippoussis later revealed he felt a pain in his right shoulder muscle two days ago during his loss to Carlos Moya. By the second set against Ferrero, it was nearly unbearable.

"I got through that second set and it just got worse and worse," he said.

By the end of the fourth, Philippoussis's right arm was hanging lifeless by his side as he headed to the bench; his racquet held in his left. He called a toilet break and once in the locker room, found Hewitt sprinting from one end to the other in preparations for the likely fifth rubber.

"There was definitely a moment after 6-1, 6-2 in the third and fourth set that I thought I could be out there," Hewitt said.

Fitzgerald was having none of it. As the team physio pressed deep into Philippoussis's chest and shoulder to bring back some feeling, Fitzgerald urged Philippoussis to try one last, desperate assault on the net.

"At that stage he was hurting," Fitzgerald said. "But the good news was so was Juan Carlos. When you get into that situation, it is what great moments are made of.

"I guess we were all telling him: 'Look, this is a moment you need to put the pain out of your mind. If you start off strongly here, you hold your first serve, start chipping and coming in quickly, put some pressure on him, he might miss a couple.' And he did."

Where Philippoussis felt joy in Nice in 1999, he felt relief yesterday. "It was more thinking I don't have to play another point," he said.

Philippoussis's emotion was shared by his father Nick, who, with tear-stained eyes, hugged Hewitt's father Glynn.

Fitzgerald was a part of the 1986 team, the last Australians to win the Davis Cup at home, and was asked to compare the feelings of playing in a winning team and captaining one.

"I was actually saying to Lleyton in the locker room afterwards, maybe it was just the euphoria of the moment but I think it felt better being captain."

11-30-2003, 02:26 PM
Thanks so much to everyone for all the articles and first-hand accounts.:worship:

It was really great to be able to catch up on all the Davis Cup action.
Victory gives this difficult year a happy ending after all.:)

A few thoughts: I really appreciated what a team victory this was. Everyone got the chance to be the hero and nobody was left on the bench so to speak. I'm ecstatic for Lleyton :hearts:, of course, but also really happy for Mark, Todd and Wayne. John Fitzgerald should be congratulated for always doing/saying the right thing under difficult circumstances, promoting a great team spirit and always showing faith in his players.

11-30-2003, 02:30 PM
The Australian with words of actual praise for LL & co :eek: Treasure the moment everyone!

Editorial: Classic tie delivers glory in Davis Cup

December 01, 2003
During the golden era of Australian Davis Cup tennis, when players like Ken Rosewall, Lew Hoad and Fred Stolle were led by a captain called Harry Hopman, we enjoyed a mortgage on the Cup: between 1950 and 1967, Australia loaned out the silverware to the US on just three occasions.

But in its own way, John Fitzgerald's team, which yesterday secured our 28th Davis Cup, and our first victory on home soil since 1986, deserves to be ranked up there with the greats.

This was a classic tie, and will be remembered most for the two five-set singles matches, both involving Spain's Juan Carlos Ferrero. The most dramatic was yesterday's encounter with Mark Philippoussis, as unpredictable and up-and-down as the career of Philippoussis itself. But by putting aside the pain of a shoulder injury and blasting the valiant Spaniard off the court 6-0 in the final set, Philippoussis not only settled the tie: he also put to rest any lingering perceptions that he puts self-interest ahead of the interests of the national team. After all, the Scud has now led Australia to Cup victory twice. The courtside tears of father Nick said it all.

But even greater plaudits are due Lleyton Hewitt. Prepared to suffer a tumble in the world rankings, and a loss of income, simply and solely to make sure that he was ready for this tie, he took fully eight weeks off after leading Australia to victory in the semi-final against Switzerland in Melbourne. In the lead-up to the final, after finishing off Philippoussis at practice, he would continue to heap punishment on young team member Todd Reid: this man's appetite for playing for his country, and winning, is simply bottomless. The extent to which he places Davis Cup over and above his own professional career has long been apparent, including when he was world No. 1 and would break his schedule to play for his country, even in the qualifying rounds. But it all looked like coming unstuck when Ferrero went to a 2-sets-to-1 lead on Friday. Hewitt eventually found his rhythm and, as so often before, worked his way back to the front with running and aggression. At age 22, Hewitt is now just one rubber shy of the record for career singles wins by an Australian. No wonder Tony Roche, one of the greats of the Hopman years, believes that Hewitt "is going to go down as our greatest Davis Cup player of all time". This, and not his silly legal vendetta against the ATP, should be the side of Hewitt we see from now on.

But this was truly a team effort, with every member supporting the others. The comprehensive win by the two veterans, Todd Woodbridge and Wayne Arthurs, in the doubles was what probably took the pressure off Philippoussis sufficiently to allow him to go for broke in the fifth yesterday. In yet another milestone, Woodbridge has set a new record of 29 Davis Cup ties. But in none of the previous 28 ties was the 32-year-old as flawless as on Saturday. He now belongs among the evergreens.

Compared to the 2000 final in Barcelona, where local fans used intimidation to put the Australian players off their game, it has been a fair and good-natured final. Revenge is sweet, but this revenge was also clean. The playing of the wrong national anthem on Friday was a serious and inconsiderate gaffe, but should be put into perspective – it was as if "God Save the Queen" had been played in Barcelona, which would hardly be the end of civilised life as we know it. One suspects that the Spanish officials were milking the incident for all it was worth. That is exactly what one would expect them to do, as fierce competitors who, like we Australians, understand that the Davis Cup is the very essence of tennis.

11-30-2003, 04:59 PM
Congrats Australia !!! :bounce: :bounce:
I'm so happy for the Aussies,they deserve it so much. :yeah: :yeah: :yeah:

11-30-2003, 07:20 PM
I think these people apologise when they realise that Lleyton thrives on being insulted. It's like spinach for Popeye! Remember the USO 2001? The more the crowds tried to put him off, the better he got!

But to be fair I think people are only shocked when it happens in tennis because they are generally nice to each other. If this was cricket, Corretja's comments would barely get reported.
Oh yes, I agree with you!!!

12-01-2003, 11:38 PM
Here's a report from Lleytonland.... no mention of Kim at all though :(


12-02-2003, 12:46 AM
Transcript of the final D.C. interview with the whole team.

It is loooong, but really good.:) From the official site.

01 Dec 2003 - Rod Laver Arena, Melbourne Park, Australia
Transcript: Australian Press Conference after Davis Cup Final result on Sunday
28-30 NOVEMBER, 2003

INTERVIEW WITH: John Fitzgerald, Wally Massur, Mark Philippoussis, Lleyton Hewitt, Todd Woodbridge and Wayne Arthurs.


QUESTION: I suppose we had better come to you first Mark. That was some match and some fifth set. Can you talk us through the end of the fourth and how you got into the fifth and how you won it?
MARK PHILIPPOUSIS: To be quite honest I don't know what happened in the fifth. I just came out there, I went to the bathroom, the guys were saying "One more set, one more set". I was just thinking I don't care how bad your pec is, just put everything into this last set and I don't know how, it was 60.
QUESTION: How was that massage.
MARK PHILIPPOUSIS: It didn't vibrate; it was good though.

JOHN FITZGERALD: Don't encourage the guy.
MARK PHILIPPOUSIS: I don't know how, especially 6-0 in the fifth. I honestly don't know. I just thought the serve, give it everything and then when I was returning I thought just chip and come in it from everything. If he passes you, too good, I was just going to come at anything and I don't know ? ?
JOHN FITZGERALD: The rest is history.
QUESTION: Mark, what about the crowd, how much did they lift you in the fifth set?
MARK PHILIPPOUSIS: They were incredible. This is what Davis Cup is all about, especially playing at home. There is no way I would have got through without them, there's no way. Not only does it get you up, it gets the opposition down too. Their shoulder starts slumping, all of a sudden you win one more service game and the next thing they are 0-40 and break up 2-0 and just numbs the pain a little bit, you know, because they are so loud and they are awesome.
QUESTION: Exactly how much pain were you in? Was it pretty bad?
MARK PHILIPPOUSIS: It's painful. I am going to get an MRI tomorrow and see exactly what is wrong with it.
QUESTION: Have you got any idea on the feeling, is it something you have experienced before?
MARK PHILIPPOUSIS: No, I don't know. It feels like a little tear but I don't know.
QUESTION: Mark, what about the heat, how hot was it out there?
MARK PHILIPPOUSIS: It wasn't that bad, not as hot as Friday I don't think. We had that win and so I don't think it was as humid as Friday.
QUESTION: Mark does it equal or surpass Nice for you.
MARK PHILIPPOUSIS: Passes, without a doubt, easily pass.
QUESTION: Why, because it's at home and because of the circumstances?
QUESTION: When did you actually start to feel your body was, sort of, possibly going to let you down there?
MARK PHILIPPOUSIS: The pec was hurting two days ago and in the middle of the second it started to hurt but then I got that break and you start going on adrenaline and I got through that second set and it just got worse and worse.
QUESTION: What was going through your mind at the start of the fifth, did you expect you were going to last?
MARK PHILIPPOUSIS: There was no way I was going to pull out. I just kept telling myself take one point at a time, that's all I could do. I mean, this is Davis Cup and you leave your heart out there. That's what I said to myself and, you know, Fitzy on the side of the court just telling me to take it a point at a time and, you know.
QUESTION: How frustrating was your service today?
MARK PHILIPPOUSIS: At the start I think I thought I served well at the start. All in all I was happy, obviously ? ? ?
TODD WOODBRIDGE: He has got a lot of friends to keep you vibrating.
MARK PHILIPPOUSIS: What was that one? Sorry, I don't know how to take that. What was the question?
QUESTION: Your serve today, were you happy with it?
MARK PHILIPPOUSIS: I was happy. I came out firing and came out strong. As I said, the pain came and he felt something was different and he took advantage of that and started returning well. I don't know what happened, in the fifth it was just weird. He lost his rhythm, I felt like, on his returns and it was a kind of weird fifth set so I don't know what to say about that.
QUESTION: Could you possibly give us an idea of how you feel about being the first Aussie team to win at home for 17 years, what that feels like, all the guys?
WAYNE ARTHURS: We certainly had a big load in 2001, that's for sure, myself personally and obviously the team at the same time and this is a special, special feeling I think for all of us and since September last year we had this goal in mind. To win here in Melbourne I think is very special for all of us and we will remember it for a long, long time.
LLEYTON HEWITT: It's something, as Wayne said, something we have worked towards for the last 14, 15 months now. To win at home, it's just extra special I guess. I have watched so many tapes over the years of obviously the '83 and '86 Kooyong finals and they were both played on grass as well and Fitzy was in the teams and it's just awesome to be able to produce some of our best tennis as a team I think in our home country and also to go through the whole year with the same team, with the four man team this whole year is pretty incredible.
JOHN FITZGERALD: Has that ever happened before in Australia's history?
LLEYTON HEWITT: It's not bad anyway.
QUESTION: I thought it was the Challenge round.
TODD WOODBRIDGE: For me it's to follow in the footsteps of legends and childhood idols and its Rosewell, Hoad and Hartwigg and the super Macs, Edmondson, Fitzy and Cashy and for me it's a hope for me that we spur on the next generation of Davis Cup champions.
QUESTION: Lleyton, what was going through your head after he won the first two sets and lost the next two? Did you think, "I am going to get a run or I'm not going to get a run"?
LLEYTON HEWITT: You try and keep your mind open for any possible situation.
MARK PHILIPPOUSIS: When I went to the bathroom break in the fifth set and he was already doing sprinting drills. I said, "What are you doing?" He was already dressed, putting on his socks and doing some foot work drills; hey.
LLEYTON HEWITT: There was definitely a moment after 6-1, 6-2 in the third and fourth set that I thought I could be out there. To his credit it was a hell of an effort to come back. I had watched patches of the first three sets, three and a half sets and then I didn't watch any from halfway through the fourth set and I was trying to concentrate on the situation if I was going to have to go out there and play.
QUESTION: Mark, can you talk about the emotion of when it was over and your Dad was crying and it was all happening out there, what were you feeling?
MARK PHILIPPOUSIS: Just relieved, when I smashed it was like "oh my God". It was more thinking I don't have to play another point than we did it sort of thing. Like I said, I definitely wasn't emotional like this in Nice and then I think Fitzy hugged me and was saying something and it was like hoo, hoo, hoo.
JOHN FITZGERALD: That was me or you?
JOHN FITZGERALD: That's rubbish, don't believe a word he says.
MARK PHILIPPOUSIS: He made me cry but he was pretty emotional.
QUESTION: Fitzy, at the break between the fourth and fifth set did you have a technical talk with Mark and what did you say?
JOHN FITZGERALD: Look, at that stage, you know, he was hurting, but the good news was that so was Juan?Carlos. I think when you get in that situation it's what great moments are made of. At the beginning of the fourth anything could happen. You just don't know what's going to happen and he was in some pain.
QUESTION: The fifth, you mean?
JOHN FITZGERALD: I guess all of us were telling him, "Look, this is a moment you need to put the pain out of your mind. If you start off strongly here, you hold your first serve, you start chipping and coming in quickly, put some pressure on him, he might miss a couple", and he did. Once he got the first break and he got a bit of a sniff, I'm sure the adrenaline ? I can't speak for Mark ? but I feel pretty sure the adrenaline kicked in and then it's just a sprint for the line, you know. I mean it couldn't be a better script, it just couldn't be I don't think.
QUESTION: Mark, what role do you think the break actually played in changing the momentum and possibly your mind?set?
MARK PHILIPPOUSIS: I think it was good just for a couple of minutes to sit back and go to the locker room, but just have a breather to get away from that centre court just for a minute. You know, obviously after the third and fourth the score was so quick and it was all happening so quickly and it was just on a roll and I wanted to change things up and then (indistinct) Andreas started rubbing my pec and it helped a little. No more champagne for these guys, taking things and turning them around.
JOHN FITZGERALD: You think he's innocent.
MARK PHILIPPOUSIS: Definitely, with the warm cream.
JOHN FITZGERALD: Let's not degenerate here.
MARK PHILIPPOUSSIS: I am trying to keep things going. I don't know what I'm saying, don't worry about it. Don't ask me any more questions.
QUESTION: Fitzy, you have been involved in a lot of teams over the years. Why are these guys so close and such a good group?
JOHN FITZGERALD: It helps when you win. It's a special experience. In all seriousness, with all of us, not just the six people sitting here but our tennis fraternity in this country is a special one, that's the truth, that's the fact of the matter. Everyone who cares about the sport here, people who work in it and the fans as well, they contributed a little bit of inspiration, I think, to win this. But they are a special group of players, these four, I believe. They have all got their own sort of weird little habits I guess you could say, but we had a common goal. There are some great tennis players sitting here and I think as time goes on, you know, legends grow a little bit. But they are four magnificent tennis players and when they come together as a team to commit to a common goal and you have a brains trust like Wally at the helm, looking at him you wouldn't guess, but I think special things happen. When we lost the first round in Argentina last year, that was a sobering time. Look, I can honestly say we tried to make a commitment to each other, and Flip would have been in Adelaide if he hadn't hurt his knee at the US Open, but the rest of the boys were and they made a commitment to win that, requalify and just give it everything we had this calendar year, and it's still sinking in. It is a fabulous result for a bunch of committed players with a common cause.
QUESTION: Fitzy, captaining or playing, what's better?
JOHN FITZGERALD: What was that?
QUESTION: What is better, captaining the the team or playing?
JOHN FITZGERALD: I was actually saying to Lleyton in the locker room afterwards, maybe it was just the euphoria of the moment, but I think it felt better being capitain, but I'm not sure. I mean, I think it's difficult to compare. It's like comparing an apple to an orange. I am sure honestly I don't feel that way. I am sure being a player in this situation is probably almost the ultimate because that's what I aspired to do when I was a kid; I know Wally did and I know these boys did, aspired to play for Australia. Being a capitain and a coach is pretty special too. It's a bit different and these guys are the ones that walk out there and hit the balls in the court, it's not us, so give them the credit.
QUESTION: John, do you think that Spain will win on a grass court ever?
JOHN FITZGERALD: They weren't far away here, were they. Against a mighty grass court team they were not very far away.
QUESTION: Lleyton, your decision to focus on Davis Cup all year has really been vindicated. That must make you feel really good?
LLEYTON HEWITT: It's a special moment I guess for me. Personally I probably haven't had the greatest year that I have had over the last two years before. I guess I have sacrificed a lot of things to play Davis Cup and to play well in Davis Cup ties as well as possible. There's no better feeling than holding that trophy up. For me, the way the whole team did it, it was a team effort this whole weekend and everyone stood up for what they believed in and I know Flip and I had a lot closer matches than obviously the doubles specialists here.
TODD WOODBRIDGE: We played better.
LLEYTON HEWITT: Well you were just too good. Flip and I have got errors in our game and we've got to work on that. Everyone just put in 110 per cent in practice and this is an awesome reward.
QUESTION: Todd, what was it like watching Mark play that fifth set from the sideline?
TODD WOODBRIDGE: Today was way harder for me.
LLEYTON HEWITT: Of course it was.
TODD WOODBRIDGE: I tune out on Friday, I don't really get involved.
QUESTION: I mean how did you rate his effort played in that match, watching so closely?
TODD WOODBRIDGE: I thought he was done, done like a dinner, to be honest. Two sets all I was telling Rusty to move his feet faster in the locker room because it's one of the best efforts that I have ever seen at being able to turn a match around. I have never watched a match being turned around like that before ever.
QUESTION: Does that make it a bit more special that you have all actually won a match as well, that everyone has won, so everyone has contributed.
LLEYTON HEWITT: I think everyone has played their part. I guess the doubles, they were just concentrating on that one day on Saturday. Flip and I knew that if we were confident enough in each other as grass court players, I think we could both handle one match and that's all we would need and we were able to do that. I think it draws the whole team together. We have been trying to help out each other the whole week and a half leading into this tie and trying to work out ways, probably especially me and Flip more, the singles guys and how we were going to try and exploit their grass court weaknesses and it's nice I think for everyone to have got a point.
QUESTION: Mark, how high do you rate today's performance, the couple of sets and the fifth?
MARK PHILIPPOUSIS: Today's win was definitely the most important win of my tennis career so far without a doubt.
QUESTION: Todd, you haven't serious considered ? you said today you are going to keep playing next year but all along you didn't seriously consider retiring from Davis Cup, did you?
TODD WOODBRIDGE: A funny thing just happened in the locker room, the Prime Minister came in to congratulate us, and as he was leaving he came up and said, "I know how you feel, everyone asking if you are going to be hanging around for another year."
MARK PHILIPPOUSIS: Can he reduce our taxes.
TODD WOODBRIDGE: We had a bit of a laugh about that. I didn't mention taxes. And as he said, he told me it's best to play it a year at a time. So I said to the crowd I will be back to try and win this Davis Cup again and I hope everyone here with me thinks the same way.
QUESTION: John, is that realistic, with a couple of 32 year olds, to keep this group together again next year?
JOHN FITZGERALD: Absolutely. I haven't really thought about February and Adelaide yet but why not? I mean, look, as far as the two youngsters of the team goes, they have got a few years left in them. There are a few more wins for the old fellas, I think the two old fellas here, I think they played their best match by a fair way yesterday in their Davis Cup careers together as a combination, so why not. Why can't they play another year or two. I'm sure they will go away ? I can't speak for them ? but I'm sure they will go away and take stock and understand what this meant to him and know that there is a taunting possibility of another one. But we are going to try and enjoy this first.
QUESTION: John, you kept saying that ? ? ?
QUESTION: Wayne, this is your first winners' medal, the others have already got one. Would this be the highlight of your career and do you plan to commit to another?
WAYNE ARTHURS: I have always committed myself to Davis Cup. I have been in the team with Wally and Fitzy, I have been the only guy sitting up here that has been in every tie. I have no plans to quit Davis Cup and it is very special to get your name on that trophy, is a goal that I had since I lost here in 2001.
QUESTION: You were a bit down in the middle of the year, Queen's I think.
WAYNE ARTHURS: A little bit down. My singles was going downwards quite rapidly.
QUESTION: Is it fair to say Davis Cup.
WAYNE ARTHURS: This has turned everything around. This is what I focused on from probably Wimbledon onwards. I knew that we had a chance to win this Davis Cup and I was up for it the whole second part of the year. It's great that we have achieved this goal.
QUESTION: You kept saying John that Mark would benefit from the loss to Moya. Why were you so sure that would be the case?
JOHN FITZGERALD: I thought it was just logical really. He is the type of player, you know, I generally don't like guys with so much talent because I had none, but he is a player that improves very quickly. He is not a guy that overpractices, it is just the way he is. He doesn't practice as much as Lleyton does and probably as much as Todd and Wayne does, but he has an innate ability to be able to hit the ball in the middle of a racket very quickly. I think sometimes that can be, for him, over his career, I think it is fair to say, it has probably cost him a few tournaments because in the first rounds is not where he plays his best tennis. If he gets through the first couple of rounds, look out. That is what happened at Wimbledon this year. He was very close to taking the title there because he got through those first couple of rounds. In Davis Cup sometimes when you have got to make a standing start against such a world class player like Carlos Moya, sometimes it takes a little while for him to find his feet, and it didk, he started to play well in the third and fourth and wasn't far away from winning that first match. Having that tennis under his belt I felt very confident that today he would go out there and play to a high level. He certainly had the adrenaline going when he went on to the court, he was sweating, he was ready to go, he was fired and had a lot of adrenaline and he played exceptional stuff in those first two sets and thankfully again in the fifth. I mean, that was a mighty effort, so that's why I think it was pretty logical that he would play better in his second match.
QUESTION: Do you think you would have got around the court if the guys hadn't been holding you up? Do you think you would have been able to do the lap of honour if the guys hadn't helped you? It looked as though you were struggling on your feet a little.
MARK PHILIPPOUSIS: No, my feet were fine, my feet were fine. Just the whole, I think the whole thing emotionally and the whole ? it has been a whole year for all of us. Finally to have done it and just to be running around the court with that trophy, I think that's when it sunk in for me, this is it, we did it, it all paid off and it's a great time for us to enjoy it.
QUESTION: Wally, how did you rate Mark's performance today and the courage he showed in that fifth set?
WALLY MASUR: Fitzy mentioned Mark is a very talented player. There is a lot of pressure in Davis Cup and it was just a strange set of circumstances. I mean, I will be honest, I didn't see how he could turn that around. Ferrero is such a good competitor. Something must have clicked when he had that treatment from Andreas, the team chiropractor. Something cleared in his head and if he watches that fifth set on video one day he played virtually faultless tennis. As Todd said, it was pretty unique. I haven't really seen a turnaround as dramatic as that, I mean to win six games in a row against that quality opposition. I am still a bit stunned myself I have got to be honest.
QUESTION: Mark, when did you decide to have a break? Was it immediately you sat down or getting to the end of the fourth?
MARK PHILIPPOUSSIS: I was kind of thinking about it in the fourth and I guess as good as any time would be the start of the fifth to do that. Like I said, to change things up and just take a break for a while and think about things, because, like I said, the third and fourth went so quick I didn't want it to keep on going like in the fifth set.
QUESTION: Fitzy, can you explain what the victory means for tennis in Australia as a whole?
JOHN FITZGERALD: I would like to think it is extremely important. I know when I was a kid the first memories I have of Davis Cup was the 1973 final when Rod Laver and John Newcombe, Ken Rosewell and Mal Anderson beat beat the Americans five?zero in Cleveland. It was the first time tennis was telecast live by satelite back to Australia. That remained in my memory and that instigated the thought process in me to want to play for Australia. I know there is kids that would have seen that today and would have been an inspiration for their future. It is tough to get numbers of kids into tennis in this country. We are a small country in terms of population and we compete against large nations and Spain is a much larger nation. There is so many bigger countries than us with a lot of kids playing, so it's tough to compete. But I know that the history and the culture of the game in this country will continue to stand up. We want to be part of what drives that. That's part of what these golden fleeces are. We believe in the sport and playing for Australia and I know that there is kids there that will be inspired by this, I just know it.
QUESTION: Lleyton and Mark, is it easier to win Davis Cup at home or the Australian Open?
LLEYTON HEWITT: I have never won an Australian Open, but they are bloody tough things to win. I guess Davis Cup you are playing for your country, that's the biggest difference. The Australian Open, you are obviously playing for your national title and growing up as an Australian, that is one slam you would really love to take home. But winning the Davis Cup and playing for the Australian flag and listening to the national anthem before the ties, it's very hard to beat that. There is definitely an extra pressure going out there to play, there's no doubt about it. Even though it's the same arena and the crowd, you are playing, you have got this jacket on is something to be very proud of.
QUESTION: Mark, what's easier?
MARK PHILIPPOUSIS: Lleyton pretty much said the things I would say.
QUESTION: Mark, to survive that enormous pressure out there when you play for a lot more than yourself puts you theoretically in good stead for the pressure of a grand slam which is significant but players say there is nothing like the pressure of Davis Cup.
LLEYTON HEWITT: Obviously the biggest difference is that there is seven matches in a grand slam. I know I probably wouldn't be playing a guy as good as Ferraro as I played on day one in the first couple of rounds of Australian Open but still you have got to win seven best of five set matches to win it and a lot depends on the draw and the conditions and there is a lot of variables I guess. In Davis Cup you know you are going out there with a maximum two matches.
MARK PHILIPPOUSIS: The other thing for me and I think for the team also, is after I've played a Davis Cup tie the next tournament I play, I seem to be hitting the ball so well and I go on to the match and like it was nothing. There is so much pressure in Davis Cup. You get to a tournament and it's like, it feels so easy in comparison. I also always seem to play better tennis after a Davis Cup tie, I'm not sure about the guys.
QUESTION: Who is the special friend you mentioned court side?
MARK PHILIPPOUSIS: It's just a special friend.
QUESTION: Is it professional? Does he have a big involvement in your year this year.
QUESTION: Like a professional relationship or just a personal one?
MARK PHILIPPOUSIS: A personal one.
QUESTION: Fitzy, the dead rubber being played out, is that a thing of the past?
JOHN FITZGERALD: I feel very strongly on this subject. I feel very strongly. I think these guys give their heart and soul to a competition that they obviously believe in so strongly and so do the other teams. You know, a team that fields number 3 and number 7 players in the world like Spain did, they feel the same way. You know, in Australia's history we have this proud past and I think some people automatically think that players always play dead rubbers. Well, I will set the record straight. In previous years, in the past a lot of our great players didn't play the first round or the second round in Japan or in India or in Pakistan, you know. Other guys went to play those. They got through those matches ? not always, not always, there's no set way they did it, but many times the second tier time went to play those early rounds and in the latter rounds the higher ranked world class players stepped in, in the semis, final, that happened quite often. These guys, they start and they play every round. Lleyton Hewitt last year, and Mark would have been there too except for his knee injury at the US Open, Lleyton was the third player history to be currently ranked number 1 to play a tie that was a qualifying tie in the current format of Davis Cup. It's about 25 years now. The other two are John McInroe and Stefan Edberg, he was the third player in history to do that. That proves to me there is a fair bit of commitment there. What we need to do is encourage players to continue to play in the earlyt rounds, not give them a reason not to and I think dead rubbers are a reason. I believe there has to be something done, that a player like to read Todd Reid should be allowed to step in and play a young Raphael Nadal from Spain or someone equivalent. That's the crowd wants to see with all due respect. They don't want to see Todd Woodbridge go out there and play a singles match. I don't want to see Todd go and play a singles match. Todd doesn't want to see himself go out there. He has broken a record today, this weekend and in some ways, you know, he has the ability to play these doubles matches and help us to win a Davis Cup title but he doesn't play singles anymore and I don't think he has to. I think it is much more healty for the sport. Some people talk about a junior Davis Cup competition. Well here's the perfecdt scenario, get Todd Reid, get him ready to play the real stuff in a year or two. I feel very strongly about that. The main thing is to encourage the greatest players in the world, the Roger Federers, the Juan Carlos Ferreros, the Carlos Moyas, the Andy Roddicks, the Lleyton Hewitts, the Mark Philippoussis' to encourage them to play this great competition. Don't give them a reason not to. It didn't do this Davis Cup competition any good to see Pete Sampras and Andre Agassi not play all those years. Don't tell me that's healthy for it. What is healthy for it is to get the greatest players in the world playing and give them a lot of reasons to continue to want to do so.
QUESTION: Did you have any resistance from the ITF or did you and Spain agree wholeheartedly that was enough?
JOHN FITZGERALD: On this particular occasion I know there is a timeframe rule. I can't tell you exactly what it is, but in the last ? if there is a fourth match, if it goes a certain distance, it was fours hours, so this was less than that, I guess with all the euphoria and that I think they made a good decision. Having said that, you know, Todd Reid would have been willing to play a match for the crowd and that would have been a great thing. I know a lot of over people think the same thing and I just want to emphasise we believe in this competition. This is the greatest annually played team event in the world and I want it to stay that way.
QUESTION: Lleyton after your so so 2003 by your standards, your long break and your success here are you rearing to go? Would you like to play the next tournament the week after next?
LLEYTON HEWITT: No, not really, I am playing golf, that's what I will be doing or carrying a bag anyway.
JOHN FITZGERALD: Who are you carrying that for?
LLEYTON HEWITT: It has been a long year anyway. It's something always after Davis Cup ties I feel mentally and physically drained. There is a lot of pressure playing for your country and I put so much effort into it. There is probably a lot of people out there that think I have a bit of a holiday the last eight weeks. I can tell you now it was a lot harder than going over there and playing a couple of matches here and there in Europe. So my training regime was to get ready for Friday and thankfully I got through that match and I deserve a couple of weeks off before getting back into it.
QUESTION: You still must take a lot of encouragement from this.
LLEYTON HEWITT: My last two wins were not against hackers, that's for sure; in big matches and pretty much worn them both down as well. I think I can take both physically and my game hopefully to another level.
JOHN FITZGERALD: At the risk of overspeaking on this subject, I want to say there is a rule that says that one of the four players in the team has to play the dead rubber. Sometimes there is two dead rubbers. At least let's meet halfway. If it's 3-0 have a guy from the four in the team play. But if it's 3-1 and they have already had a live match, at least then put the youngster in. If it is 3-0, play the guy in the team first and then have the youngster. I think that's a healthy thing for the sport.

Knockers LaBroad
12-02-2003, 07:41 PM

November 29, 2003

IN THIS, his throwaway year, super-patriot Lleyton Hewitt started yesterday with just two eggs left in his basket.

One green, one gold. Both to be lobbed square into the Davis Cup trophy.

This must be one of the strangest, yet inspirational, years in the life of any world's best tennis player.

After two harrowing years at the top, with a US Open, a Wimbledon, and two Tennis Masters Cups to his name it was as if the 22-year-old Hewitt, continually at war with the governing body the ATP, had stuck a finger in their faces and decided that his body, and his country, were more important than their ranking system.

As his slide down the ladder progressed there was plenty of gratuitous advice. Dump your parents. Dump your latest coach. Flick your no, hang on to Kim, she's a sweetheart. Learn to volley. But above all get into the gym and add some of the muscle you will need for the future, against stronger men who have lost their fear of you. Face it, you didn't grow. Now you have to attack the weights.

Gutted after last year's TMC in Shanghai, where he beat Juan Carlos Ferrero in the final, he succumbed to Younes El Ay Anoui, the first-class player he met in the fourth round of the Australian Open. But the he won two straight tournaments in America, at Scottsdale and Indian Wells and saw us through the Davis Cup quarter-finals against Sweden.

But it started to disintegrate when he blew a two-set lead to Tommy Robredo in the third round of the French Open and lost in the first round at Wimbledon to unknown Ivo Karlovic.

After losing to Ferrero, with a sore hip, in the quarter-finals of the US Open he seemed to have totally abandoned the chance to build up points to defend his TMC end-of-year title and as Andy Roddick, Roger Federer and Ferrero sorted themselves as the top three his ranking slipped to 17. He seemed to have disappeared – except to emerge to fight for the Davis Cup win he wanted more than anything in his career.

Nine weeks ago he got us to the final after giving world No. 2 Federer a two-set start. Yesterday it was an almost bizarre prospect as he faced Ferrero – the French champion and US finalist – again. He had been in the gym, he had been playing racquet ball and practising on the grass for three hours a day, but he was grossly underdone while the dour Spaniard seemed to have exhausted himself in the TMC Cup, losing to David Nalbandian, Andre Agassi and Federer and blowing his chance at No. 1.

What would prevail? Hewitt's freshness or Ferrero's match hardness? Ferrero had arrived here only five days ago to face a grass court upon which the Spanish claycourters were given little chance. But while a year ago, when Hewitt beat him in Shanghai, it was said that he had the talent but not the gizzard for the big one, his French Open win had freed him from any kind of choker's tag.

But it turned out to be a pudding of a grass court, that would have horrified our past serve-volleyers. They might as well have kept the Rebound Ace. It was going to be another baseline struggle.

The ball wasn't skidding through like it should. Ferrero's second serve was kicking up into Hewitt's face. Hewitt's second, which had seen him through many a match when his first was wonky, was suddenly short and weak.

A Wimbledon win was making no difference at all on this patchy lawn. Hewitt was all ferocity in the opening games, but neither fancied the volley. Ferrero stayed patient, served three love games, and broke in the sixth, to take the first set 6-3.

He taunted Hewitt with drop shots in the second but Hewitt wasn't taking the bait. He had calmed down and Ferrero was looking tired. Hewitt 6-3. There were three straight service breaks, with Hewitt getting agitated, in the third before Ferrero took it 6-3 with a string of aces. Where was Hewitt to find a weapon?

It went with serve for seven games in the fourth until Hewitt had Ferrero 0-40 and got a bad line call. Then the pit bull emerged in the smaller man. Ferrero got it back to deuce and three advantages before Hewitt, on his fourth break point hit a forehand winner.

But in a trice he was broken back to love and it went to a tie-break. Hewitt, on a high, with a variety of air punches and salutes, took it 7-0. Ferrero had hit the wall. The fifth, 6-2 to Hewitt, was a formality.

The last egg? In between it and his place in our folklore stands the strong former world No. 1 Carlos Moya who, last year, was the only player to make Hewitt his bunny.

But Davis Cup is different. It may be a throwaway year for Hewitt, but the boomerang is on its way back

12-03-2003, 11:33 AM
There's a DC report posted in CCL, for those who might not visit that forum regularly!


12-03-2003, 01:01 PM
Thanks for that Angele!

At least you got to read about a kiss. :)

12-04-2003, 07:45 PM
Robin's DC pics including the Players party (from Lleytonland)


Knockers LaBroad
12-04-2003, 08:44 PM
Thanks, great pics!

You can just see he's a hit at family party's!:angel::haha::p

It's a pity there are no Kim pics, though...:( Maybe she wanted Lleyt to have all the attention and he fully deserved it!:yeah:

12-04-2003, 08:49 PM
Howdy :wavey:

Knockers LaBroad
12-04-2003, 08:50 PM
:wavey:Cills, my fellow gunner, let's go to the other thread!;):p

12-04-2003, 08:58 PM
Whoops, I wasn't even looking and posted in this wrong thread :o