Lleyton Hewitt will arrive in Perth today with Belgian fiancee Kim Clijsters to begin his summer campaign at the Hopman Cup ahead of the Australian Open in Melbourne later this month.
Hewitt will team with fellow South Australian Alicia Molik for the third time in the competition. He and Molik proved a surprise success in last year's tournament in making the final, only to be beaten by the US.
Molik, in particular, showed outstanding form in the 2003 tournament with impressive wins over Silvia Farina Elia, Daniela Hantuchova and Daja Bedanova, her only loss being to Serena Williams in the final.
Former US Open champion Marat Safin is also due in today, the mercurial Russian paired with world No.7 Anastasia Myskina.
For France, world No.4 Amelie Mauresmo teams with noted doubles player Fabrice Santoro, while the US outfit is different from last summer's winning one, Lindsay Davenport replacing Williams next to James Blake.
Despite having foot surgery in mid-October, Davenport is still ranked world No.5. And fans sometimes underestimate the statuesque American because she is not one of the sport's glamour girls benefiting from multimillion-dollar marketing campaigns.
But what she is, is good. What she does, she does well. The 198-centimetre, 80-kilogram Californian has a thumping serve, a powerful double-handed backhand and a formidable return of serve. Indeed, Serena Williams said recently that Davenport was one of the few players who could still trouble her consistently, not only because of her relentless baseline power but her crafty placement.
Although Davenport seems the grand old lady of the WTA Tour, she's just 27, having turned professional in 1993 and wining her first significant tournament three years later: the Atlanta Olympic singles.
Two years later she won the first of her three major titles, the US Open, and within a month was world No.1. In 1999 she won Wimbledon and in 2000 the Australian Open. However, as success came, so did injuries to her back, wrist and knee.
Perhaps the Hopman will be the first step in reclaiming her pre-eminence.
This story was found at: http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2004/01/01/1072908852279.html
01-01-2004, 07:47 PM
Clijsters-Hewitt love match takes centre stage at Hopman Cup
Thu Jan 1, 1:22 AM ET
PERTH, Australia (AFP) - A first-round showdown between newly-engaged tennis stars Lleyton Hewitt and Kim Clijsters will grab centre-stage in the 1 million dollar (752,000 US) Hopman Cup starting here Saturday.
Australian favourite Hewitt and Belgian world number two Clijsters go head-to-head in doubles of the prestigious mixed team event next Wednesday, barely a fortnight after revealing plans to tie the knot.
The match is already a sell-out and will be one of the highlights of a tournament which kicks off a series of events building up to the Jan 19-Feb 1 Australian Open (news - web sites), the first Grand Slam of 2004.
"We're calling it the love match around here," tournament director Paul McNamee said of the eagerly anticipated contest between Clijsters and Hewitt.
"Tickets for it sold out almost immediately. Everyone wants to see it. Kim is very popular with Australian crowds."
McNamee said the match would also be pivotal for the competition with the winning mixed doubles team likely to secure a place in the final.
Clijsters is using the Hopman Cup, played on a medium-pace Rebound Ace surface similar to that used in the Australian Open, as a springboard for the Open as she continues her quest for a first Grand Slam singles tournament win.
McNamee said it was impossible to split the top five of the eight countries in the tournament, which starts at the Burswood Dome on Saturday and includes four-seeded nations, with reigning champions the United States ranked top.
"I think it's wide open. There is absolutely nothing between the top five teams," McNamee said.
The US pairing of Lindsay Davenport and James Blake will start as slight favourites with the Australian combination of Alicia Molik and Hewitt seeded second, Clijsters and Xavier Malisse of Belgium third, and Anastasia Myskina and Marat Safin of Russia fourth.
But McNamee said the unseeded French duo of Amelie Mauresmo, currently ranked fourth in the world, and Fabrice Santoro were strong contenders.
"There's no doubt they are the dark horse. They are the a very strong nation," McNamee said.
"Amelie is a very, very hard player to beat and even if Fabrice loses his singles matches, there is absolutely no doubt he is the best doubles player in the tournament," McNamee said.
"You would have to say they would start favourite in just about any doubles match they play and that means they are well in contention, there's no doubt at all about that."
Davenport, defeated by Clijsters in the semi-finals of last year's US Open when she was hampered by a niggling left foot injury that later required surgery, is returning to form, rising to number five in the rankings.
The 27-year-old Californian was called in as a late replacement for world number three Serena Williams (news - web sites) who ruled herself out of the event saying she was not quite prepared.
Williams and Blake paired to win the tournament last year beating Australians Hewitt and Molik 3-0 in the final. It was the US' second win in the 15-year history of the event.
The tournament, played in a round-robin format, includes two groups of four teams each with two players per team to face each other in women's and then men's singles followed by a mixed doubles contest.
Group A consists of the US, Russia, France and the Czech Republic represented by Barbora Strycova and Jiri Novak.
Group B is made up of Australia, Belgium, the Slovak Republic team of Daniela Hantuchova and Karol Kucera and either Canada or Hungary who play-off for the fourth berth on Saturday.
All matches are the best of three sets with the exception of the mixed doubles which uses a tie-break system if scores are locked at one-set all.
The winning teams from each group will meet in the final on Saturday, January 10
01-02-2004, 07:37 AM
I can't wait for Wednesday!
I'm still not sure what I'll do cos I want both teams to win!
But I'll cheer for Aust. or my sis will kill me!
So may the best team win...
Lleyton Hewitt hopes extra matches in the lead up to this month's Australian Open will give him the form he needs to win his first home Grand Slam title.
Hewitt has been knocked out in the early rounds of the Australian Open in recent years, and admits his decision to take a week off after last year's Hopman Cup was a mistake.
"This year I'm playing the Hopman Cup and Sydney because I took that end of season off last year," Hewitt said.
"[If] I get a few more matches going into the Australian Open, I feel that I can go through playing three tournaments in a row, and hopefully I'll be fit enough."
Hewitt and fiancee Kim Clijsters arrived in Perth on Friday ahead of their Hopman Cup campaigns.
Canada will play Hungary today in Perth in a qualfiying tie, with the winner playing Australia in Sunday's opening match.
01-03-2004, 02:56 AM
Thanks for the pic Christina :kiss:
01-03-2004, 03:35 PM
I know how you were looking forward to pictures of them together in Perth. :)
Did you notice how the article said, "Hewitt and fiancee, Clijsters" ? :)
01-03-2004, 03:41 PM
Love is a battlefield
DIGBY BEACHAM and JOHN THIRSK
WEDNESDAY is D-day for Lleyton Hewitt and Kim Clijsters.
Not an early wedding, but an early showdown at the Hopman Cup in Perth.
When Australia and Belgium lock horns at the Burswood Dome, the way Hewitt and Clijsters play against each other is likely to shape the outcome of the tournament.
The winner of the Australia-Belgium Group B clash will almost certainly advance to the final to play either defending champion the US, France, Russia or the Czech Republic.
Hewitt will again be partnered by rising star Alicia Molik, while Clijsters' teammate will be enigmatic right-hander Xavier Malisse.
Molik was a revelation in Perth last year, eclipsing world No. 8 Daniela Hantuchova, No. 17 Silvia Farina-Elia and No. 37 Daja Bedanova, before falling to Serena Williams in the final.
She then ventured to Hobart and became the first Australian female in eight years to win a WTA Tour event.
Molik hits off in Perth with a career-high world ranking of 36.
Clijsters and Malisse, joining forces for the third consecutive time, will be seeking a change of fortune after having lost 2-1 to the US in their final pool encounters in the past two years, which allowed the Americans to advance to the final.
Hewitt, 22, and Clijsters, 20, have been the leading love match since declaring they were an item at the French Open more than three years ago.
They are regular practice partners and have played in mixed-doubles tournaments Ė the highlight being finishing runner-up at Wimbledon in 2000.
But this time loyalty will be tested when they are on opposite sides of the net.
"Australia-Belgium is already a sell-out and the mixed match is the one everyone is talking about," Hopman Cup tournament director Paul McNamee said.
"This tie is going to be very interesting because I think the result will come down to the mixed match and that one of those teams will go through to the final.
"Kim is really looking forward to this one because she was a bit disappointed Australia and Belgium were not in the same half of the draw last year.
"I spoke to Lleyton about it and he told me it was going to be really tough. He wasn't 100 per cent sure what to expect and not certain Australia could win.
"Both Lleyton and Kim know one another's game well but they'll be out there to win . . . I think whoever wins this tie will go on to the final."
Hewitt is making his third Hopman Cup appearance, his previous two ending in disappointment for entirely different reasons.
Two years ago, Hewitt was forced to withdraw after contracting chicken pox, while earlier this year he and Molik were eclipsed in the final by James Blake and Williams.
Williams, who was pencilled in to play in Perth for a second time, has withdrawn, but Blake is back and will be joined by former world No. 1 Lindsay Davenport, the hard-hitting Californian who has been to Perth twice and is on the comeback from foot surgery.
Not surprisingly, the US has been seeded No. 1, although Pool A appears tougher than Pool B.
Fourth-seeded Russia, despite having a weakness in doubles, is the wild card. Former world No. 1, volatile Marat Safin, is returning after a previous stint at the Hopman Cup and will be playing alongside current world No. 7 Anastasia Myskina.
Another talent from the Russian production line, Myskina has stormed into the top 10 on the back of victories at Doha, Sarasota, Leipzig and Moscow last year.
01-03-2004, 09:05 PM
Yay, an interview, and he even talks about Frank Dancevic..although, sadly, it is only Savolt he has to worry about.;) Sort of a weird answer to the happy parents question...was only mum happy and dad sort of neutral?:unsure: ;)
Lleyton, how does it feel to be officially spoken for. I suppose it must have been an exciting few weeks, the last few weeks.
Yeah, itís been good. Everything went well and Iím really enjoying it at the moment.
And I suppose it was just very important that she said yes, but you never doubted it.
Oh, I hope not. I hope there wasnít too much of a problem. You know, everything has been going well for the last four years and weíve both been able to help each other out a lot, both on and off the court.
How have you spent the last week?
Just training mate Ė the same as always.
So you donít get to have fun just because you do something like that.
No, not at all mate. The Australian Open is coming up.
Lleyton, how good is it to have Kim, another elite athlete, as your partner Ė especially during the lows?
Yeah, you know, itís good I guess. We both know what each other is going through. Obviously I got to the pinnacle of tennis, I guess, just before she did, and now sheís up there and we both understand the pressures. And we donít talk about tennis that much, but if it does come up and we do have issues then sure, we can sort it out or help each other I guess.
And your parents were thrilled aboutÖ
Yeah, Mum was happy Ė it was good.
Youíve both got fairly hectic schedules, any thoughts on when the wedding might be? Can we expect it in the next 12 months?
Oh, donít know mate. You wonít be the first to find out!
How do you go into Wednesday though Lleyton, when obviously thatís one that people want to talk about, considering youíre up against your fiancť, how do you approach that game?
Iím not up against her yet. Iíve got to beat Xavier.
In the mixed doubles though?
Well, weíll wait and see if itís live.
On the tennis front, what are your goals for this season?
You know, see what happens. I havenít passed the round of 16 at the Aussie Open before. Obviously the Hopman Cup and Sydney for me is working towards the Aussie Open and getting as much match preparation as possible. Apart from the last two Davis Cup ties which were obviously a couple of the biggest highs for me in my career, I havenít played that many matches. So for me itís just good to get out there on one of my favourite surfaces, the Rebound Ace, and try to get some good hard matches under my belt. You know, I give myself a real good fighting outside chance, I guess.
Is that one of the things you aim for, to reclaim the world number one? I know you cut down on the amount of tournaments you played.
Oh, not really. I think if I put myself in a position early in the year then I might have a crack at it. But, you know, it was awesome taking those last three months off before the Davis Cup final. I know a lot of people questioned it, and the people closest to me didnít question it at all and they knew what was best for me. And it won us the Davis Cup in a lot of ways, I guess, winning that first match against Ferrero. I feel like Iíve got a lot of energy in the tank at the moment and if the chance comes around to have another crack at number one, then Iíll be happy to take that chance.
Having won the Davis Cup, do you think you might scale up your tournament schedule this year?
Iíll wait and see how the summer goes and play it by ear.
Lleyton, you look like youíve bulked up a bit in the off-season, or in your three months off and I know Roger (Rasheed) was saying youíre the fittest youíve ever been, do you feel that way?
Oh, not really. Nah, Iím alright.
Youíre wearing the muscle T Lleyton, come on!
Oh, itís so hot here in Perth. Donít you have air conditioning over here if Iím gonna come over from the east? Nah, Iím a little bit stronger I think. Iíve been doing a lot of work off court. You know, even leading up to the Davis Cup final I was probably the fittest Iíd ever been going into that match against Ferrero, and in the end I think I wore him down. To wear a guy like that down, whoís probably in the top two or three in the world of the fittest guys out there, and to do that in those conditions on a very hot day in Melbourne Ė I was pretty pleased with that and hopefully Iíve gotten stronger since then.
Since the start of your career youíve just jumped up, up, up and up and last year you had a bit of a climb backwards, have you learnt anything from last year?
Because everyone, obviously, is trying to beat the number one all the time.
Yeah, I still feel like some of the matches that I played were as good as Iíve ever played. Coming back against Federer in those last three sets, was probably the best tennis Iíve played in my life. Against Ferrero Ė exactly the same. Against Enqvist in Sweden in the Davis CupÖit seems to always happen in the Davis Cup, but I had some pretty good matches last year. Even at the US Open I felt like, before I actually hurt my hip in that match against Ferrero, I was playing as well as Iíve probably ever played. I think a lot of the other guys have probably improved a little bit as well. Thereís a lot of young guys out there who are playing extremely well and who believe now that theyíre capable of taking that extra step and getting to the top of the game and winning Grand Slams.
So the Australian Open obviously would be the most important thing that you have yet to achieve, because youíve achieved so much.
Yeah, pretty much. To win your own national tournament, I think. Iíve been going to Melbourne Park ever since it opened and I get goosebumps just walking in the place. Iíve never really played probably my best matches there. I know it was only Davis Cup Ė itís not the Australian Open, but Iíve now played two of my greatest matches ever in there. So those memories are going to flash back as soon as I get in there, and Iíll really go out there and try and attack it right from the start. Grand Slams are weird though Ė youíve just got to take it one match at a time.
Just one more question about Wednesdayís match, you and Kim never have played each other competitively, have you?
No, just practice.
So it will be a fun sort of day, I suppose.
Yeah, it will be fun if I win my singles. Obviously Kim is a red-hot favourite against Alicia, so Aliciaís going to go out there and try her butt off like she always does, but itís going to be a tough one for her. And Iím going to go out there and try and beat Xavier, and make it a live rubber for everyone.
Lleyton, youíve got Jimmy on board for training this yearÖ
Oh, no just helping me out more than anything.
Was that your coachís idea?
No, well Roger (Rasheed) is still my trainer more than anything.
So will that help you, having him here?
Oh, itís more travelling with a mate along the place and he was someone I grew up with and played the Satellites and Challenger circuit together with and someone I get along really well with. He knows a lot about tennis and heís very motivational as well. Hopefully he can add a little bit to my team.
How much do you know about your first opponent Ė itís either Canada or Hungary.
Not a lot about the Canadian kid, Frank Dancevic. Iíve seen him play a little bit in the Canadian Open Ė I think he got a wildcard and might have won a round or lost close and heís pretty talented from what Iíve heard. Heís only 19 or 20 years old I think. Savolt Iíve played once before on clay. He likes to attack a lot and he had his best year, I think, last year. But if I go out there and play as well as I canÖitís always going to be tough first match of the next year on a new surfaceÖbut if I can go out there, Iím sure I can hopefully wrap it up.
Do you feel youíve got a bit of unfinished business here after last year? You havenít quite gotten over the line here at the Hopman Cup.
Oh yeah, well last year I think Williams and Blake were definitely the best team in the competition, thereís no doubt about that Ė they deserved to win it. The year before I actually thought we were playing as well as anyone. I hadnít lost a match and Alicia was starting to play well Ė she actually beat Sanchez that last match. I would have liked to say that I probably would have beaten Tommy Robredo on that day and we probably would have won it after that. So it was a little bit disappointing that year, but apart from that we just go out there and have a bit of fun Ė and try to get over the line. Alicia, I think, surprised everyone last year, how well she played, so hopefully she can back it up this year.
Just one last one, I know youíve touched on it, but do you genuinely feel that this is the best way to prepare for the Australian Open, coming on this surface?
I think so. Nothing has really been quite right yet for me in my preparation. Last year I felt like I played really well in Melbourne. I lost to El Aynaoui in a very tough match and didnít really have a lot that I didnít do in that match Ė he was too good. I played the Hopman Cup and had a week off last year. This year Iím playing the Hopman Cup and Sydney, purely more because I probably took that end of season off last year so I get a few more matches going into the Australian Open. I feel like physically I can go through playing three tournaments in a row and hopefully Iíll be fit enough.
Lleyton, how did you propose?
Oh, it was just on the Sydney Harbour Ė like youíve probably read. Thatís all youíre finding out.
01-04-2004, 02:14 AM
Partners head for clash
By Linda Pearce
January 4, 2004
Regular practice partners Lleyton Hewitt and Kim Clijsters will officially oppose each other for the first time in their four-year romance in Perth this week.
For the first time in the pair's three visits to the international mixed teams event, Australia and Belgium have been drawn in the same group, B, and will face each other in the mixed doubles match in which the former No. 1s meet in a sold-out session at the Burswood Dome on Wednesday morning.
World No. 2 Clijsters will partner Xavier Malisse in the third-seeded Belgian team in the event that started with yesterday's 2-1 play-off win by Hungary over Canada, while Hewitt will combine with Alicia Molik for second-seeded Australia.
The first couple of tennis share Clijsters' new home in the Flemish-speaking town of Bree, as well as Hewitt's recently purchased waterside mansion in west Adelaide, but Clijsters remains unsure whether she will finish her career as a resident of her native country or her semi-adopted one.
"It's tough. Belgium is still home for me; it would be tough for me to leave it," Clijsters told US magazine Tennis Week recently. "I love Australia ... Lleyton bought a house and we are living there now and that's fun.
"As long as I'm playing, I don't really want to be thinking about it or worrying about it.
"You never know what can happen. Who knows? In a few years, I might be living here or have a change of residency. At the moment, it's not something I want to worry about."
The couple's main worry at the moment, apart from their scheduled clash, will be the United States, which remains the top Hopman Cup seed, despite the replacement of Serena Williams with Lindsay Davenport, while Russians Marat Safin and Anastasia Myskina form the other recognised team in group B. Australia opens the event this morning against Hungary.
Hewitt will play world No. 175 Attila Savolt after Hungary clinched the last berth in the eight-nation event by winning the mixed doubles 3-6, 6-1 (10-3) in a match tie-breaker.
World No. 40 Petra Mandula will provide a stern opening test for South Australian Molik, ranked 36th.
Hewitt defeated Savolt in their only meeting in the third round of the 2000 French Open, but said yesterday it would take a little while to find his form after a five-week break from competition.
"I have played Savolt once before on clay," Hewitt said. "He likes to attack a lot and he had his best year, I think, last year. But if I go out there and play as well as I can ... it's always going to be a tough first match of the next year on a new surface."
Savolt said he was carrying a foot injury but was confident of being able to play. He was defeated by world No. 201 Frank Dancevic 6-4, 6-3 yesterday as the Canadian forced the deciding rubber.
Molik defeated Mandula in their only previous meeting in 1999 in Kuala Lumpur in three sets. Mandula defeated Maureen Drake 6-3, 6-2.
- with AAP
01-04-2004, 03:19 AM
Alicia is really fighting in this second set after losing the first 4-6. It's 5 all now. I guess the women play first. I wish they would finish it so I could stay up for Lleyton. :)
01-04-2004, 03:59 AM
Alicia won 4-6, 7-6, 6-2!
01-04-2004, 06:14 AM
:woohoo: Go Alicia!
01-04-2004, 06:15 AM
Australia takes the lead
January 4, 2004
LLEYTON Hewitt beat Attila Savolt 6-2, 6-2 Sunday to give Australia a winning 2-0 lead over Hungary in its opening match at the Hopman Cup mixed team tennis tournament.
Earlier, Alicia Molik beat Hungary's Petra Mandula 4-6, 7-6 (5), 6-2 to put Australia up 1-0. Molik and Hewitt played Mandula and Savolt in a later mixed doubles match.
Mandula had Molik in trouble in the second set, leading by a set and 4-0 in the tiebreaker before Molik charged back into the match. After being outplayed for the majority of the match, Molik grew in confidence and won 16 of the last 19 points.
Belgium plays Slovakia and Russia takes on France in matches Monday. The defending champion Americans, featuring James Blake and Lindsay Davenport, play the Czech Republic in the opening match Tuesday at the indoor Burswood Dome.
The top teams in two round-robin groups play in the final next Saturday.
01-04-2004, 08:05 AM
Hard-working Hewitt off to Hopman Cup flier
2004-01-04 07:43:04 GMT (Reuters)
By Ossian Shine
PERTH, Australia, Jan 4 (Reuters) - Burnished after weeks of practice under the Australian sun, Lleyton Hewitt showed neither mercy nor any sign of rust as he started the new year in style, dismantling Attila Savolt 6-2 6-2 in the Hopman Cup on Sunday.
The win clinched the tournament's opening tie for Australia after Alicia Molik had earlier scraped past Hungary's Petra Mandula 4-6 7-6 6-2.
But more importantly it showed Hewitt's focus has not been blurred over a festive period during which he asked women's world number two Kim Clijsters to become his wife.
"Yeah, it's been good," he said when asked of the events of the last few weeks. "Mum was happy, it was good."
But lest anyone gets the idea the 22-year-old is going soft, the former world number one was quick to add: "Just training, mate, the same as always," when asked how he had spent the break since November's Davis Cup final.
That training was all too evident as Hewitt pummelled his opponent into submission in the ITF mixed team indoors event at the Burswood Dome.
Savolt, whose Hungarian team squeezed through the qualifiers with victory over Canada on Saturday, never stood a chance.
"Yeah, I played well, very well," Hewitt smiled. "I was really able to work him around and it is nice to come away with a win.
"I have been training really hard since the Davis Cup... I have barely had a day off since then.
"I was pretty aggressive out there today, that's something I have been working on and it was great to be able to come out here and get that win.
"I am just looking forward to a lot more matches now."
Hewitt then teamed up with Molik to crush the Hungarians 7-6 6-1 and complete a 3-0 opening day whitewash.
Next up for the host nation is Belgium on Wednesday, a match that will pit Hewitt against fiancee Clijsters in the mixed doubles.
Hewitt had no tips for Molik about how to beat his betrothed in their singles clash. "I don't know mate, she beats me too," he laughed when asked if he knew of any chinks in the Belgian's armour.
Hewitt starstruck by Shark experience
2004-01-04 07:30:38 GMT (Reuters)
PERTH, Australia, Jan 4 (Reuters) - Not even a Wimbledon crown, a Davis Cup title nor a world-famous fiancee can prevent you being starstruck, Australia's former world number one Lleyton Hewitt admitted on Sunday.
Minutes after notching up his first victory of 2004 at the Hopman Cup, the former Wimbledon and U.S Open champion spoke of his stint as caddie to golfing giant Greg Norman at last month's Australian PGA Championships.
"It was a real honour," the 22-year-old smiled. "He has got an amazing presence... I've never met anyone like him. For me it was a chance in a lifetime."
Norman finished way off the pace in Coolum but still enjoyed the experience.
"We had a great week," Norman said at the time. "I think it was as memorable for Lleyton as it was for me."
01-04-2004, 11:15 AM
Transcript - Alicia Molik and Lleyton Hewitt (Australia)
4 January 2004
(Molik) Yeah, I think I said earlier that a winís a win and itís just good to be out on the court and feeling healthy for a change. Iíve had a pretty big lay off and practically the last couple of weeks has been very, very limited. I was ordered to have a few extra days off over Christmas just to make sure my foot was right. But you know, a winís a win and I put us one up and let Lleyton go out there and seal it for us. It took the pressure off for us Ė I think he was going to be fine anyway, really.
How did the foot feel; was there any soreness?
(Molik) No, thereís no problem now Ė itís pretty much fine. I just havenít got the amount of sets and match practice in me that I would like, but thatís what an event like this is for, I think Ė to get matches and to get a lot of sets.
Is it hard for you to come straight off Christmas, after eating all the Christmas pudding?
(Molik) Itís not too harsh. I had a few easy days, but Iíve been getting into it as early as I could. I havenít been too great, but things are fine now and Iím ready to go for the week.
Do you feel confident now, going up against Kim?
(Molik) You know, Iím glad I got the win under my belt today. Itís going to be a bloody tough match though. I just have to go out there and enjoy it Ė let loose. Thereís not too many areas that I can pick at with Kim, sheís pretty damn solid. Iíll just go out there in a couple of dayís time and really give it my best.
Has Lleyton given you any tips on how to handle it?
(Molik) Not yet, we havenít spoken about it.
(Hewitt) I donít know how to. She beats me.
Lleyton, can you talk about your preparation at the Davis Cup, on how you prepared?
(Hewitt) My first job was caddying for Greg Norman, so that wasÖNo, but I took a couple of weeks off Ė two weeks off and then got straight back into training pretty much where I left off just before the Davis Cup final. Iíve hardly taken a day off since so Iíve been training really hard. Itís been really hot whether in Adelaide, which has been good for me because even though this is indoors, obviously Iím looking towards the Australian Open and you can get some really hot days there, so hopefully Iím used to it as much as possible.
Lleyton, you talk about caddying for Greg Norman Ė what did you learn from him as a person Ė obviously some golf tips, but what else?
(Hewitt) Heís got an amazing presence, a presence that Iíve never been around anyone with a presence like that. It was a true honour to actually be walking aside him. You see the game of golf in a totally different way, but not only the game of golf, but little things I guess that walking down galleries you donít get to see. For me it was a chance of a lifetime and the bag didnít ruin my shoulder too much, so got out of it okay. You know, he was just a great guy.
Nervous at all?
(Hewitt) I was a little bit nervous the first day. After that it was easy going. He made it a lot easier than it probably could have been.
Did you actually give him any tips?
(Hewitt) We were doing the yardages Ė I didnít give him too many tips. You know, you still stand on the driving range and look at all the other guys hit, and he hits the ball better than anyone on the driving range.
How happy were you with how you hit the ball today, considering itís been a while?
(Hewitt) Yeah, I played well Ė very well. He looked to be struggling with his movement a little bit. But then again, he was just coming out flashy the first four games and there was very little I could do. I just wanted to get some rhythm and try and get into the points. He served extremely well in those first couple of service games. Then I felt like I got on his serve a little bit and then was really able to work him around and open up a few weaknesses in his game. Itís nice to come away with a pretty straight-forward win.
With your ranking dropping in the last year, do you feel youíve got any ground to make up this year?
(Hewitt) No, not really. A ranking is a ranking.
Any disappointments about last year?
(Hewitt) Well I guess winning the Davis Cup cleared all that out. Especially the second half of the year, thatís what I set myself to do from probablyÖ.as soon as the US Open finished. When I had that chance to play Federer and then got through that match then I set myself just for the Davis Cup final. It was pretty rewarding, the way the whole team pulled together for that win.
Does the lower ranking make you less prepared psychologically for the Australian Open?
(Hewitt) Prepared? No, I donít think so.
No mind games knowing youíre lower ranked?
(Hewitt) I know how good I can play if I play my game.
Physically and on the court, what have you been concentrating on in the past few months?
(Hewitt) Physically on the court?
Physically, like in the gym, and on the court.
(Hewitt) You know, probably trying to be a little bit more aggressive, I think. Thatís probably the last five or six months, not just the last couple. But I was trying to definitely do that, I think. Youíve got to keep doing it in practice and sometimes it doesnít all pay off. In a couple of my biggest matches in the Davis Cup it did pay off Ė in both of those. I felt like I was pretty aggressive out there today. Even though I hit a couple more unforced errors, Iím still pushing and dictating points a lot more. Off the court, you know Ė trying to get a little more strength I guess. My fitness has always been pretty good, but trying to take that to another level.
Do you feel any fresher than the other years having played so little?
(Hewitt) Yeah, you know I had to have something done to my foot at some stage anyway, and I think the timing couldnít have worked out better. I got those three weeks off that I couldnít walk and put any pressure on my foot, and then I was able to really just think about the Davis Cup final and training. I was able to freshen up, stay in Adelaide and I havenít been in one place for that long in seven or eight years now. So it was just really refreshing I guess to come out and have that start, and Iím looking forward to playing a lot of matches.
Who do you see as your biggest threat for this competition?
(Hewitt) For this? Well, in our group obviously today was probably the easiest opponent in our group. Slovak Republic will be tough I think Ė Hantuchova and Kucera Ė and also Belgium is probably the toughest in our group. Obviously with Kim, and Xavierís a very tough player. I think everyone knows that if heís switched on, then he can have a great day. Then again, he can have a couple of horrors as well.
Now, itís a big match up with you against Kim, are you nervous?
(Hewitt) Do I look nervous?
(Hewitt) Well, there you go.
Lleyton, have you spoken to Pat Rafter at all lately and are you surprised that heís going to have a hit at the Aussie Open doubles?
(Hewitt) Yeah, Iíve spoken to him a couple of times. I played golf with him in Queensland before with Norman. I knew about it a little while ago. I guess youíre a little bit surprised. Heís obviously playing that exhibition against Wilander, and then going up decided to play a few matches, doubles. It will be interesting. You know, itís good for tennis I think, in one way, but theyíre going to get a little bit more Pat Rafter and then heís going to not play again. Itís going to be, I guess, a little bit disappointing for the crowd to see him once or twice again and then not get to see him again.
So itís purely for that exhibition?
(Hewitt) Iím not sure - I donít really know. I havenít spoken about it, you know, why heís actually playing doubles. Whether itís to have a bit of fun with Josh Eagle, one of his best mates, I donít know.
You wouldnít expect to see him back on the singles court?
(Hewitt) No, no.
Alicia, who do you see as your biggest threat?
(Molik) I think Lleyton pretty much hit it. Yeah, definitely next match, Kim. Like Lleyton said, Xavier has shown what he can do in the last couple of years. I think both, by far; the Belgian team are one of the strongest here. You know, closely followed by Daniela (Hantuchova) and Kucera.
01-04-2004, 03:12 PM
Thanks for the interviews. :)
01-05-2004, 09:29 AM
I only included the LLeyki parts, since this is the Lleyton forum, but I posted the whole interview in CCL. :)
Transcript - Kim Clijsters and Xavier Malisse (Belgium)
5 January 2004
Kim, have you set any goals for this year – number one, grand slams?
(Clisters) No, not really – just to try to get the wedding organised, I guess.
When is that wedding?
(Clijsters) No plans yet – that’s what we have to think about. So we have a lot of things come to it, but we just want to focus a little bit on the tennis first of all.
Possibility of this year, or maybe this year?
(Clijsters) Oh, we don’t know. We don’t know.
Kim, how difficult has it been to concentrate on the tennis when you’ve had so much interest in yourself and Lleyton?
(Clijsters) Well, you know tennis is a very important thing in my life as well and I think that’s where it’s good to have both things because I can focus on both things pretty good. So yeah, I think it combines really well.
Kim, do you think there will be more pressure or less pressure on your private life with Lleyton now that he’s proposed to you?
(Clijsters) I have no idea. I don’t think there’s any pressure in our relationship at all. It just depends on the way you look at. You know, of course there’s a lot of things…we’re in the highlight a lot of the time because we play tennis. But I don’t think, it doesn’t influence us at all so I don’t think it will change anything.
Any tips for Xavier how to beat Lleyton?
(Clijsters) Umm, I don’t know. I don’t know, well, I think a lot of players have difficulties beating Lleyton so it’s going to be a tough one. For me as well against Alicia, you know, she has a great serve. It will be interesting. You know, it’s very hard. People have been asking me, you know, how do you look forward to Wednesday and everything and what do you think is going to happen. You know, it’s a new experience and I’ve never been in that situation so far to comment on that.
01-05-2004, 11:05 PM
Linda Pearce offering from The Age...Kim is already talking about becoming occupied with wedding plans. She's not letting the grass grow under her feet I see...;)
Clijsters considers pros and cons with Hewitt
By Linda Pearce
January 6, 2004
A holiday game favoured by Lleyton Hewitt and Kim Clijsters is doubles, played against family and friends, left-handed.
Away from the court, their competitive weapons of choice are often yahtzee dice, flung in spirited contests that continue late into the night in hotel rooms around the world.
In the more serious practice environment, it is to Clijsters' enduring frustration - and admiration - how rarely Hewitt makes mistakes. Although she can rally well enough from the back of the court, the difference is most marked on the serve and the return, meaning that Clijsters' best chance of victory against her partner of four years comes in a quasi-tie-breaker without serves.
Yet Clijsters also acknowledges the contribution her regular training with Hewitt has made to a career that last year carried her to No. 1 for 11 weeks, a tour-high nine titles from 15 finals and the semis or better in 20 of her 21 tournaments.
The only blemish on her record, grand slam failure, is one she wants badly to correct, but it seems there is a more pressing ambition for the year ahead.
"Just to try to get the wedding organised, I guess," Clijsters said jovially after yesterday's successful start to the Hopman Cup, a huge diamond glittering on her left ring finger. "No plans yet, that's what we have to think about, so a lot of things come (in)to it, but we just want to focus a little bit on the tennis first."
Indeed, the Belgian's local connection provides the ideal environment for an assault on the Australian Open, starting on January 19. Since early December, Clijsters has been working with Hewitt and his coach, Roger Rasheed, doing footwork drills, gym and sprint training, all the while acclimatising to more than just Rebound Ace ahead of the year's first major.
"I came pretty close a few times last year," said Clijsters, who lost the French and United States Open finals to her compatriot Justine Henin-Hardenne, becoming the first woman in rankings history to reach No. 1 without winning a grand slam event. "And that's what I was training for in December, just trying to stay fit so that I'd be fit enough to give myself another chance to go far at the grand slams."
Yet her most recent Australian Open visit was not one to savour, Clijsters blowing two match points and a 5-1 lead in the third set of her semi-final against eventual champion Serena Williams to fall short once more. For all her phenomenal consistency, it is the 20-year-old Clijsters' occasional mental fragility under pressure that has drawn the most criticism.
There was neither pressure, nor danger, yesterday. The world No. 2 took just 40 minutes to monster former world No. 8 Daniela Hantuchova 6-2, 6-1, anchoring Belgium's 3-0 defeat of the Slovaks with assistance from the talented but enigmatic Xavier Malisse, who survived a routine concentration lapse to eclipse Karol Kucera 6-2, 1-6, 6-1.
Belgium will provide Australia's stiffest opposition for the finals place from group B, yet there is no contest for the honour of the most-hyped pool match at the 16th Hopman Cup: tomorrow's sold-out encounter, in which Hewitt and Clijsters will be opposed on the mixed doubles court for the first time, their best result as a team reaching the 2000 Wimbledon final.
"It will be interesting," said Clijsters. "People have been asking me, 'How do you look forward to Wednesday?' and everything and, 'What do you think is going to happen?', and it's a new experience: I've never been in that situation. I think i'll just have to focus on Xavier next to me, and not focus on who's standing in front of me.
"I think everyone knows (Hewitt) doesn't have that many (weaknesses). I've practised with him a lot of times and he just doesn't make any mistakes, which for the opponents can get a little bit frustrating, so I know that, so I know that I don't have to get frustrated if it doesn't go my way."
01-05-2004, 11:16 PM
Fans anxiously await love match.;)...and a little :o
I saw this on Lleytonland where Dolly :worship: posted it first.
From the Herald Sun...record-setting attendance for 'love match' etc.
Hewitt and Clijsters battle for spot in final
THERE was one Hopman Cup session fans couldn't get enough of when tickets went on sale.
However, unlike previous years, it wasn't the final.
It was today's clash between Group B heavyweights Australia and Belgium and the match-up between Lleyton Hewitt and his fiancee Kim Clijsters.
Tickets for the Love Match sold out well before the end of November and, after the pair's engagement on December 23, the interest has escalated to the extent where more than 8500 people, a record for a group match, will cram inside the Burswood Dome.
Adding to the intrigue is the importance of the tie.
Australia, beaten in last year's final by the US, has been seeded second for the mixed teams championship and Belgium No. 3, with the winner of today's tie expected to advance to Saturday's final.
Another sub-plot, is the likelihood that the mixed doubles involving Hewitt and his partner Alicia Molik against Clijsters and Xavier Malisse will be the decider.
Hewitt and Clijsters have never met in a competitive match and if the singles go the way most expect, the former world No. 1s will go head-to-head in a rubber where victory will secure the tie.
"Yeah, it will be fun if I win my singles," Hewitt said.
"Obviously Kim is a red-hot favourite against Alicia, so Alicia's going to go out there and try her butt off like she always does, but it's going to be a tough one for her.
"I'm going to go out there and try and beat Xavier and make it a live (mixed doubles) rubber for everyone."
Clijsters said on Monday after she demolished Daniela Hantuchova that she couldn't wait to go up against her fiance.
"I have practised with him a lot of times. He doesn't make any mistakes, which for the opponent can get a little frustrating, so I know that I don't have to get frustrated if it does not go my way," she said.
A NEW-LOOK James Blake overcame the inconvenience of lost luggage and a sluggish start to defeat Jiri Novak and provide the US with the perfect start to its Hopman Cup defence.
A shaven-headed Blake, who last year combined with Serena Williams to win the event, rallied from a set down to defeat Novak 4-6 6-1 7-5 yesterday.
Blake's success secured the tie after Lindsay Davenport's 6-4 6-3 win against teenager Barbora Strycova.
The Americans then combined to claim the mixed doubles 6-3 6-2 and post a 3-0 sweep, sufficient for them to head Group A after France's 2-1 win over Russia early yesterday.
01-06-2004, 05:27 PM
01-07-2004, 07:07 AM
Hewitt, Clijsters injured in Perth :sad:
Lleyton Hewitt has survived an injury scare before defeating Xavier Malisse to secure Australia victory in its Hopman Cup clash with Belgium.
The crowd at Perth’s Burswood Dome fell silent when Hewitt rolled an ankle in the third set of the encounter, but he returned after receiving treatment to wrap up a 3-6 6-1 6-2 win.
Bizarrely, Hewitt’s fiancee Kim Clijsters earlier also injured her ankle during her match with Australian Alicia Molik.
Clijsters was leading 3-2 in the third set when she suffered the injury, and she retired from the match shortly afterwards.
The world no.2 will undergo a scan on the problem, which has placed her Australian Open campaign in jeopardy.
The injuries ended hopes of the much-hyped ‘Love Match,’ when Hewitt and Clijsters were due to face each other in the mixed doubles to finish the tie.
Due to the injury, Belgium forfeited the final rubber, leading to an exhibition match between Australia and the reserve team Canada.
PERTH, Australia (Reuters) - Lleyton Hewitt dug deep to guide Australia toward the Hopman Cup final Wednesday, after his fiance Kim Clijsters had earlier defaulted her match against his partner Alicia Molik.
Belgian world number two Clijsters quit after hurting her left ankle while leading Molik 6-3, 6-7, 3-2 and was taken for a "precautionary scan" according to tournament director Paul McNamee.
Hewitt followed Clijsters onto court and recovered from a loose first set to beat her Belgian compatriot Xavier Malisse 3-6, 6-1, 6-2.
In an ironic twist, Hewitt also needed treatment after turning his left ankle in the third set of his match, but after applying additional strapping he continued and completed the victory.
"I was lucky I was wearing my ankle braces otherwise I'd be out of the whole Australian summer I guess :worship: ," Hewitt said as he left the court.
"It felt weak after it but I was alright."
With Clijsters unable to take part in the eagerly-anticipated "love match" mixed doubles against her fianc, Australia were handed a 3-0 victory.
"I saw Kim afterwards and she was pretty distressed," Hewitt said. "I guess she will just be hoping she can make the Australian Open later this month."
The win all but guarantees Australia a spot in Saturday's final of the A$1 million ($0.772) ITF mixed team competition.
Australia leapfrog Belgium to the top of their group having won all six of their matches so far -- three against Hungary and a clean sweep over the Belgians.
Later Wednesday the top-seeded United States face fourth seeds France.
Clijsters injured in Hopman tie
An injury to Kim Clijsters has helped Australia win its tie against Belgium at the Hopman Cup in Perth.
Clijsters was forced to retire from the match against Alicia Molik, after injuring her ankle while leading the third and deciding set 3-2.
Australia went on to win the tie when Lleyton Hewitt defeated Xavier Malisse in the men's rubber.
Malisse won the first set 6-3, but Hewitt fought back to take the second 6-1 and the third 6-2.
The much-anticipated mixed doubles match that would have pitted Hewitt against his fiancee Clijsters was awarded to Australia as a walkover due to the Belgian's injury.
Hewitt required an injury break of his own to get past Malisse.
While he is not too concerned about his own strain, he says Clijsters is worried she will not be able to play at the Australian Open in Melbourne later this month.
"I went and saw her, she was obviously distressed at the time. We're not quite sure how bad it was but it's disappointing to happen a couple of weeks before a grand slam," he said.
"Hopefully it's not as bad as it looked and I'm sure she's going to be praying for the next couple of weeks [that] she'll be able to play the Australian Open."
Molik says she made too many unforced errors against Clijsters.
"My goal is always to just hang in there and get as many balls back as I can," she said.
"But it was a great match. It's just unfortunate that Kim had to retire."
01-07-2004, 10:59 AM
Congrats Lleyton :worship: i really hope Kim's injury's not serious and she recovers asap...
01-07-2004, 11:55 AM
I hope so too!
They've said accute soreness so far, which isn't really bad, she should be playing by Aus Open but I guess they've gotta wait till the scans come back ;)
01-07-2004, 12:43 PM
I just hope it's better in time for the A.O
01-07-2004, 01:42 PM
01-07-2004, 04:09 PM
Get wel soon Kim!!!:kiss:
01-07-2004, 09:53 PM
they said on the morning news today that she's in doubt for AO...but then again the media likes to exagerate things :shrug:
01-07-2004, 09:57 PM
Yeah I wouldn't beleive she's not playing until her or her coach says she's not.
01-08-2004, 03:07 AM
Transcript - Lleyton Hewitt (Australia)
7 January 2004
(Hewitt) Yeah, it?s alright I think. Yeah, I think it was lucky I had the ankle braces on.
Was there any sort of damage at all?
(Hewitt) Not really, I just, precaution, taped it afterwards and just felt a little bit weaker afterwards when I was putting pressure on it so...Yeah, I was going to just try and keep playing on it and then I thought, nah, I?m going to get it strapped and obviously try to finish the match. I got through it and got some treatment before the doubles and then got some treatment again now.
(Hewitt) I don?t know.
Are you disappointed you didn?t get to meet her in the doubles?
(Hewitt) Umm, yeah I guess in some ways. Obviously it was disappointing the way it ended up, I think, more than anything. More disappointed that she?s injured. At the moment we don?t know how bad it is and how it?s going to pull up I guess, but I think that?s the most disappointing thing for me.
This game was the talk of the town; had you both spoken about the hype surrounding it?
(Hewitt) Oh, not really. For us it was just another match.
Can you still concentrate on the match when something like that happens?
(Hewitt) Yeah, it was weird because, you know, obviously I went and saw her and saw how it was and whatever straight after her match and then I had to try and focus again on my match. Obviously knowing that we were probably going to get through the tie anyway, you know, I?d seen and knew that she was going to get scans and whatever done, and I knew that she?d probably be forfeiting the mixed doubles obviously ? so we were probably going to get through the tie. It?s an awkward situation to go out there and play singles in that state of mind.
Lleyton, you mentioned courtside that it could well have been the summer; is that the way it felt; did you really give it a good twist?
(Hewitt) Yeah, I gave it a good twist. The ankle brace actually pulled me up. I could feel that I was about to go over and the ankle brace sort of threw me back up, which is a good thing. You know, I?ve been wearing them since ?99 when I did my ankle pretty bad in Los Angeles against Agassi. Yeah, I guess little things like that can sometimes change your luck.
Was it a bit of a worry at first?
(Hewitt) It was. Especially after Kim (Clijsters) had done it and I?d seen Alicia (Molik) in the match earlier go over on her ankle in that same corner. First you sort of don?t know and you?re hesitant anyway to put pressure on it, just depending on how bad it was. Then I tried to put a bit of pressure on it and it just felt, not real bad, but just, you know, as though it just wasn?t a hundred per cent right. Obviously, it just irritated it a bit and then I decided that I had to see the physio and get it strapped up ? just precaution.
What?s the process from here on until tomorrow night? Is it more ice; more treatment?
(Hewitt) Yeah, just a little bit of treatment. Not too much more, I don?t think. You know, I?ve done a couple of sessions already, you know ? after my singles; after my doubles. From now on it?s not too much more.
There have been a lot of ankle problems on this surface over the years; Lindsay (Davenport) was talking about how you can stick on it the other day ? is it a problem?
(Hewitt) Obviously, I guess, growing up I saw Mark Woodforde at the Australian Open do his real bad. Sabatini did it at the Australian Open, if I recall rightly. I guess there?s been a?it?s pretty sticky when it gets hot now and then, but still it?s a surface that I like to play on. Yeah, I rolled my ankle bad on an American hardcourt as well, so?
You wouldn?t expect this indoors though, when it?s not so hot?
(Hewitt) Yeah, it?s a sticky surface I guess anyway. It probably gets extra when you?re outdoors and the sun is on it the whole time.
Did you get pretty frustrated with a few of the line calls?
(Hewitt) Oh, there was a couple of average overrules?yeah.
Now that you guys are engaged, does this maybe mean that you?ll move to Belgium?
(Hewitt) Probably not.
Do you think you?ll stay in Adelaide then?
On an unrelated subject, Todd Reid had a good win in Adelaide?
(Hewitt) Yeah, I head that yeah?
He has talked about the influence you had on him?what do you think of his win?
(Hewitt) Yeah, he?s getting better and better over the whole year. Since I hit with him a little bit at the end of Miami and then we went to Sweden and we were training there. I got him out in the world team cup team to come play a bit of doubles and train with us and I could tell just in those couple of months then that he had really started to put a bit more heat on his balls. That he was playing from the back of the court and he was starting to really serve a lot bigger and take that extra step. Who are you laughing at? (referring to Roger Rasheed) Then anyway, so you know, I could tell that he was doing well. He?s been a great guy to have around the Davis Cup team and I think in a lot of ways he?s sort of learnt from the way that I did as well ? the orange boy coming out.
How do you rate yourself and Alicia; are you guys going to win the Hopman Cup?
(Hewitt) Umm, I don?t know. We?ve got a good chance I think. You know, we came close last year; didn?t quite play as well as I could have, I guess, in the final. You know, Alicia was up against a tough opponent. This year, I?d say at the moment we?ve got a pretty good chance of making the final. You know, we?ve just got to?if we get to Saturday anything can happen. But there?s still, obviously, America and France ? the two undefeated teams in the other side and they?ve got some pretty good players. You know, it could come down to the mixed doubles and, you know, it?s a little bit of a coin toss at that situation.
Sorry, one more about the engagement?why did you ask her now?
(Hewitt) Ahh, because I feel like it.
Because you?re both very young?
(Hewitt) Yeah, I guess.
01-08-2004, 06:14 AM
Sorry, one more about the engagement?why did you ask her now?
(Hewitt) Ahh, because I feel like it.
well what the hell kind of an answer were they expecting?! :rolleyes:
01-08-2004, 06:24 AM
Onya Lleyton. Dumb question, good answer. Why the hell does anyone propose to anyone (unless they are heirs of warring royal families or something, I suppose!).
Hooray for ankle braces!
01-08-2004, 10:19 AM
Hooray for ankle braces!
01-08-2004, 11:02 AM
Molik pulls out of Hopman Cup clash with hurt foot :mad:
2004-01-08 10:36:53 GMT (Reuters)
PERTH, Australia, Jan 8 (Reuters) - Australian Alicia Molik retired injured from her Hopman Cup match against Daniela Hantuchova on Thursday while leading the Slovak 6-3 3-0.
With her Australian team already qualified for Saturday's final of the $A1 million mixed team event, Molik was prepared to take no risks after appearing to hurt her left foot.
01-08-2004, 12:24 PM
it can't be a virus, so it must be a curse or a plot :eek: :speakles:
01-08-2004, 05:12 PM
Onya Lleyton. Dumb question, good answer. Why the hell does anyone propose to anyone (unless they are heirs of warring royal families or something, I suppose!).
Oh for goodness sake :rolleyes: when are they going to stop asking him such ridiculous quesitons - like it's anyones business other than his why he wants to ask his girlfriend to marry him :p It's hardly surprising that he gets annoyed and gives monosyllabic answers.
01-09-2004, 02:42 AM
Chang support gives Hewitt legs
Leo Schlink and Digby Beacham
LLEYTON Hewitt's Australian Open campaign was saved by an American ankle support popularised by French Open winner Michael Chang.
Hewitt's management company Octagon, which also managed Chang, provided him with the Kallassy support after he injured his left ankle and was forced to retire from a match in Los Angeles in 1999.
Hewitt, 22, has since worn the supports in every match and training session.
He said the device had saved his Australian summer.
The non-stretch lateral straps are said to resist excessive inversion, the most common ankle injury.
The strap was designed by athletics trainer Charles Kallassy, who says the medial strap supports the foot arch and resists pronation.
The strap used by Hewitt is of a stirrup, figure-eight configuration.
WORLD No. 2 Kim Clijsters will almost certainly withdraw from next week's adidas International because of an ankle injury.
Clijsters required crutches to walk yesterday, 24 hours after bruising the bone at the back of her left ankle.
The 20-year-old retired midway through the final set of her Hopman Cup singles rubber while leading Alicia Molik.
A report on Clijsters' website yesterday stated the injury was more serious than first thought, virtually excluding her from competing in Sydney and making an appearance at the Australian Open highly unlikely.
"Only if the swelling has diminished, will it be clear what really is the matter," the report said.
"Hopefully Kim will be able to lean on her foot after a couple of days of resting, medication and physiotherapy."
Australian Open chief executive Paul McNamee, who is Hopman Cup tournament director, said he remained hopeful Clijsters could take her place in Melbourne.
hmmm...maybe Kim should start wearing one of these too :p
01-09-2004, 03:55 AM
Unfortunately Alicia has had to pull out of the Hopman Cup final because she has re-hurt her foot. This means that the Slovac Republic will replace Australia in the final :( What a terrible tournament this has been......Feel sorry for the people who were hoping to see Australia. Hopefully the final will still be a good one.
01-09-2004, 04:23 AM
Poor Alicia! She was playing so well, too. And poor Lleyton, he's surrounded by injured women!!
01-09-2004, 08:28 AM
I feel sorry for Aus Open organisers!
If these injuries continue in the next week, there will be no-1 left for the Open. :lol:
The slovaks will be laughing!
They won two proper matches (got 2 by ret. walkovers) still had less than Aust. & got in :mad:
USA will win :sad:
I hope all these injuries will make the ATP & WTA see that the schedules are crazy, something needs to be done now! Before players start retiring at 20! :eek:
01-09-2004, 01:32 PM
I feel sorry for Aus Open organisers!
And I feel sorry for myself too :rolleyes: I don't mean to be selfish when it's such a bad start for all the fans...but I really can't imagine a grandslam with soo many great players missing, especially Kim :sad:
maybe I'd just try and catch Lleyton's matches there...or maybe see Kim watching his matches :p
01-09-2004, 06:15 PM
Transcript - Lleyton Hewitt (Australia)
8 January 2004
Well first of all, I’ve just had a quick chat to Lleyton – you don’t know whether the doubles is going to be played or not yet.
(Hewitt) No, I don’t. You know, I just had to worry about going out and playing a singles match and, you know, I’m pretty happy to get through all my round-robin matches without losing a match so far. Yeah, I’m happy with my progress at the moment. Karol (Kucera) gave me an extremely tough match. I felt like I was a little bit unlucky there, not to win in straight sets, but good work, I guess, coming in before the Australian Open.
And it’s always been a goal to try and get through this week undefeated and he really did test you tonight, didn’t he?
(Hewitt) Yeah, he’s a tough player. He got better and better as the match went on and, you know, I had match point there in the second set. I had a lot of chances. I had a couple of break points at three all to go up a break in the second set as well and, you know, I just wasn’t able to capitalise on those. In grand slams they’re the points you really want to take.
A few questions asked of your game; how did you think it responded today?
(Hewitt) I played pretty well. You know, I stayed aggressive the whole time – even when the pressure was on and, you know, I felt like I really tried to take it up a notch when I needed to.
It’s been a tough week for you; soul mate’s gone down – now a team mate’s gone down – did you see Alicia (Molik) before you came out on court?
(Hewitt) Oh, very quickly. She was in getting treatment and I was trying to stretch and warm up. I haven’t seen how bad it is or what’s the actual problem. I think it’s got something to do with…she’s had a couple of bad foot injuries and I think it was starting to…she was starting to get that same feeling that she might have had three or four months before it really went bad. So, hopefully it’s just precaution, it’s not too bad and, you know, for her as well coming in; she’s been playing a lot of good tennis. You know, a week or so out before the Australian Open – no-one wants to see that.
Last one…you’ve got two Davis Cup titles, what would a Hopman Cup title mean to add to that collection?
01-09-2004, 06:22 PM
Duo ankle-deep in trouble
By Tom Wald Tennis
Thursday, 8 January 2004
Lleyton Hewitt overcame the emotions of watching his fiancee suffer a potentially serious injury to ensure Australia all but wrapped up a berth in the Saturday's Hopman Cup final yesterday.
Hewitt said "it was weird" having to console his future wife before completing Australia's clean sweep of Belgium at the Burswood Dome.
The former world No1 played the following match after Belgian Clijsters was forced to retire against Australia's Alicia Molik with an ankle injury, which could have dire ramifications for her summer, with her Australian Open ambitions thrown into doubt.
Clijsters' withdrawal will have provided a serious fright for adidas International organisers who have her as one of the drawcards for the Sydney event starting next week.
Hewitt said he feared the worst and hoped she would be fit in time to play in the opening Grand Slam of the year at Melbourne Park from January 19.
"I went and saw her and she was pretty distressed [because] at the time we were not sure how bad it was," he said after wrapping up Australia's tie with a three-set win against Xavier Malisse.
"But it is obviously disappointing to happen two weeks before a Grand Slam, touch wood hopefully it is not as bad as it looks."
Hewitt sent a major scare through his camp by also twisting his ankle late in his victory against Malisse.
"It was lucky I was wearing my ankle braces or I could have been out for the entire Australian summer," said.
"I felt a twist pretty badly but the ankle brace controlled me before I actually fell over which was a good thing and it just felt weak afterwards when I started putting pressure on it.
"So hopefully I will be right."
Hewitt started sluggishly before overpowering the mercurial Malisse 3-6, 6-1, 6-2 after Clijsters' withdrawal while leading Molik 3-2 in the final set.
"It is an awkward situation to go out there and play the singles in that state of mind," Hewitt said.
The record crowd at the mixed teams event was left heartbroken when the "love match" between the recently engaged Hewitt and Clijsters was called off because of the Belgian's ankle complaint.
Molik stretched the world No2 in a see-sawing second set in which both players struggled to finish the other off. After Clijsters won the first set 6-3, the South Australian raced to a 5-2 lead before blowing six set point opportunities with an array of errant shots.
However, just as the bubbly Belgian set up four match points, Molik flicked the switch again and reeled off six straight points in the tie breaker as Clijsters wilted in front of the home crowd.
Molik, who recovered from a set and 5-2 down in a tie break against Hungary's Petra Mandula on Sunday, gained confidence and the match was on serve when Clijsters retired after landing awkwardly on her left ankle.- AAP