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Just Cause
10-09-2006, 11:24 PM
Wayne Arthurs is heading towards his worst finish since 97 when he finished outside of top 300. It is likely that he will retire this year. Mark P will also end the year outside top 100 for three years in a row.

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http://www.news.com.au/dailytelegraph/story/0,22049,20550423-5001023,00.html

We're in a tennis crisis
By Ron Reed

October 10, 2006 12:00

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TENNIS legend Pat Rafter says the Australian game is in crisis and that Lleyton Hewitt's slide down the rankings may be attributable to him losing interest.

He hinted that the end may be approaching for the former world No.1, who is now out to 19 - and losing ground.

Hewitt was "only just hanging in there'', Rafter said yesterday.

Himself a former No.1 and winner of two US Opens, Rafter was speaking ahead of his induction into the Sport Australia Hall of Fame at tonight's annual dinner in Melbourne.

He was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame earlier this year and is thrilled to now be elevated alongside the likes of Sir Donald Bradman, Dawn Fraser, Greg Norman, Betty Cuthbert and Ron Barassi in the all-round pantheon of Australian greats.

Four years into retirement, Rafter said he was not surprised that Hewitt was finding it tougher and certainly didn't blame him for the decline.

"He's been doing it for so long and from such a young age. There's a lot of pressure,'' Rafter said.

Hewitt is 25 and has been a star since he won the Adelaide International at 17.

His impressive record includes winning the US Open in 2001 and Wimbledon in 2002, 68 weeks as No.1 and a major role in two Davis Cup triumphs.

It is less than two years since he made the final of the 2005 Australian Open, losing to Russia's Marat Safin, but he has since married and become a father, which has coincided with a sharp fall in the rankings.

He is, though, still the only Australian man in the top 100, while only Sam Stosur (30) and Nicole Pratt (70) are in double figures among the women.

"One in the top 100 - I'd consider that a crisis. It's as flat as we have seen it,'' Rafter said.

"But there is one guy capable of winning a lot of tournaments and I hope he can keep going for a while.''

Rafter was referring to Hewitt, of course, but agreed his old Davis Cup teammate appeared to be coming down the other side of the mountain.

"He is tired,'' Rafter said. "He may get a second wind, I'm not sure.''

Asked if there was a chance Hewitt might drop out altogether, Rafter said: "I wouldn't know - but we'd be in trouble then, wouldn't we?

"I wouldn't like to be the Davis Cup captain then.''

Asked if there was any way back, he said: "Yeah, he's got his finger on the pulse, he's just got to keep away from (Roger) Federer and (Rafael) Nadal (the two top-ranked players) as much as possible.''

Rafter said he wasn't surprised that Hewitt, who is nursing an injury, would not play for the rest of the year.

"The end of the year is a tough trip - it's no fun,'' he said.

Rafter says for everyone there comes a point when "you've got to look at yourself and ask what else am I going to do''.

"I reached a point where I had had enough and I was satisfied with my decision,'' Rafter said. "He will be too when he makes his decision.''

Rafter will be one of four inductees into the Hall of Fame - former Richmond footballer Kevin Bartlett is one of the others - which brings the number of full members, living and dead, to 342.

He is on the same wavelength as the organisation's chairman, sailing hero John Bertrand, who has created a "spirit of sport'' ethos to encourage the nation's youth to make the most of the opportunities sport - and life - can provide.

"This sporting culture thing, we've lost our way a bit, and that goes for the whole world,'' Rafter said. "It needs a boost.''

Rafter is the father of Joshua, 4, and India, 16 months, and says he is already "taking a firm stand'' on making sure the elder one is not stuck in front of the TV or playing computer games.

The Hall of Fame will also elevate a member to official Legend status and present The Don award to the most inspirational athlete of the year.
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Who will save Lleyton? Who will receive AO WC?

CmonAussie
10-10-2006, 12:13 AM
#
Small mistake in the article~~ Hewitt was actually 16-yrs when he won his 1st ATP title at Adelaide[~-^].

***Hewitt`s "...second wind.." is coming soon & he`ll win another significant title in the next 18-months [GS or AMS]!!....Just hang on guys~ Rocky Llegs loves to prove them wrong!!

cmurray
10-10-2006, 12:30 AM
I've never been a fan of Hewitt's, but I respect the way he's always worked so hard. Sad to see him sliding at such a relatively young age. Maybe he peaked too soon????

ezekiel
10-10-2006, 12:49 AM
what's the point of this ?

You win and then come down, no one wins forever but whatever.

GlennMirnyi
10-10-2006, 01:00 AM
If they give the WC to Arthurs it's the same as throwing it into a 5000m deep abyss.

Tennis Fool
10-10-2006, 01:08 AM
Whatever happened to Todd Reid?

CmonAussie
10-10-2006, 01:11 AM
what's the point of this ?

You win and then come down, no one wins forever but whatever.
:wavey:
The point is that Australia has a fabulous tennis history;) ...
....
Hopman, Stolle, Rosewell, Roche, Laver, Newcombe, Cash, Rafter, Hewitt...:cool: -->> However our well of talent has run dry & it`s sad:sad:

CmonAussie
10-10-2006, 01:33 AM
If they give the WC to Arthurs it's the same as throwing it into a 5000m deep abyss.
Arthurs will announce his retirement by the end of the year ~ so don`t worry;)
Philippoussis will get the wildcard somehow ~ he sort of deserves it since he`s our 2nd highest ranked player & won Newport a couple of months ago:cool:

Johnny Groove
10-10-2006, 01:36 AM
dont forget about Bernard Tomic :rocker2:

flip_fan
10-10-2006, 02:27 AM
Mark's already committed to 3 challengers this month... i hoping he will end the year inside top 100 and wont need the WC.

bad gambler
10-10-2006, 02:32 AM
lol thanks for the heads up Pat ;)

Mimi
10-10-2006, 02:38 AM
Tennis legend Pat Rafter :confused: , he is a good player but not a legend :p

Merton
10-10-2006, 04:51 AM
Regression to the mean may be brutal, Sweden is another example of that.

sammy2
10-10-2006, 05:58 AM
Lleyton's reply to Rafter -

Home » Sport » Breaking News » Article
Hewitt denies he's lost the hunger
Email Print Normal font Large font October 10, 2006 - 3:26PM

Injury-riddled tennis star Lleyton Hewitt says his famous competitive fire is burning as strongly as ever and the prospect of retirement hasn't even entered his head.

Australia's top-ranked player was forced onto the back foot after a stinging verbal volley from former Davis Cup colleague Pat Rafter, who said Hewitt was tiring and may never return to his best form.

Speaking at the launch of January's Medibank International at Sydney Olympic Park - an event Hewitt has won four times - the South Australian said he was still more than capable of competing amongst the game's elite.

"I only saw Pat's comments earlier, Pat and I know each other so well, but this year things have been hard regardless because I've had so many niggling injuries and that's hard on anyone, especially in my style of game," Hewitt said.

"I was number one or two only a year and a half ago, so I feel like I can still get back up there.

"What drives you is watching guys like (Roger) Federer and (Rafael) Nadal playing out most of the finals."

Hewitt said while he was hopeful of boosting his world ranking - which currently stands at 19 - next year, he was especially eager to add to his two grand slam titles.

"I want to get up there and have another crack at those guys, and hopefully next year not only my ranking improves, but I'll also be at the business end of the slams again," he said.

"I still feel there's small errors in my game that I can work on to become a better player."

Asked whether retirement was beginning to weigh on his mind as injuries started to take their toll, Hewitt said the idea hadn't even entered his head.

"I don't know, I've got no idea, you sort of see as you go, but retirement's definitely not in my plans right at this minute," he said.

While Hewitt is at least a month away from being able to bear weight on his right knee after a bout of patella tendonitis, ruling him out for the remainder of 2006, the 25-year-old is hoping for a return to full fitness and a change of luck in 2007.

"This year has been tough, but you can't really do much about it when you roll your ankle, it's pretty unlucky and that happened four days before the French Open, lingering over until Wimbledon two weeks later," he said.

"It had a bit of a snowball effect, my knee probably got a bit worse because my ankle put my whole body out of balance.

"Now is the time for me to do some proper rehab, I'm treating it like a pre-season to get myself in as good as possible shape, not only for the Australian summer next year, but for right through the year."

Rafter won 11 singles titles, and took three years from turning pro to win his first one (1994) - so legend is a bit extreme - but from an Australian tennis point of view only Rafter and Hewitt have any real singles form since Pat Cash in the late 1980's

CmonAussie
10-10-2006, 06:59 AM
Lleyton's reply to Rafter -

Home » Sport » Breaking News » Article
Hewitt denies he's lost the hunger
Email Print Normal font Large font October 10, 2006 - 3:26PM

Injury-riddled tennis star Lleyton Hewitt says his famous competitive fire is burning as strongly as ever and the prospect of retirement hasn't even entered his head.

Australia's top-ranked player was forced onto the back foot after a stinging verbal volley from former Davis Cup colleague Pat Rafter, who said Hewitt was tiring and may never return to his best form.

Speaking at the launch of January's Medibank International at Sydney Olympic Park - an event Hewitt has won four times - the South Australian said he was still more than capable of competing amongst the game's elite.

"I only saw Pat's comments earlier, Pat and I know each other so well, but this year things have been hard regardless because I've had so many niggling injuries and that's hard on anyone, especially in my style of game," Hewitt said.

"I was number one or two only a year and a half ago, so I feel like I can still get back up there.

"What drives you is watching guys like (Roger) Federer and (Rafael) Nadal playing out most of the finals."

Hewitt said while he was hopeful of boosting his world ranking - which currently stands at 19 - next year, he was especially eager to add to his two grand slam titles.

"I want to get up there and have another crack at those guys, and hopefully next year not only my ranking improves, but I'll also be at the business end of the slams again," he said.

"I still feel there's small errors in my game that I can work on to become a better player."

Asked whether retirement was beginning to weigh on his mind as injuries started to take their toll, Hewitt said the idea hadn't even entered his head.

"I don't know, I've got no idea, you sort of see as you go, but retirement's definitely not in my plans right at this minute," he said.

While Hewitt is at least a month away from being able to bear weight on his right knee after a bout of patella tendonitis, ruling him out for the remainder of 2006, the 25-year-old is hoping for a return to full fitness and a change of luck in 2007.

"This year has been tough, but you can't really do much about it when you roll your ankle, it's pretty unlucky and that happened four days before the French Open, lingering over until Wimbledon two weeks later," he said.

"It had a bit of a snowball effect, my knee probably got a bit worse because my ankle put my whole body out of balance.

"Now is the time for me to do some proper rehab, I'm treating it like a pre-season to get myself in as good as possible shape, not only for the Australian summer next year, but for right through the year."

Rafter won 11 singles titles, and took three years from turning pro to win his first one (1994) - so legend is a bit extreme - but from an Australian tennis point of view only Rafter and Hewitt have any real singles form since Pat Cash in the late 1980's
:cool: :D :p :cool:
I`m very happy to read this:worship:
Hewitt obviously still thinks he can do it:devil: ...Seriously with the amount of injuries & other distractions he`s had in the past 18-months it`s a near miracle that he can finish inside the Top-25 for the the 8th year in a row:worship:

Considering what happened to him just before the FO ->> he went on to make the 4rd, won Queens [packed with top players] & QF at both Wimby & USO~~ the guys got talent & guts... If he can just have a full-season without significant injuries I can definitely see him back in the Top-3 & challenging for Slams again;)

sammy2
10-10-2006, 07:51 AM
I also liked his reply to Rafter, no personal slights against Pat at all. Hewitt as always very polite.

FrogBurger
10-10-2006, 08:58 AM
Whatever happened to Todd Reid?

I don't know either, but i did see him 2 years ago at RG.

sammy2
10-10-2006, 10:07 AM
Todd Reid got glandular fever a year or so ago. That can knock an athlete out of action for well over a year. maybe he will be able to get back some day.

Frooty_Bazooty
10-10-2006, 12:39 PM
What about Chris Guccione, he just won a challenger in Quito, Ecuador, beating Canas in the final :shrug:

tripb19
10-10-2006, 03:14 PM
dont forget about Bernard Tomic :rocker2:

Damn right.

Tankman
10-10-2006, 03:15 PM
correct me if i'm wrong, but don't they play for the wildcards? i'm pretty sure tennis australia brought that in a year or two ago

Xristos
10-10-2006, 03:36 PM
No hate but does my name ring a bell...

Im telling you all im comming....comming very very soon.

rofe
10-10-2006, 03:48 PM
No hate but does my name ring a bell...

Im telling you all im comming....comming very very soon.


If you keep comming then you won't have any energy to play tennis.






Sorry, couldn't resist.

Xristos
10-10-2006, 03:50 PM
If you keep comming then you won't have any energy to play tennis.






Sorry, couldn't resist.

:rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes:

rofe
10-10-2006, 03:52 PM
I hope Hewitt has a good 2007. I was ambivalent towards him but since his slip down the rankings, I have warmed up to him. I actually miss his fiesty style of play.

thrust
10-10-2006, 07:30 PM
Australia does indded have a fabulous tennis legacy. Their last great champion was John Newcombe. Tony Roach was a great doubles player and a fine singles player but,I think, has just one Slam win-the French Open. He was a finalist serveral times. Stolle^s record is similar to Newcombe^s. The truly great Aussie players were: Laver, Rosewall, Sedgman, Emerson, Fraser. Other Slam winners, just below the greats, were: Cooper, Andersen, Rafter,Stolle, Hewitt and Roach-to name a few. hopefully, like the US. Aussie tennis will be revived soon.

alfonsojose
10-10-2006, 08:34 PM
Althought i don't like him, i want him to win one more GS, like Hingis :D

alfonsojose
10-10-2006, 08:36 PM
No hate but does my name ring a bell...

Im telling you all im comming....comming very very soon.
:zzz: :zzz:

Just Cause
10-10-2006, 11:20 PM
Australia does indded have a fabulous tennis legacy. Their last great champion was John Newcombe. Tony Roach was a great doubles player and a fine singles player but,I think, has just one Slam win-the French Open. He was a finalist serveral times. Stolle^s record is similar to Newcombe^s. The truly great Aussie players were: Laver, Rosewall, Sedgman, Emerson, Fraser. Other Slam winners, just below the greats, were: Cooper, Andersen, Rafter,Stolle, Hewitt and Roach-to name a few. hopefully, like the US. Aussie tennis will be revived soon.
What do you mean "like the US? Post-Roddick US Open win or pre-Roddick. Roddick never repeated pre-Roddick golden era. But I must say that Blake did well, but I dont think good enough to revive Americans just yet.

thrust
10-10-2006, 11:42 PM
Just Cause- Great American Tennis ended with Sampras, Agassi, Courier. Roddick is nowhere near their level. Like Australia, we are in the doldrums. Roddick and Blake have potential, hopefully, they will improve.

Just Cause
10-14-2006, 12:23 AM
Just Cause- Great American Tennis ended with Sampras, Agassi, Courier. Roddick is nowhere near their level. Like Australia, we are in the doldrums. Roddick and Blake have potential, hopefully, they will improve.
True, but I think Roddick and Hewitt are still the only hopes for US/AO.
Look at clay open and grass open, Richard Gasquet I am not sure if he can win a clay slam given that he is older than Nadal. Andy Murray winning Wimbledon, even though he is 5 years younger than Federer, I still do not he will ever win the grass slam. Roddick can still win US Open. But I really hope that Hewitt can win the AO given the heat he has received and all.

Just Cause
10-14-2006, 12:30 AM
Hewitt still a title hope
LLEYTON Hewitt says it and so does his coach Roger Rasheed.

Despite the 2002 Wimbledon champion having dropped to 18 in the world rankings due to injury and form, Rasheed says Hewitt is still capable of adding to his two Grand Slam titles.
"He's got a Grand Slam in him, he could have two," Rasheed said in Adelaide yesterday.

"It wasn't long ago he was a U.S. Open runner-up and an Australian Open finalist back-to-back, and the last person to do that for Australia was Ken Rosewall.

"He's not far away. If he can become healthy and play a full season of tennis then I think he's in the best three tennis players in the world every day of the week."

And if more equal rivals are unearthed in Australia, Rasheed says Hewitt would benefit from the increased competition.

"If we had a pool of players pushing and driving each other like the Spaniards, the French and the Argentines, there's no doubt it's the recipe for success," Rasheed said. "It would probably also take a bit of the spotlight off Lleyton and keep him in a calmer place."

Hewitt, who is out for the rest of the year with a knee injury, isn't burned out and is hoping to be fit for the Australian summer.

"I don't think he's lost interest," Rasheed said.

"He's had a tough year this year with a lot of injuries.

"And with that process you don't get the results everyone expects Lleyton Hewitt to get. The minute it tapers off a little bit people look at different reasons why but it's just a common case that he's had a few niggly injuries and I'm sure 2007 will be a big year for him."

Recognised for his work ethic and ability to chase balls down, Hewitt can still improve on "every facet" of his game according to Rasheed.

"The only athlete I've seen play perfect tennis is Roger Federer for a set or two," Rasheed said. "You can never play the perfect tennis match and every area of Lleyton's game, even though it's of an extremely high quality, can improve. From the physical aspect to his running ability, to his ground strokes and his serve.

"He's always looking to find new ways to improve and as a coach we're always trying to push the boundaries."

Any talk of a premature retirement - Hewitt is only 25 - was coming from external sources.

"From the inner circle retirement is not an issue," Rasheed said.

"It's about how we can keep him playing as long as he enjoys the game. Once the enjoyment level leaves then you've got to ask yourself the question, but at the moment he loves the sport."
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If he cannot beat Federer, then he will have to kiss AO title goodbye. I tihk he i s better suited for past AO surface than Agassi, but he was too young and couldnt win big matches. I think he will improve:).

marti_228
10-14-2006, 03:13 AM
True, but I think Roddick and Hewitt are still the only hopes for US/AO.
Look at clay open and grass open, Richard Gasquet I am not sure if he can win a clay slam given that he is older than Nadal. Andy Murray winning Wimbledon, even though he is 5 years younger than Federer, I still do not he will ever win the grass slam. Roddick can still win US Open. But I really hope that Hewitt can win the AO given the heat he has received and all.

Gasquet is actually like 3 weeks younger than Nadal.

DrJules
10-14-2006, 09:32 AM
Just Cause- Great American Tennis ended with Sampras, Agassi, Courier. Roddick is nowhere near their level. Like Australia, we are in the doldrums. Roddick and Blake have potential, hopefully, they will improve.

Interesting description for nation with 2 top 10 players; Roddick and Blake. Few nations are currently in a better position. They are certainly the best represented of the 4 grand slam nations.