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Old 11-14-2011, 07:59 PM   #1
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Default 2012 Rusty Articles and News

Lleyton brings out the big guns



TENNIS great Lleyton Hewitt promised to bring the big names to Sydney and he's already delivering.

And the event, the Apia International at Sydney Olympic Park Tennis Centre, is still seven weeks away.

After signing on in September as an ambassador for Sydney's biggest tennis event, Hewitt is backing up his words to turn the Apia International Sydney 2012 - which begins on January 8 - into a world-class event.

The 30-year-old dual Grand Slam champion yesterday unveiled his plans alongside friend and former Home and Away star Kate Ritchie for the first Apia International Sydney Lleyton Hewitt Charity Day on November 27 at Homebush to raise funds for the Children's Hospital at Westmead.

Ritchie, who is close to Hewitt and his wife, Bec, will be joined by GWS Giants AFL convert Israel Folau, Wests Tigers winger Lote Tuqiri, Aussie cricketer Brett Lee and other high-profile names.

Australian tennis greats including Pat Rafter, John Newcombe and Bernard Tomic have also been head-hunted by Hewitt.

"It's not easy. I tell you it's not easy," Hewitt said of playing the part of event organiser.

"But the guys who are coming have really put their hands up."
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Old 11-17-2011, 02:23 PM   #2
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http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/sport/...-1226198345263

Hewitt to support Adelaide's Cup bid

LLEYTON Hewitt's manager says the proud South Aussie will support a bid to bring the Davis Cup to Adelaide.

Tennis Australia is considering staging the February tie against China at Memorial Drive.

It would be the city's first Davis Cup clash in eight years.

Perth and regional Victorian centres Albury-Wodonga, Shepparton and Mildura are also vying to host the February 10-12 tie.

Hewitt's manager David Drysdale said the former world No. 1 would relish the chance to play in front of his local supporters.

"He would be rapt if it was in Adelaide to play in front of a home crowd, which I don't think he has since the Adelaide International," Drysdale said.

"He'll always be an Adelaide boy and would enjoy the home crowd.

"So if there's an opportunity for Adelaide to host it, I think he'd support it."

Hewitt is Australia's most successful Davis Cup player, with a 47-14 win/loss record.

Drysdale said the 30-year-old was preparing for a return to training ahead of the Australian summer and season-opening Grand Slam in Melbourne.

"He's looking forward to an injury-free year," he said.
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Old 11-21-2011, 05:36 PM   #3
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http://www.smh.com.au/sport/tennis/n...121-1nqxx.html

Nation may have long wait for new open champion, says Edmondson

THE last homegrown Australian Open men's champion, Mark Edmondson, sees no short-term end to what is now a 35-year title drought but notes in teenager Bernard Tomic an unusual talent and in veteran Lleyton Hewitt a champion who has earned the right to continue for as long as he wishes.
Edmondson, the 1976 open winner , is reluctant to burden Tomic with the label of Australia's next great player but believes the Wimbledon quarter-finalist has unorthodox strengths that cannot be taught.

''I see a very unusual game, which is a plus, because when guys are expecting you to do a, b and c and you're doing x, y and z, it mixes them up and some of them are so unfamiliar with change,'' Edmondson said.

''Everybody's very similar in the game now - it's just that some are better - but Bernard has got a game that is awkward and different. He seems to be able to change his pace dramatically and that's something that's just a talent, not something that you can teach.''

Although world No.42 Tomic has boldly predicted he will claim his first major title within 18 months, Edmondson forecast a more conservative timetable and said world No.6 and US Open titleholder Sam Stosur was Australia's next realistic chance to win the national championship.

For those still emerging, the former world No.15 and Wimbledon semi-finalist believes there is still some time to wait.

''I'd love it to happen straight away but even if the current regime of programs at Tennis Australia do work, it's possibly five to 10 years away from fulfilment,'' Edmondson said.
Tomic remains the standout prospect, but Davis Cup captain Pat Rafter said yesterday that ''only Bernie will know when he's ready to go''.

Rafter has previously questioned Tomic's commitment and work ethic, sentiments echoed yesterday after it was announced the singles champion at next year's Brisbane International would receive the Roy Emerson Trophy.

While lauding Tomic's touch and variety, Rafter said: ''I expected him to be top 50 this year, and he got there, so it's a good effort … and now he's got to come to terms with his next step in development and what he needs to do to go on to the next level and be a top 15 player, and he needs to just develop that part of his game now.

''Hopefully he's learnt, he's played a lot of the top 10 players … and he's got a bit of a taste of what's required, and if he doesn't take that on board he'll stay where he is; if he wants to make the next progression he'll have to change his game a little bit.
''A lot's been talked about with Bernard, time will tell if he can back all that up … he certainly has something very unique about his game.''

Hewitt, Australia's only male finalist in 35 years, has sagged to 187th in the rankings but Edmondson was adamant that only Hewitt should decide when to quit.

''You play because you love the game. You don't play because you're the best in the world and, 'If I'm not best in the world I'm going to take my bat and ball and go home,''' he said. ''I'm sure when it gets to the stage where Lleyton isn't up to what he thinks he can achieve, he'll say: 'I can't play any more.'

''It's all very good for the people who aren't playing to say: 'Oh you should quit because you can't win Wimbledon.' Well, bugger off. There's a lot of players that never have that opportunity to win Wimbledon in the first place but they play for 15 or 20 years.'
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Old 11-23-2011, 07:08 AM   #4
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John Fitzgerald say only Lleyton Hewitt can decide when to retire

FORMER Davis Cup captain John Fitzgerald says Lleyton Hewitt has earned the right to decide when to call time on a stellar tennis career rather than being hounded into retirement.

Despite his struggle with injuries and lack of match play which have left him languishing at 189 in the world, Hewitt has given no indication he plans to quit.

The former world No.1 has played just nine tournaments and two Davis Cup ties this year, with his best results being two quarter-final appearances.

But Fitzgerald believes another season on the circuit from Hewitt would still prove valuable inspiration for rising Australian youngsters.

"I think the bottom line with Lleyton is he probably should have the prerogative himself of deciding himself when he goes,'' Fitzgerald said.

"He deserves that, but I hope he can stay around and help give kids inspiration for another year or so.''

However he hinted strongly that 2012 could be Hewitt's final year on the tour.

"He was No.1 when he was in his early 20s and that was an 18-month stretch but he's at the end of that decade now so logic says at some stage your body can start to slow down,'' Fitzgerald said.

"His injuries have hurt him over the last couple of years so his biggest issue is getting them right.

"If he can do that, that can be the difference, but as you get older your body becomes more prone to them.''

Fitzgerald also sees Wimbledon quarter-finalist Bernard Tomic, the world's top-ranked 18-year-old, stepping into Hewitt's shoes soon.

He said the clay-court experience of Tomic and other Australians now raised on clay will help them on grass.

"What clay does is teach kids their craft, it gives them a chance to learn a multi-dimensional craft,'' Fitzgerald said.

"If you've got a low, fast-bouncing court you don't get to learn all the different nuances of playing.

"All of that comes with clay and you can transfer that onto a faster court quite easily.

"It's very difficult to do the reverse.''
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Old 11-25-2011, 08:09 AM   #5
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Lleyton's blog

25 November 2011

Hi everyone,

I am back in Sydney and have been busy putting together a large tennis charity day that will be happening @ Sydney Olympic Tennis Center this Sunday 27th November 2011.

There will be plenty of Australia's best tennis players partnering Australian celebrities. Shannon Noll will also be performing some of his great hits on centre court. Everyone that attends also has the chance to win a raffle prize to partner myself and Patrick Rafter on centre court for a game of doubles. Other activities include Returning The Gooch and Serving at targets for great prizes. All money raised is going to a great cause as it goes straight to The Westmead Children's Hospital.

We really hope everyone comes out for a great day of fun and entertainment and the chance to be part of some money can't buy activities.

Look forward to seeing everyone out there on Sunday!
Gates open @ 11.00am.

Lleyton
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Old 11-25-2011, 01:38 PM   #6
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http://www.heraldsun.com.au/sport/te...-1226206478566

Retirement not on Lleyton Hewitt's agenda

THE competitive fire still burns brightly for Lleyton Hewitt as he counts down the days to a 15th straight Australian Open campaign.

The 30-year-old has done it tough in an injury-afflicted 2011 as his world ranking slipped to No.189.

But the former world No.1 has no plans to call it a day.

"I'm more hungry now than a few years ago purely because I've had to fight back from the surgeries," Hewitt said yesterday.

"The great thing about tennis is that it's an individual sport and I can call time on it whenever I want to.

"It's not like I'm going to get sacked or pushed out of the game or dropped and it doesn't matter what anyone writes, it's up to me and how motivated I am."

Hewitt has fought back from a string of injuries, including hip surgery in 2009, leg and wrist problems in 2010 and a niggling ankle complaint earlier this year.

"As you get older you're always more prone to getting injuries," Hewitt said.

"Mentally I've had to come back from some solid injuries the last couple of years so I've been pretty mentally tough and done all the right things, so apart from the foot, the body feels great."

He will begin his domestic summer campaign at the Hopman Cup in Perth on New Year's Eve, followed by the Sydney International and the Australian Open.

However, Hewitt doesn't pretend it's going to be easy.

He played just nine tournaments and two Davis Cup ties this year, with his best results being two quarter-final appearances. AAP
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Old 11-25-2011, 01:45 PM   #7
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http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/spo...-1226206567742

There's more to life than tennis for Lleyton Hewitt

LLEYTON Hewitt opens up to Andrew Webster in an exclusive interview about fatherhood, the future and advice for rising star Bernard Tomic.

Let's get it on the table straight away: So, Lleyton, when are you retiring?

Lleyton Hewitt thumps the question back like a two-handed backhand from the baseline.

"It doesn't really bother me," he says. "I'm fortunate: I can play as long as I want to play. There's no coach or trainer who is going to say to me that I'm dropped or sacked, it's time to move on. I can play as long as I want to play."

Hewitt - now 30 - doesn't tell you this with the impudence and arrogance some would expect.

He doesn't rub your nose in the question. He doesn't think you are "hounding" him with talk of ending it, as former Davis Cup captain John Fitzgerald has recently accused the media of doing.

He says it with a smile on a face that doesn't look too different to the teenager from Adelaide who ripped on to the scene more than a decade ago.

For all his success - Wimbledon and US Open crowns, Davis Cup heroics, 18 months as world No.1 - a great unknown remains when it comes to Hewitt.

We still don't know him.

In this interview, though, beneath bleak skies at the Sydney International Tennis Centre, ahead of tomorrow's star-studded charity event, he lets us in. Just a little.

"There are people who love you and people who hate you, but for me more so people only think they know me by how I act or perform on a tennis court," he says. "I'm more in that Rafa Nadal high-energy high-octane mould out there. I wear that emotion on the court. That's how I play my best tennis. People either like that or not. And I can't change that: that's who I am on a tennis court."

Last summer, his commentary at the Hopman Cup and then for Seven during the Australian Open showed us much more of Hewitt off the court than we have ever seen. We could hear him.

"Absolutely it opened me up to the public more," he says enthusiastically. "Tennis players go into a press conference and almost every one of them is the same. We do very little differently on a day-to-day basis. You have to play a straight bat, purely because you'll get bagged if you don't. Anything too controversial or out there, they jump on you."

The softening of Hewitt's image has come with maturity and time. Marriage and fatherhood.

His marriage to Home and Away star Bec Cartwright became tabloid fodder early on, but now they have a young family - with daughters Mia and Ava and son Cruz - the pursuit has slowed down.

When you hear Hewitt talk about his kids, he reveals a sense of perspective that wasn't there as a brattish baseline brawler upsetting umpires and linespeople.

"The charity event on Sunday is for Westmead Children's Hospital," he says "It hits home when you have kids. When the parents there tell you what they are going through, it's brutal. That's when it hits home that tennis is just a game. Just a sport. There is more to life than hitting a tennis ball."

Did Hewitt ever think he would ever say such a thing?

"I don't think my mind has changed that much in terms of life. When you are 16 on the tour, and that's the only thing you've ever dreamt of doing, your mind thinks one way. Marriage and children has changed my perspective. Even now with travelling to play, jetlag goes out the window. You work around your kids. When you lose a tough five-setter at Wimbledon and your kid runs up to you, it hits home that is just a tennis match."

That perspective has not sated his hunger, although his desire to keep going is born out of frustration.

He admits hip surgery three years ago almost prompted him to walk away, but in the last year it is chronic foot pain that forced him to bravely limp through Australia's last Davis Cup against Switzerland before calling an end to tennis for the year.

"It's about trying to finish my career in the least amount of pain as possible," says Hewitt. "I've done too much hard work and gone through too much pain to stop playing now. Only my close-knit team know what I've had to go through to keep bouncing back and fronting up. That's a driving force more than anything. Unless the foot blew up, I won't be stopping."

Hewitt will make a return for his country in the Hopman Cup, before using the Apia International - of which he is now an ambassador, wanting to promote tennis in NSW - as the springboard to another tilt at the Australian Open.

Not that long ago, in 2005, Hewitt was riding the lightning in that tournament, a nation behind him as he romped into the final, only to lose to Marat Safin.

"That showed me how much the country supports me," Hewitt says.

Now, more are gathering behind another precocious talent in Bernard Tomic, who will play in tomorrow's charity event but is polarising opinion just as Hewitt did.

At the last Davis Cup tie, captain Pat Rafter questioned Tomic's work ethic.

"It's hard to say how good he can be," Hewitt says. "You just don't know. He's exceptionally talented."

And what advice would he give him?

"Leave it all on the court," Hewitt smiles. "So many times, that's how I've won matches from impossible situations."

Even if it is just a tennis match.
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Old 12-01-2011, 06:44 AM   #8
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http://news.theage.com.au/breaking-n...201-1o7zn.html

Hewitt gets Australian Open wildcard

Former finalist Lleyton Hewitt has been given a wildcard into next month's Australian Open in a decision organisers say is the easiest they have had to make.

Hewitt, whose struggle with ongoing injuries this season has reduced his ranking to No.188 in the world, says he intends to make a concerted bid to resurrect his status in 2012.

Open tournament director Craig Tiley said the former World No.1 was an obvious option for the first men's wildcard selection.

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"Who better than Lleyton, who was a finalist here in 2005 (to Russian Marat Safin)," Tiley said.

"He has had a rough year with injuries but it hasn't taken away the impact that he's had on Australian tennis.

"He knows now that he has the wildcard and he can focus his preparation over the next month-and-a-half into the Australian Open to get himself as ready as he possibly can be for January.

"He can obviously put to rest now any speculation that's out there about whether or not he's going to be in the main draw."

Tiley said Hewitt had already begun preparing as he puts his rehab behind him.

"He's been practising the last couple of weeks and if you know Lleyton he'll like nothing more than to come to January and do well.

"He's very focused on getting the job done for really where he wants to be in 2012."

The Australian Open wildcard tournament begins next week with one spot in the main draw available in the men's and women's main draw.
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Old 12-01-2011, 04:20 PM   #9
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http://www.theage.com.au/sport/tenni...201-1o94q.html

Seven courts Hewitt but court comes first

WHILE Lleyton Hewitt is chatting with Channel Seven about reprising his commentary cameo at Melbourne Park next month, an on-court role remains the priority.

His 16th consecutive Australian Open will be his first with the aid of a wildcard, the month before the father of three turns 31.

''We're talking once again to Lleyton, but ideally, Lleyton won't be available to do commentary,'' Seven's head of sport, Saul Shtein, said yesterday. ''In an ideal world, Lleyton's just not available, because he's just too busy playing.''

Yet the painful reality is that Hewitt's season has again fallen far short of ideal, having suffered a rankings decline from 54th to 188th.
He failed to win a title for just the second time since his stunning 1998 debut in Adelaide at the age of just 16.

''We think it's very fitting to do it this early,'' tournament director Craig Tiley said at yesterday's announcement, which precedes next week's wildcard play-off. ''In this case, who better than Lleyton, who obviously was a finalist here in 2005, and has had a rough year with injuries, but that hasn't taken away the impact that he's had.''

It was, unquestionably, one of the easier wildcard decisions, according to Tiley, who said Hewitt was ''obviously happy'' that he could put to rest any speculation about whether or not he would be in the main draw.
''He has struggled a fair bit with his injuries this year, and he can put that stress behind him and focus on his preparation,'' he said.

Hewitt's manager, David Drysdale, said Hewitt had returned to the practice court after a break to heal his injured foot after the Davis Cup loss to Switzerland in September.

''He's hitting, and he's doing fitness work and looking forward to the summer,'' said Drysdale, who expects Hewitt to be ''100 per cent'' when he arrives in Perth for the Hopman Cup at the end of the month.

Only two Australian men, 41st-ranked Bernard Tomic and big improver Matt Ebden, have earned direct Open entry, although, Hewitt aside, the play-off winner and up to three other wildcard recipients will also feature in the main draw.

The women are headed by sixth seed Sam Stosur, Jarmila Gajdosova and Jelena Dokic, with Casey Dellacqua favoured to win the play-off after sweeping the past six Pro Tour titles.

''She is on a hot streak right now, and we actually asked her if she wanted to take a bit of a break - she said no, she wants to come in and play the play-off, because then she'll play matches, and she's playing very good tennis,'' Tiley said.

Hewitt, meanwhile, could be on dual duty as a player and commentator, proving himself an insightful debutant last summer.

''I thought Lleyton was just wonderful,'' said Shtein. ''He was a very very good communicator, and, importantly as a commentator, he was doing something that I think should be the goal for commentators, and that's to tell us something we don't know.''
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Old 12-05-2011, 01:12 PM   #10
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http://www.heraldsun.com.au/sport/co...-1226214547668

'Come January 1, I'll be ready', says Lleyton Hewitt

LLEYTON Hewitt has declared he will be ready for the Australian Open in January.

Hewitt, who has been recovering from a foot injury, said he had stepped up his training.

"It would be nice to be further advanced but I'm doing everything in my power to be ready for the Open," he said at last night's Newcombe Medal at Crown.

"Come January 1, I'll be ready."

Hewitt arrived with wife Bec who looked stunning in a black gown by La Perla.
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Old 12-05-2011, 02:46 PM   #11
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Default Re: 2012 Rusty Articles and News

Everything he has said so far has indicated that he's still got pain in the foot. After two and a half months off, that's a bit worrying. Hopefully he will be feeling good by January.
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Old 12-05-2011, 07:31 PM   #12
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hard to say, maybe there is pain. January 1 in the match against Verdasco, let's see how he the move. At this point, the main thing is he practise.
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Old 12-06-2011, 02:49 PM   #13
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Ready to retire? Not our Lleyton

WHILE Peter Luczak will retire from tennis after a farewell Australian Open doubles appearance next month, his close friend Lleyton Hewitt remains determined to press on with his latest comeback, yet unsure how long it will last.

Admitting to an ambition to eventually succeed Pat Rafter as Davis Cup captain, Hewitt said he was no closer to deciding on his playing future. The 30-year-old had earlier paid tribute to Luczak - and revealed the popular Victorian's retirement plans - during a gracious acceptance speech for the Spirit of Tennis award at Monday's Newcombe Medal function.

Luczak, 32, and ranked 271st, is likely to contest singles qualifying at Melbourne Park next month. ''Hopefully I'll play - I'll just see how much training I'm doing and hopefully have a run in the doubles,'' said Luczak, a proficient clay-courter who played seven Davis Cup ties and three times reached the Australian Open's third round.

Hewitt, meanwhile, is due to resume at the Hopman Cup in three weeks, having been sidelined with a foot injury since his crushing loss to Swiss Stanislas Wawrinka in the deciding fifth rubber of the Davis Cup world group play-off in September - a defeat that left Hewitt in tears for just the second time in his long career.

''This year's been frustrating, with the foot injury, and the rest of my body feels great, so that's probably even more frustrating,'' Hewitt said. ''If I was breaking down in a lot of different areas then you can sort of put up with it, but if I can get over this foot injury, I feel great at the moment. In terms of my ball-striking, it's as good as it's been in a long time.

''And for me the Davis Cup obviously hurt, losing to Switzerland, and the way that we lost, and coming awfully close, and I felt like it was a fantastic team atmosphere and environment in that tie as well, so that was more disappointing, not to get that win against those guys. I thought we put in a lot of hard work.''

Longer term, the captaincy appeals as an obvious fit for Australia's most successful Davis Cup player. ''At some stage, absolutely, I'd love to be Davis Cup captain at some stage,'' Hewitt said. ''Obviously I'd like to keep playing a bit more, and help Pat out, and Pat and Rochey [Tony Roche] are a fantastic team. If I can take over from Pat in a few years … we've never actually spoken about it, but he's probably not going to do it for a lifetime.''

Hewitt's rift with Bernard Tomic also appears to have healed, the former world No. 1 acknowledging the temperament of the only teenager in the men's top 50. ''At the moment he's definitely the standout in terms of Australian players, absolutely - one, because of how he plays and the wins he has, but I think how he handles himself on the court as well and handles the big situation and pressure,'' Hewitt said.

''There's a lot of good players out there that can hit a ball and stand at the back of the court, but when you've actually got to play guys like [Rafael] Nadal on centre court or [Roger] Federer in Davis Cup or [Novak] Djokovic at Wimbledon, that's where you see what they're made of, and he's obviously got something.
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Old 12-18-2011, 08:07 AM   #14
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Default Re: 2012 Rusty Articles and News

Lleyton Hewitt to serve it up on Seven

http://www.heraldsun.com.au/entertai...cfb9578bfe7e0c

LLEYTON Hewitt has signed on officially to Channel 7 as a commentator for January's Australian Open.

He will join international commentators Jim Courier and Henri Leconte, who have again signed to be part of Seven's coverage.

Australian tennis identities Todd Woodbridge, Rennae Stubbs and Nicole Bradtke have also signed on.

Bruce McAvaney, Johanna Griggs, Matt White and Hamish McLachlan will anchor Seven's tennis coverage.

For Hewitt, it could be the start of a long career in the commentary box, if he wants it.
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Old 12-18-2011, 09:04 AM   #15
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Default Re: 2012 Rusty Articles and News

Good that the public get to see the other side of Lleyton again, I know a lot of people warmed to him this year.
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