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Discussion Starter #1
There are the obvious problems to begin with, which have nothing to do with how well (or how much better) Hewitt can play, namely Federer and Nadal. Out of the four slams, I'm giving Hewitt absolutely no chance at the French or Wimbledon. Unless Federer and Nadal both get injured, I cannot under any circumstances (even if they have a less than major injury and continue to play) see Hewitt beating Nadal or Federer at the French or Wimbledon. Nadal is the tit to Federer's tat at Wimbledon, and vice-versa for the French, so Hewitt will have to make his mark elsewhere.

As Hewitt and Rochey have loosely set Australia as the mark, and since Hewitt has threatened there once (even since Federer's rise) I concur. Nadal, despite what statistics many think may *hypotheically* give him a great chance in Australia, has not performed well at all there. He's been to the quarter's once, and I know that he's also only been to the quarters once at the US, but he took Youzny to four and actually had bit of a look in that match. Gonzalez demolished him in Australia this year. So in my hypothetical scenario, I'm going to say in Australia 2008 Hewitt is seeded to meet Nadal in the semis, and Nadal does not make it there, and Hewitt does.

I know Federer has performed very well in Australia, but he did have his one odd slam loss there. The only one on a non-clay surface in a very, very long time. So I'll say Federer is on the opposite side of the draw from Hewitt and they meet in the final. Federer pulled something in the 3rd round and has dropped a couple sets on his way to the final due to this slight injury.

Hewitt meanwhile, under the tutelage of the great Rochey, has beefed up his serve by an impressive 7-10 mph, has regained the half-step that many felt he'd loss over the past 5 years, and has moved from an ultra-defensive game to a moderately-aggressive one. Also, Rochey, having an insight into Federer's mystique, has clued Hewitt in on Fed's weakness. I, of course, cannot say what it is for fear of being taken down, but sufficed to say, it's there and Hewitt knows about it.

Hewitt junkballs his way to a 5th set. Federer has called for the trainer twice and looks to be half a step slow and is on the receiving in of Hewitt 2.0's best match ever. The home crowd is predictably fueling Hewitt's play and Federer loses 12-10 in the 5th. Hewitt holds up his 3rd and last Grand Slam title. He damages his rotator cuff the next week and is off of the tour by year's end.

Phew...it could happen, but it ain't likely.
 

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You basically laid out the most likely scenario. If he gets a good draw (it used to mean avoiding Federer and Nadal, but now would include avoiding Djokovic and Baghdatis probably as well), and others are knocked out before he needs to face them, it is hard to not give Hewitt a chance when he is deep into a slam.
Desire counts for some, and he will probably always have that.

I get this feeling that with his new life, if he wins another slam, he will be close to retirement.
 

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Anastasia Komananov, KGB
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I fear one of Hewitt's biggest problems is he gets tight on big points and can get very mentally fragile - as he did against Djokovic at Wimbledon and to a lesser extent Nadal in Hamburg.
 

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There's too many players that can beat him on a given day, look at Queens as an example.
 

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I fear one of Hewitt's biggest problems is he gets tight on big points and can get very mentally fragile - as he did against Djokovic at Wimbledon and to a lesser extent Nadal in Hamburg.
I didn't get that impression. I am not a fan of Djokovic but I felt that he played a smart tiebreaker and raised his game at the crucial time.
But you may be right, maybe it was Hewitt faltering instead.
 

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Anastasia Komananov, KGB
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I didn't get that impression. I am not a fan of Djokovic but I felt that he played a smart tiebreaker and raised his game at the crucial time.
But you may be right, maybe it was Hewitt faltering instead.
Hewitt threw in some lousy shots in all three tiebreaks - it really looked to me like his tennis got tight.
 

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I don't see Roger losing to Leyton, definitly not in a slam final - not unless he's very injured, or something.

If anything, having Roche sitting in Leyton's camp, would fuel Roger.
 

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Hewitt doesn't have the belief that he can beat the top players. He was up a mini break twice against Nadal in that third set tie break at the French but gave back the points with stupid forehand errors. Against Djokovic it showed even more. He served for the fourth set but played a stupid game to lose serve. In the tie break he played stupidly while Djokovic just played safe and allowed Hewitt to self destruct.
 

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He would also need to avoid Roddick as well as Nole, Baghdatis and a few others

Nalby and Marat, when giving a shit could take him out. Blake could beat Hewitt, Kolya, and many others
 

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I wouldn't rule him out just yet. I don't expect him to win another slam but I certainly wouldn't put it past him.

Aussie Open is his best shot in my eyes.
 

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when hewitt was at the top of his game...he was ultra consistent. The fighting mentality and the confidence on big points knowing that he did not rely on shotmaking to win points. He could win by outlasting and outrallying players. Now, he regularly dumps balls into the net ( maybe because he is going for it?), and isnt able to find the depth on his shots that was once his calling card. He thus has become dependent on his serve to win points, which is why he has such a low %. He goes for the first serve so much more these days.
 

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well the word dump implies he is lacking any entheusiasm and not going for it, but no I dont think he has changed his style much.
 

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when hewitt was at the top of his game...he was ultra consistent. The fighting mentality and the confidence on big points knowing that he did not rely on shotmaking to win points. He could win by outlasting and outrallying players. Now, he regularly dumps balls into the net ( maybe because he is going for it?), and isnt able to find the depth on his shots that was once his calling card. He thus has become dependent on his serve to win points, which is why he has such a low %. He goes for the first serve so much more these days.
Fair points.

I'm not sure if his unforced errors are because he's going for it more, to me it doesn't really look like it. I guess it's just confidence. It must also be hard with a kid now, he has more important things in his life than tennis now and his motivation to get out on the practice courts must be considerably lower than it was when he was at the top of his game.

The thing is, if he returns to his best form, I can see him winning big titles again. Although I agree what people have said that in form big hitters can beat him (they also say that with Nadal), I still feel his fighting qualities, return of serve, passing shots and lobs are up there with the very best, and it's not totally inconceivable he could win another slam.
 

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Hewitt wil never win another Slam, period. He is past his physical prime, plus he is not as big and strong as most players today. He did very well to win his two Slams.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I agree. If the prototype to do what Hewitt's trying to do is Sampras' 2002 Open, then the difference (not considering competition) is that Sampras had weapons and Hewitt does not. Sampras' movement may have gotten a little dusty, but his serve and forehand still had shiny moments right up to the end. Playing his best, what shot can Hewitt get past Federer or Nadal? I can't think of one.
 

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Hewitt threw in some lousy shots in all three tiebreaks - it really looked to me like his tennis got tight.
I thought that had something to do with how little "big match" play he's gotten recently. His confidence is not where it used to be and these are the points where it really shows. I'm glad he's rediscovered his fighting spirit. And now with a new coach, he looks totally committed, which he hasn't in the last year or two. People can still outplay him, but heart counts for a lot. Given the right set of circumstances, he will go far.
 

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Until someone other then Fedal wins a GS, I'm sticking with Fedal.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Given the right set of circumstances, he will go far.
It would have to be more than "right," though, it would have to be perfect. He will not go through Federer *and* Nadal to win a slam (in fact, I wonder if anyone will *ever* do that). The naysayers can still argue that Nadal is 3/5 of himself on hardcourts, but I firmly believe that won't always be the case. And, as much as I dislike Federer, I do not see him taking an early loss in a slam. Hewitt's only hope is that Nadal plays a bad hardcourt match as to avoid that hurdle and that Federer plays well under 100% if Hewitt earns the right to face him. And, even then, Hewitt would have to play the best that he's played in years to get to the big match, and then he'd have to play the best match he's ever played (and/or will ever play) to win it.

I wonder, has any former great other than Sampras made a big splash right at the end? I know Connors never won one late, neither did Mac. Agassi made a late run in 2002-03, losing to Sampras in the USO final and then following up with a title in Australia, but that's not quite the same as he was still a major contender at that point. Once again, Sampras was able to win a slam after going title-less for over two years because he had weapons. On a good day, Sampras could still beat anyone, even 'anyone' who was playing their best. Hewitt, on the other hand, has really got nothing spectacular to throw at you, even if he's playing well.

Really (and admittedly I am a Sampras fan) I think reviewing this situation really affirms how great Pete was. Be in 1990 or 2002, if his game is on, he can beat anyone. He made it through the 2002 USO draw playing some extremely spotty tennis, and then won the big one against the man who would win the next slam played. To be fair, though, the stars were aligned; Agassi never beat Pete at the USO, so, seeded 17th and playing as a shell of himself for the previous 2 years, he still went in as the favorite. Nonetheless, it was a spectacular win, and it really put an exclamation point on his place in history.
 
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