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Just witnessed one of the great two and a half hour practice sessions on court here at Sydney Olympic Park Homebush. Lleyton Hewitt practicing in a closed centre court session with no media or fans allowed to watch. Hitting with my good friend Ryan Henry and taking instructions from two legends of Australian tennis Tony Roche and Wally Masur.
A great sight to see a former world number one battling for each ball and desperate to improve and continue to try and raise his level. Having slipped out to 20 in the world and making in excess of $20,000,000 playing tennis his commitment, work ethic and intensity is still their.

With Tony Roche demanding the highest level of intensity Lleyton's fitness level and desperation to put himself back as a contender for grand slams was clearly shown. Practice partner Ryan (top 400 ATP) was absolutely exhausted after the session and Lleyton went straight into court sprints and followed it up with a weight session.
2008 is going to be a great year for Tennis fans:wavey:
 

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2008 is going to be a great year for Tennis fans:wavey:
I so hope this isn't like every other Janurary where Hewitt says he is training really hard and Mark Philippoussis is making a comeback, and then the Scud gets injured and Hewitt loses second or third round.
 

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I'll be happy to see Lleyton doing well, he deserves more than his ranking -

But I don't see him beating Roger in best of 5, not even with Roche.
 

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I so hope this isn't like every other Janurary where Hewitt says he is training really hard and Mark Philippoussis is making a comeback, and then the Scud gets injured and Hewitt loses second or third round.
exactly. i doubt that his schedule is any different from all the years where he got kicked out of the tournament during the first week.

the thing that will make hewitt have a shot at the second week next year will be the court and its speed. as hewitt has been involved in the whole process i guess the aussie open director, being new and desperately trying to suck up to lleyton, has put up with lleyton's ideas and requests. the court will be an all-lleyton-court and i guess that will be quite an advantage.
 

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i don't understand hewitt these days. he doesn't play any worse than he did in, say, 05. yet his rank is horrible for someone seemingly gifted and experienced.
 

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i don't understand hewitt these days. he doesn't play any worse than he did in, say, 05. yet his rank is horrible for someone seemingly gifted and experienced.
thing is: the others improved, the game has progressed. hewitt didn't.
 

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unless he changes his absolute atrocious rubbish strokes he's never going to be a contender no matter how hard he trains. If the next grandslam we see no changes then his hard training is obviously non-progressive and useless.
 

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i don't understand hewitt these days. he doesn't play any worse than he did in, say, 05. yet his rank is horrible for someone seemingly gifted and experienced.
the injuries took him out of form for to long and when he came back he didnt have the confidence and it has taken him a while to get it back. problem is now his rank is so low that when he does play a tournament he often gets a good player early in the tournament so getting his rank back is hard. he has lost to some crap players to though and that doesnt help.
 

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That paragraph says absolutely nothing of interest.

Here, I'll post some quotes from Tony Roche:
Super-coach Tony Roche says Lleyton Hewitt will be primed to give the Australian Open a "real shake" next month and 2008 could be a "real big year for him".

Roche has been working with Hewitt to add variety and aggression to his game in the tour off-season and made it clear that nothing was being left to chance in terms of fitness and sheer hard work.

"He's doing a lot of training off court and doing three hours a day on court, so the first part of the preparation has gone very well," said Roche.
"I know Lleyton feels very confident he can match it with those guys."

The changes would make his relentless baseline game less predicable.

"He's not going to go away from his strengths, but I think it's important for him to add a little bit of variation to his game and be a little bit more aggressive, look to finish the points and utilise a few other areas of his game," said Roche.
http://news.smh.com.au/hewitt-will-give-the-open-a-shake-roche/20071209-1fyd.html

"Right now I think he's feeling really healthy. His mind is fresh. He's ready to launch his second career. He's got the experience because of playing all those big matches and physically I think he should be at his peak. There's no reason why he can't be in the top four players in the world."
http://www.foxsports.com.au/story/0,8659,22894511-23216,00.html

And some quotes from Hewitt himself:
LLEYTON Hewitt says he is being refashioned into a grand slam force by the man who also improved Roger Federer, Pat Rafter and Ivan Lendl en route to majors victories.

Hewitt said that he and Tony Roche are well into the process of adjusting aspects of his game. Roche has previously stated he wants to improve the world No.21's serve, aggression and unpredictability.

Hewitt has an immense respect for Roche and those who know Hewitt well, including Pat Rafter, say that his growing maturity has made him more receptive to change.

"We've been working on specific areas that we've been trying to improve and just adjust a bit before I go into matches," Hewitt said.

"In the next few weeks I will go more into practicing sets ... we will have to see if it (the changes to his game) pay off."

Hewitt and Roche were at Sydney's International Tennis Centre to unveil the Plexicushion courts and launch the Medibank International, the Sydney tournament the top-ranked Australian has won on four occasions.

Since employing Roche as his coach in July, many have already observed Hewitt dictating more rallies - often with more net play, rather than counter-punching.

"I am enjoying it and I think we have the right game plan and so hopefully it pays off," Hewitt said.

"It's long hours, trying to get the miles in my legs but also working on specific areas ... "
http://www.foxsports.com.au/story/0,8659,22883593-23216,00.html
 

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Will be interesting to see if all this pays off.

I wouldn't be surprised to see a burst of good results from Hewitt early on - going deep in Australia perhaps, maybe deep in Indian Wells or Miami, but I'll be more interested to see if he's still kicking it old school come Wimbledon or if he's fallen back off again.
 

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the injuries took him out of form for to long and when he came back he didnt have the confidence and it has taken him a while to get it back. problem is now his rank is so low that when he does play a tournament he often gets a good player early in the tournament so getting his rank back is hard. he has lost to some crap players to though and that doesnt help.
I'm not sure about that. If Hewitt wants to get back to the top, he'll have to beat the big boys. Whether it's second round or semifinal doesn't matter. Mumbai field for example wasn't all that strong, but old Lleyton lost to Schuettler there. I think that Lleyton's game just isn't all that effective anymore.

The new AO surface might give him some advantage, but I don't think it will really change much. Some players might struggle a bit during the first couple of rounds but they will eventually learn the new surface.
 

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thanks for the quotes, krystlel. :)

and wow, roche really seems to believe in lleyton. what tournaments is he gonna play in january apart from the aussies? both adelaide and sydney?
 

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thanks for the quotes, krystlel. :)

and wow, roche really seems to believe in lleyton. what tournaments is he gonna play in january apart from the aussies? both adelaide and sydney?

:wavey:
yeah Lleyton`s playing both Adelaide & Sydney:cool:
...
actually this Adelaide tourney will be the last ever, from 2009 there will be a new combined event in Brisbane:cool:

>>>>
Llegs work with Roche looks to be very positive, just hope he doesn`t overdo it & get injured again:eek: .. @ this stage in his career Hewitt can`t afford any more injury setbacks;)
 

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I remember last year, how he hired this olypimic swimmer to get him back in shape and restore his intensity, and he lost early in the AO (granted to a red hot Gonzo, but went 5 sets with michael russell)

I hope for the best, I miss Hewitt not being in the mix.
 

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I remember last year, how he hired this olypimic swimmer to get him back in shape and restore his intensity, and he lost early in the AO (granted to a red hot Gonzo, but went 5 sets with michael russell)

I hope for the best, I miss Hewitt not being in the mix.

last year was a bit different;)
..two weeks before AO Hewitt`s coach & best friend at the time split with him:sad:

>>>this time Lleyton`s working with Tony Roche--) undoubtedly one of the finest coaches ever:cool: :worship:
 

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Like for most players, it will all depend on the draw. If he gets past the first 2 rounds, he could then face one of Seeds 9-16 Nalbandian, Robredo, Murray, Haas, Blake, Berdych, Baghdatis, Moya....that is, if they have all got through as well.
 

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Like for most players, it will all depend on the draw. If he gets past the first 2 rounds, he could then face one of Seeds 9-16 Nalbandian, Robredo, Murray, Haas, Blake, Berdych, Baghdatis, Moya....that is, if they have all got through as well.
This is...insightful, to say the least.
 
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