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Discussion Starter #1
Haven't seen it posted yet... was in an Australian newspaper.
Trust Lleyton will turn out fine in a couple of days.

"Hewitt aced by mystery sickness
By ROBERT LUSETICH
July 22, 2002

LLEYTON HEWITT's preparations for his US Open title defence have been jolted by the re-emergence of a chronic illness that has forced his withdrawal from this week's Mercedes-Benz Cup in Los Angeles.

The world No.1 has not played a tournament since winning his first Wimbledon crown two weeks ago and, according to his agent Tom Ross, was unable to train last week while staying in Belgium with girlfriend Kim Clijsters.

He could not hold down food and has been prescribed an aggressive dose of antibiotics.

Ross said he hoped Hewitt, who has had health problems for two years, would resume training in "a matter of days".


Since 2000, Hewitt has suffered from a recurring mystery virus that affects his breathing and leaves his stomach extremely bloated.

An army of medical experts has been unable to properly diagnose the virus beyond identifying it as a form of viral gastroenteritis.

The 21-year-old contracted chicken pox at last year's Hopman Cup in Perth, forcing his withdrawal from the event. He clearly had not recovered at the Australian Open, where he appeared listless in losing in the first round to Spain's Alberto Martin.

After the chicken pox and with his immunity low, Hewitt was laid low for weeks by another virus that kept him from travelling with the Australian Davis Cup team to Argentina.

At his comeback tournament, in San Jose in late February, Hewitt said he was so ill he had not held a tennis racquet for five weeks.

"I was basically in a sick bed for a fair few weeks after the Australian Open," he said.

The US Open begins in five weeks.

The 21-year old South Australian also pulled out of a quarter-final match at the Ordina Open in the Netherlands - the week before Wimbledon - with the stomach virus.

However, he was seen practising at Wimbledon the day after pulling out, prompting his first round opponent at the All-England club, Jonas Bjorkman, to wonder whether Hewitt was really sick at all.

"I'm not sure if he has a stomach virus, maybe he just wanted a couple of days off," Bjorkman said. "I'm sure he will be sharp when we play."

But, during an interview with The Australian in San Jose at the Siebel Open, Hewitt said the illness had taken an enormous toll on him for two years.

"As strong as I've been over the past couple of years, to me, health-wise, I haven't been 100 per cent most of the time," he said.

"I've had to guts out a lot of matches. Even when I won (the Masters Cup) in Sydney, I didn't ever feel 100 per cent."

Hewitt said the illness depletes his energy.

"I've been to some homeopaths and they think I've got a virus in my trachea which has gone into my stomach," he said.

The onset of the symptoms leaves him "forgetting how to breathe normally" and with "a very bloated stomach".

During the weeks after the Australian Open, he lost a lot of weight.

Like his mate Pat Rafter, Hewitt has had an affinity for the US hardcourts.

After returning to competitive play in February, he rattled off 15 consecutive wins, including an epic win over Andre Agassi in the final at San Jose.

He then won the Indian Wells tournament and made it to the semi-finals in Miami.

This season, Hewitt has a 39-7 record and has won $US1.63 million ($2.9m), cementing his place as the world's best player.

The Australian"
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Special message for the Lleykis :) :


In case you might doubt that Lleyton is with Kim at Stanford, I've found confirmation in a text from Reuters: he was seen watching Kim during her second round match against Tu yesterday.

The text of the article is on Clijsters City btw, and in the Classy Clijsters' Lounge.
Don't forget to check it out! (a bit of advertising won't hurt LOL) :)
 

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Discussion Starter #4
forgotten to post this one, :eek:

is a quote from an article by Matthew Cronin, tennisreportersnet, July 23...

Your thoughts please? :


"Kim Clijsters – who is in the worst slump of her young career – will take the court on Tuesday night against the scrappy Meilen Tu , while her boyfriend, the virus-ridden Lleyton Hewitt, will watch from the sidelines instead of being where he belongs – in L.A. playing the Mercedes-Benz Cup. "

pff :rolleyes:
 

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KaseyL said:
forgotten to post this one, :eek:

is a quote from an article by Matthew Cronin, tennisreportersnet, July 23...

Your thoughts please? :


"Kim Clijsters – who is in the worst slump of her young career – will take the court on Tuesday night against the scrappy Meilen Tu , while her boyfriend, the virus-ridden Lleyton Hewitt, will watch from the sidelines instead of being where he belongs – in L.A. playing the Mercedes-Benz Cup. "

pff :rolleyes:
My thoughts :fiery: :fiery: :fiery: :fiery:
 

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Discussion Starter #6
As of the moment that the news of Lleyton not playing LA came up, I had been wondering how long it would take before a journalist was going to comment on it ... :rolleyes:
 

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I feel like I'm playing catch-up, what with the move from WTA to ATP World. By the way I'm digswing from WTA World. I'm just curious, does anyone else think that reporter's comment about the Mercedes Benz Cup was a sarcastic comment and somehow insinuates that Lleyton's not really sick? Seemed that way to me. Just wondering what you all think.
 

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Virgil said:
I feel like I'm playing catch-up, what with the move from WTA to ATP World. By the way I'm digswing from WTA World. I'm just curious, does anyone else think that reporter's comment about the Mercedes Benz Cup was a sarcastic comment and somehow insinuates that Lleyton's not really sick? Seemed that way to me. Just wondering what you all think.
:wavey:

Yeah I totally agree the comment was just a cheap dig at Lleyton, it makes you wonder y they dnt have anything else better to report on.:rolleyes:
 

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It's so pathetic imagine if he had played in L.A they'd all be putting him down and saying what bad form he's in so he can't win
 

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An extract I picked out from an Article I posted in the CCL

By the way, if Lleyton was sick enough to have to pull out of L.A. with a stomach virus, why was he sitting under an intense sun for more than an hour while Kim played? There were a few spots in shade.
:rolleyes: :rolleyes:
 

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Hewitt a marked man for US Open
| Sports Watch ... 26 July 2002 |

World No.1 Lleyton Hewitt is a marked man heading into next month's US Open.


Talk around the courts at the Mercedes-Benz Cup in Los Angeles centred on how to beat the 21-year-old South Australian at New York's Flushing Meadows.

One of Hewitt's great foes, Gustavo Kuerten, actually admitted he did not give himself much of a chance of toppling the in-form Hewitt at the US Open.

"I think Hewitt is the favourite," three-time French Open champion and former world number one, Kuerten, said.

Kuerten has been plagued by injuries this year and says he won't have the form to challenge Hewitt.

"I don't see myself with much of a chance to make the final," the 25-year-old Brazilian said.

One of America's hopes, Jan-Michael Gambill, named Hewitt the man to beat at the US Open.

"He's obviously the number one threat," Gambill said.

"Lleyton Hewitt is playing the best tennis in the world right now. He only lost two sets at Wimbledon and he probably shouldn't have lost those two sets."

Hewitt was the No.1 seed for this week's tournament in Los Angeles, which is a key warm-up event for the US Open, but he withdrew last week after picking up a stomach virus in Europe.

The Australian baseliner has dominated tennis this year, winning four tournaments including his first Wimbledon title. He also won the US Open last year, his first grand slam.

Hewitt is expected to return to the court next week for another US Open warm-up tournament in Toronto, Canada.

He'll go into the August 26 US Open a hot favourite to retain his title.

Kuerten said another former world No.1, Andre Agassi, had the best chance to knock off Hewitt at the US Open.

Gambill likes his own chances against Hewitt, despite losing to the Australian in all three of their meetings this year.

In their last match in Miami in March, Gambill claimed a set off Hewitt before losing 3-6 6-4 7-5.

"To beat Lleyton you have to get out there and really run him and not hit the ball to him," Gambill said.

"I think I've done it more than anyone else on the tour has.

"The key is to press him and that's what I've done well against him. But his fundamentals are better than anyone else."

Gambill, 25, reached the quarter-finals of the LA tournament with an easy 7-6 6-2 victory over Israel's Noam Okun.

Kuerten had a tougher match to reach the quarters, doing just enough to beat Britain's Martin Lee 7-5 7-6.

Brought to you by AAP.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Here's an article coming from the South African press agency sapa yesterday:

Hewitt back on track

Toronto - Wimbledon champion Lleyton Hewitt faces Spaniard Felix Mantilla in a low-stress return to tennis as top seed starting on Monday at the $2.95 million Masters Series.

The Australian world number one, who has been fighting an infection since claiming his Wimbledon Championships title three weeks ago, has only been back in training for a few days.

Hewitt, with four titles this season and heading into the defence of the first Grand Slam of his career at next month's US Open, needs to kick-start his game on the hardcourts where he shines.

The 21-year-old pulled out of this week's Los Angeles event which begins the North American cement stand due to his fitness problem. But the fighting Aussie will surely have a renewed hunger for the game after his enforced health absence.

"I wasn't able to eat an awful lot. Fruit, sort of milk and water was basically my diet for a few days there," Hewitt said of the bug which seems to plague him regularly but which doctors cannot quite figure out.

"I couldn't have any sort of heavy foods and that was tough. But, now I'm back on track again. I feel like I'm fighting fit at the moment and hopefully I'm able to continue that through this whole American summer now."


END

Hope he doesn't get this problem again!
 

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Discussion Starter #13
And another article:

Source: Canadian Press, July 27, 2002

Canadian court hard for Hewitt to figure

World No.1 can't explain his lack of success at York facility

by Curt Rush

If Lleyton Hewitt, the fastest man in tennis, can run away with the U.S. Open and Wimbledon titles, why has he been so slow to take Canada? That question might haunt the world's No.1 player at the Tennis Masters Canada tournament in Toronto.

Qualifying play runs today and tomorrow. The main draw begins Monday at the National Tennis Centre at York University.

"It's hard to say" why he hasn't advanced past the second round the past two years in Canada, the Aussie said yesterday. It might be because it takes him longer to adjust to the hardcourts after coming off the grass at Wimbledon and maybe it has something to do with the fact that he hasn't peaked until the U.S. Open in late August.

Hewitt, the 2001 U.S. Open champion and 2002 Wimbledon title-holder, comes to Toronto on a 14-match winning streak and as the hottest act in pro tennis — a 5-foot-11 counter-puncher who still has no idea how he's able to track down the fastest serves and groundstrokes in the game.

"I've always been quick," the Aussie said from Stanford, Calif., in a conference call. "I haven't done a hell of a lot of work on it," although he admits to running the occasional wind sprint.

Hewitt, who brings a 39-7 won-lost record into Toronto, will face a strong field at York. "We've got 45 of the top 50 players in the world here," said Stacey Allaster, the tournament director.

"This is our strongest field ever."

Hewitt arrives with health concerns. The 21-year-old came down with a stomach virus after Wimbledon and had to skip the hardcourt tournament this week in Los Angeles. In fact, Hewitt hadn't even picked up a racquet until a few days ago and this will be his first hardcourt tournament of the summer.

After Wimbledon, he put his racquets away and "just wanted to put my feet up and sort of recognize the achievements that I've had." During that time, he also had what he describes as a "letdown feeling," which was later diagnosed as a stomach virus.

With Hewitt's success has come more pressure off the court. And that's something he's adjusting to. "That comes with the territory," he said, adding he wants as few distractions as possible because "I don't want to lose the reason why I became No.1. I don't want to lose sight of working hard, giving 100 per cent."

He calls himself a "driven person. I play with a lot of emotion. That's when I play my best tennis," he said.

Given his temperament and style, Hewitt is most often compared to the scrappy Jimmy Connors. But Hewitt finds he's more similar in style to the quiet, stoic Swede Mats Wilander.

"I play a similar game," Hewitt said. "You know, mainly from the back of the court, not the strongest guy, very quick, very consistent, good returns, good passing shots."

After Toronto, Hewitt will hit tournament stops in Cincinnati and Indianapolis. "It's going to be three extremely tough tournaments," he said.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
And a long last one:

Source: Canadian press, July 26, 2002

Hewitt looks to bounce back from viral infection and resume winning ways

NEIL DAVIDSON

TORONTO (CP) - Lleyton Hewitt hasn't had much success in Canada and he arrives at next week's Tennis Masters Series Canada tournament without having played since winning Wimbledon some three weeks ago.

In between, the 21-year-old Australian was laid low with a bout of viral gastroenteritis, a stomach bug that forced him to withdraw from the Mercedes-Benz Cup in Los Angeles. He only picked up a racket a few days ago. But Hewitt isn't concerned about any lack of focus at the $2.95-million US Canadian stop on the ATP Tour, played on a hard surface as opposed to Wimbledon's grass.

"I'm a very driven person. I'm very competitive and I don't enjoy losing," the world No. 1 said Friday in a conference call. "I'm going to go out there still and be as hungry as ever when I get out on the court."

Hewitt, a second-rounder loser the last two visits to Canada, carries a 14-match winning streak into Toronto. He is 39-7 this season with four titles, helping boost his career bankroll to $7.9 million U.S.

After defeating Argentina's David Nalbandian in straight sets to win Wimbledon, Hewitt said he felt off - "I thought it was just a bit of a letdown feeling."

He waited a week and then saw a doctor while in Belgium, the home to girlfriend Kim Clijsters. The doctor prescribed antibiotics and the lean 5-11 145-pounder, unable to handle most food, made do with fruit, milk and water while getting over the bug.

"I feel better now and hopefully, come Monday or Tuesday when I have to play, I'll be 100 per cent and be able to out everything on the line again."


Still Hewitt acknowledged that Grand Slams are now his No. 1 goal and that everything now is focused on peaking for the U.S. Open.

"When you win a Grand Slam (event), your priorities change," he explained. "You win a Slam, and you get to No. 1 and then the thing that drives you more and more is more Grand Slam. When I set my schedule at the start of the year I write in there with black pen the Davis Cup ties and the four Grand Slams and I work backwards from all the Slams to what the best preparation's going to be for me."

Hewitt attributed his modest showing in Canada the last two years - he was beaten Morocco's Hicham Arazi last year and France's Sebastien Grosjean in 2000 - to the fact he didn't peak each season until the U.S. Open, where he reached the semis in 2000 and won last year.

"It's taken me a little while to adjust from the grass to the hardcourt season," he acknowledged.

Hewitt found the surface in Montreal "lightning quick" last year, saying he preferred the feel of the Toronto courts.

"It should suit my game," he said.

Despite his youth, Hewitt seems comfortable with his perch atop the men's tennis mountain.
Does he think he is the No. 1 player in the world, he was asked?

"At the moment I'm 2,000 points ahead on the (ATP) Entry system and that's the rankings that I go by, on the full 52-year calendar," he said matter of factly. "It's hard to argue at the moment."

Hewitt, blessed with a fine return of serve and plenty of competitive juices, won his first ATP title at 16 in Adelaide.

"I've done everything a little quicker than I think a lot of people have expected," he added.
 

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July 26, 2002

ATP Media Teleconference

LLEYTON HEWITT

GREG SHARKO: Good afternoon to everyone and thank you for joining us for today's conference call with Lleyton Hewitt. Next week Lleyton returns to action in the Tennis Masters Toronto where he'll take his 14-match winning streak into the tournament. This will be Lleyton's first appearance since capturing his second Grand Slam title at Wimbledon on July 7th. Following Toronto, Lleyton will play the Western and Southern Financial Group Masters in Cincinnati, followed by the RCA Championships in Indianapolis. For the season, Lleyton Hewitt has a 39-7 match record with four titles, the Siebel Open in San Jose, Pacific Life Open in Indian Wells, Queen's Club in London and, of course, the Wimbledon championships, becoming the first Aussie to win there since Pat Cash in 1987. So thank you again for joining in on the call and at this time I will open it up for questions.

Q. I wondered if you could tell us how you're feeling since you withdrew from Los Angeles because of a viral problem. Can you tell us how you feel?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, I feel a little bit better now. Yeah, I didn't pick up a racquet until a couple of days ago. You know, sort of got it pretty much straight after Wimbledon. Pretty much a letdown feeling. I probably waited a week or so to see a doctor, and then, you know, I'd been speaking to doctors back in Australia. Then when I was in Belgium, I went and saw the doctor and they prescribed some antibiotics for me that I had to take at the time. I couldn't do any exercise at all. So it was obviously disappointing. You know, I feel like I'm better now. I feel fresh at the moment. Hopefully come Monday or Tuesday when I have to play, I'll be a hundred percent and, you know, be able to put everything on the line again.

Q. Did you lose any weight? What kind of effect has it left you with?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, I don't think so. You know, I wasn't able to eat an awful lot. Ate pretty much fruit, sort of milk and water was basically my diet for a few days there. I couldn't have any sort of heavy foods or anything, and that was tough. But, you know, now I'm sort of back on track again. You know, I feel like, you know, I'm fighting fit at the moment and hopefully I'm able to continue that, you know, through this whole American summer now.

Q. Do you feel having missed LA, that will put your training back? Obviously, you would have loved to play LA to get that match toughness on the hard courts again. What will it be like playing your first hard court tournament after Wimbledon?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, it's always going to be tough. Last couple of years I don't think I've peaked really until the US Open. You know, the Canadian and Cincinnati and Indianapolis, I haven't played my best tennis I haven't felt the last couple of years, and it's taken me a little while to adjust from the grass to the hard court season. You know, come US Open the last couple years, I've peaked pretty much. I couldn't play much better, you know, making a semi and then going on and winning it last year. You know, sure, that was my plan, to play LA and get more matches. You know, I've got to reschedule now. Now I want to get as many matches as I can before the US Open. It's a good place to start. It's going to be still three extremely tough tournaments. I'll need to go out there and, you know, get all the matches and the match toughness before going into The Open again.

Q. Why has Canada not been a good place for you to put up some victories?

LLEYTON HEWITT: It's hard to say. You know, I like playing there. But, you know, the court surface, I felt last year, was just lightning quick in Montreal, the court surface. It was hard coming off the grass and, you know, trying to get some rhythm back on hard court with the courts being so quick. I didn't find two years ago when I played in Toronto that being the case. You know, I'm looking forward to getting back there. You know, it should suit my game. It's really hard to say. You know, as I said before, it's taken me a little bit of time to, you know, get my footwork, get everything clicking again on the hard courts. You know, I've started in Toronto the last couple years, and maybe that's the reason why. You know, I can't do much about it this year. I was hoping to play LA and get some matches coming into two Masters Series events. Too late now. It's a minor setback. But I still feel like I'm fresh enough to do well.

Q. How long were you off the court with your virus? Was it the week after Wimbledon you stopped practicing pretty much?

LLEYTON HEWITT: I haven't practiced -- I didn't practice until about, you know, two days ago. Didn't pick up a racquet. What's that, two, two and a half weeks I guess after Wimbledon. Two and a half weeks, about that.

Q. A general question about men's tennis. I know Venus was quoted a few weeks ago saying she doesn't think it's very exciting. What do you think about it?

LLEYTON HEWITT: I think it's pretty good. Obviously, I'm sitting on the top of it at the moment. But there's a lot of young guys coming up. It's sort of that transition period, I guess, where, you know, people are going to have to start getting used to a lot of younger names that maybe people haven't heard of yet coming up and winning big tournaments. You know, it's not just this year that it's happened. You see Kuerten coming out and winning three French Opens the last three or four years, you've got Costa winning, that's a new name, on the clay you've got Ferrero pushing every time, Safin and myself winning Slams on hard courts and now myself on grass at Wimbledon, Roger Federer winning big tournaments on clay. There's a lot of young guys coming up. Roddick is another one, you know, an American. Sort of the ATP has been trying to get this whole next generation, changing the guard sort of thing going, I think at least a year and a half or so now. You know, it's slowly starting to happen. I think the public and the media have got to come to expect that. Obviously Sampras and Agassi, who you've seen so much at the top of the game for so many years now, you know, age is a factor. There's nothing much you can do about that. I still think they've got good matches left in them, no doubt about that, a lot of good tournaments left in them. But whether they're going to be around in five years' time, that's another question.

Q. Following up on that last question, the state of men's tennis, the parity, depth and balance, what do you think has gone into this? You're No. 1. Is it as hard to dominate now as ever? Anyone can kind of beat anyone?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, for sure. You know, you've got to be on your game. I think we all have seen that probably more so in the Australian Open earlier in the year and also, you know, at Wimbledon this year where anyone can beat anyone on any given day on any surface these days. You know, it's seven tough matches. You know, we don't get the 40-minute matches going through to the quarterfinal. It's as simple as that. Going into -- at the French Open, I was playing matches, you know, four hours long against qualifiers in the second and third round. You know, the type of depth that's in men's tennis at the moment. You know, that's why there's a lot of new names that I think the public, you know, haven't really seen a lot of coming out and, you know, making Round of 16s and quarterfinals in big tournaments these days.

Q. I think around the world after the last 12 months you've gotten a lot of respect for everything that you've done, appreciation, all that. How are things back home? I know the media in Australia are still somewhat slow to warm to you. You're always probably going to be compared to Patrick Rafter. How has the reception been back home lately?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Well, you know, I haven't been back since February basically, since the start of the year. So, you know, I'm not sure at the moment. But, you know, every time I go back home, it's an incredible reception. You know, the public is all over me back home. You know, it's a great feeling to have. Whenever I have to play a Davis Cup tie there or the whole Australian summer during January, it's an incredible feeling. It's my favorite time of the year, to go back and play in front of, you know, friends and family back there and get the reception that I've got, you know, every time I step on the tennis court. You know, even with some of the awards that I won, how well I did last year, you know, that means a lot, you know, to win a lot of people's choice awards and stuff like this. That really means a lot to me because that's coming, you know, not from any judges, you know, that's coming from the public. I think that means more than anything.

Q. Now that you are No. 1, is there any more pressure or expectation that you are sort of the main ambassador for tennis in dealings with the public, media, things like that?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Oh, I don't know. I'm sure there's a lot more things that I have to do. That comes with the territory. There's not a lot you can do about it. You've got to, you know, deal with it as well as possible. But, you know, also I don't want to lose the reason why I, you know, got to No. 1. I've won two Slams already at the age of 21. That's because I go out there and I don't want to lose sight of working hard, giving a hundred percent, not only in all my matches but on the practice court, as well. That's one of the main reasons why I think I've been able to get here and have so many big wins at such a young age.

Q. You have the No. 1 ranking, you won two of the last four Slams. Do you think you're definitely the No. 1 player in the world right now? You talked about how wide open it is. Do you think you are No. 1?

LLEYTON HEWITT: I think at the moment, you know, I'm 2000 points ahead on the entry system. That's the rankings that I go by. At the moment, you know, it's hard to argue I think. I've come out, had an incredible run basically since the US Open last year, then came home, obviously got the chicken pox at the start of the year, which was tough, especially in the Australian Open, one of the tournaments I'd love to do well in. Then I came over and felt like, you know, I played some of my best tennis. You know, I won most of my matches here in San Jose, Indian Wells, Miami, first two tournaments making the semis. Clay court season I played pretty well, not bad. Then since then I've won 14 matches on grass. It's sort of hard to argue with my performance basically since the US Open last year.

Q. When you look at these tournaments like Toronto and Cincinnati, Indianapolis, are you more focused on results or are you trying to prepare for the US Open? What's your focus going into those?

LLEYTON HEWITT: There's no doubt that it's mainly the US Open. You know, when you win a Grand Slam, your priorities change. You know, you win a Slam and you get to No. 1, the thing that drives you more and more is more Grand Slams. So when I set my schedule at the start of the year, I write in there with black pen the Davis Cup ties and the four Grand Slams, and I work backwards from all the Slams to what the best preparation is going to be for me. You know, I go out there, though, every time I step on the court and give everything I've got. But at the end of the day, I'm not going to get discouraged by if I do have an early loss, you know, in one or a couple of these next tournaments, as long as I'm peaking in four weeks' time basically.

Q. You seem to be pretty pleased with how you're perceived, your accomplishments. I'm wondering if you feel that you've gained the notoriety you should have for winning Wimbledon and being No. 1, especially because tennis doesn't seem to be as big a sport as it was maybe 15 years ago?

LLEYTON HEWITT: You know, I don't know. I haven't even -- you know, everywhere I've gone, it's been fine. I really haven't, you know, looked at too many things around the world since Wimbledon. I sort of stuck to myself. I've enjoyed it with family and friends. You know, from what I've heard, I can't argue with the sort of support and the congratulations that I've got from around the world. You know, to me it's been great.

Q. Do you think tennis should do anything to become more popular or are there just so many sports going on at the same time now that everyone seeks its level and that's it? Can tennis become more popular than it is?

LLEYTON HEWITT: I'm sure it can. You know, I don't have reasons off the top of my head how they can really do it. You know, I'm sure you can get more and more popular, try and get more people to come to matches and make it more public friendly, I guess. But, you know, I think, you know, there's been a few changes over the last few years that have tried to help in that way. I think, you know, the more we try and get the names of the younger guys who are going to be, you know, holding the stature of tennis up, you know, the next five to 10 years, the more you can get those names out in the spotlight and out in the public, you know, names that you haven't heard of, Robredo, Federer, Ferrero, these kind of names out there, the better off I think the game is going to be.

Q. Have you reached No. 1 and won the Grand Slam events that you've won quicker than you expected? When you're 15, 16 years old, everyone has a dream, but sometimes that's just a dream.

LLEYTON HEWITT: No doubt. You know, when I was 15, I was still playing junior tournaments in Australia, satellites. If you told me that five, six years ago that I was going to be in this situation now, you know, No. 1 in the world, won two Grand Slams, US Open and Wimbledon, then going to try and finish the year No. 1 for two years in a row, I would have told you you're joking. I've come on I think a lot quicker than a lot of people probably expected. You know, a lot's got to do with the hard work and I think self-belief, as well. I've taken it a step at a time and I think I've done everything, even winning my first ATP title at Adelaide, I've done everything a little bit quicker than a lot of people have expected. So it's a little bit surprising to me. But also I don't get wrapped up in winning my first title at 16 and then sort of be done with it. I've always wanted to keep improving and try and take that next step and try and, you know, find bigger goals to go for.

Q. Was there one tournament or one match that you played that you realized you could accomplish this, not just hope you would accomplish this?

LLEYTON HEWITT: I don't know if there's one match. Not till you're actually playing that one match for it, you know, the US Open final against Sampras last year, until you're actually in that position where you're one match away, a few sets away from winning a Grand Slam, I don't think deep down you can actually realize that, "I'm going to be a Grand Slam champion." Until I actually got that match against Rafter, I had to play in Sydney playing for the -- to finish No. 1 last year, I'd never even really thought about getting to No. 1. Even after I won the Grand Slam, I was happy with the Grand Slam, and I didn't even go around chasing points at the end of the year too much to try and finish the year No. 1. I just went out there in every match and, you know, gave a hundred percent. If it fell my way, it fell my way.

Q. You talked about how winning a Grand Slam changes your life. Has life changed for you after the Wimbledon win? Getting offers, people wanting more of you?

LLEYTON HEWITT: A little bit. I tried after Wimbledon just, you know, putting the racquets away, basically putting the phone away as well for a few weeks, chilling out with my friends and family basically, not doing a hell of a lot. You know, I just wanted to put my feet up and sort of recognize the achievements that I've had, not only over Wimbledon but also over the last, you know, year or so because I really had very little time to reflect on all those big matches that I played. Since then, I'm not sure. Obviously, you get a lot more demands to do interviews and media stuff, to be places. You know, that comes with winning another Grand Slam, winning such a big Grand Slam, as well. You know, in Australia, Wimbledon I think is perceived as the biggest one in the world.

Q. Is focus going to be a bit of a problem?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Oh, I don't think so. I'm a very driven person, I guess. I'm very competitive. I don't enjoy losing. So I'm going to go out there still and be as hungry as ever when I get out on the court. You know, I'm still going to take that same motivation into every match that I step on the court.

Q. Your win at Wimbledon proved that quickness still reigns despite the power in the game. Talk about your quickness and what do you do to work on it? Do you think this is a model for other people who don't have the big power? Can you rely on quickness?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, well, you know, I think for sure. Look at me and take me as a role model just as I've looked at Andre Agassi and Michael Chang over the years, as well. You know, it's great to sort of counter-punch those big servers now and then. There's obviously a lot more of the bigger guys, Safin, Philippoussis, Sampras guys around. I've took advantage from looking at a guy like Agassi do well, you know, 10 years ago at Wimbledon, winning from the back of the court there. I decided not to change my game. Really, I go out there and I play my game, I return extremely well on grass, it puts a lot of pressure on the other guy's serve. I've been able to work on my serve a little bit, get a few more cheaper points, it helps on grass. You know, working on my speed, I really haven't done a hell of a lot to work on it. I've always been pretty quick. I do some wind sprints, stuff in the gym now and then. But, you know, you don't get that much time off to try and do it consistently week-in and week-out.

Q. Last time I saw you you had the hat backwards as a superstition. You've taken it off. Can you tell me the reason why? Will we continue to see you have this at the tournaments?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Have to wait and see how hot it is. I might have to wear it forwards. I've never really been superstitious. I just preferred to wear it backwards at the time. I took it off, I was getting a bit sick of wearing a hat. I don't know even why I did it. I cut my hair a bit shorter as well, which helped. (LMAO! :p)

Q. It seems like everyone makes a comparison when they try to describe you and your game, groundstrokes like Borg, intensity of Connors, style of Chang. Do you hear a lot of that? Do you mind that? Do you have someone in particular you modeled your game after?

LLEYTON HEWITT: You know, I hear it, but it doesn't really worry me either way. You know, if I win as many Slams as Borg, I'll be extremely happy. You know, I never really modeled my game after everyone. I enjoyed Mats Wilander, though. I play a little bit similar game to Mats on the court. You know, mainly from the back of the court, not the strongest guy, very quick, very consistent, good returns, good passing shots. He's probably one player that I probably liked watching as much as anyone, I think.

Q. If you modeled your game after him, he was still more the calm and cool guy, you kind of thrive on your emotions. Is that the key difference to Wilander?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Yeah, well, I just -- I play with a lot of emotion. You know, that's when I play my best tennis. I get fired up when I feel like I have to get fired up, and after a big point. If you watched, even Tim Henman was getting pretty fired up at Wimbledon this year. I think a lot more people are getting fired up on the court these days.

GREG SHARKO: Thanks, everyone, for joining us. Lleyton, thank you for your time. Have a good trip over to Toronto. Good luck this summer.

LLEYTON HEWITT: Thanks, mate.
 

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07/28/02

Lleyton Hewitt Thrills Fans

They screamed. They cheered. Lleyton Hewitt, the world's No. 1 player, was greeted like a rock star at Lever 2000 Day when he appeared Sunday for a question and answer session at the 2002 Tennis Masters Canada.

The fiery Australian and Wimbledon champ spent 15-minutes on the Main Stage, signing autographs while he answered fans' questions.

Clearly, Hewitt is as articulate off court as he is magical on it. Here's what he said: Asked whether he ever considered changing careers, he answered: "No, things are going alright at the moment. It was my dream to get to No. 1 in the world at the age of 21. " What was his first reaction after winning Wimbledon? "It was relief it was over. Two weeks is a long time with seven best-of-five matches."

What is his favorite city or tennis stadium? "Adelaide, my hometown. I haven't been home since February and it's nice to be able to sleep in your own bed and put your feet up. As for the stadium. Wimbledon Centre Court is a nice play to play with great atmosphere and a lot of tradition."

On whether it's hard to keep his relationship going with women's tennis star Kim Clijsters because they both travel so much, he responded: "Yeah, it's tough. But we try to play as many tournaments as we can together. And then we have weeks off. In one way it's easy because we both know the pressure of being in the top five in the world at such a young age."

How does he feel about so much travel? "You get sick of it," he said. "But getting better at tennis is one of the things that drives you on." Finally he was asked, what style of player does he like to play. "It doesn't matter really. I like to play guys with a big serve who attack me and those who stand back and rally. I find it easy to adjust to all surfaces."
 

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Shock first round exit for Hewitt in Toronto
By Steve Keating

TORONTO (Reuters) - World number one Lleyton Hewitt has crashed out 2-6 6-4 6-3 to 55th-ranked Felix Mantilla of Spain in the opening round of the $2.95 million Canada Tennis Masters.

The 21-year-old Australian, who has spent the last three weeks basking in the glow of his Wimbledon triumph, could not shake off the rust as he began the hardcourt season and the build-up to his U.S. Open title defence with a stunning defeat.

"It's tough to come out and play your first match on hardcourt after three weeks off," said Hewitt.

"I wasn't expecting heaps coming in here but I would have liked to get a few more matches in and get a little more match tough for the American hardcourt season. But he played extremely well, a lot better than I expected."

The top seed broke Mantilla's serve to go 2-1 up and again to lead 5-2 before serving out the opening set. But Mantilla hit back to take a 5-4 lead in the second before heavy rain forced a two-hour delay.

When the players returned to the floodlit court Mantilla, who has advanced beyond the second round just once in his last 16 tournaments, claimed the decisive break to level the match at one set apiece.

In the third set, Hewitt held serve only once as Mantilla registered his second career win over a world number one.
 

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LLEYTON HEWITT

PRESS CONFERENCE/CONFERENCE DE PRESSE

MATCH:

SCORE/RESULTAT:

MONDAY, JULY 29, 2002/LUNDI 29 JUILLET 2002

AN INTERVIEW WITH:

LLEYTON HEWITT

TOUR OFFICIAL: All right. Questions.

REPORTER: Lleyton, how much was him and how much was you?

LLEYTON HEWITT: He played extremely well. He played a little better than I thought he would play especially on High Court. His first week on hard court as well. It was very humid conditions out there tonight as well which obviously I think helped him the heavier it was. You know I came into net -- I actually felt like I hit the ball cleanly out there and I came into net, you know, a lot more times than I probably normally would on a High Court as well and I actually felt like I volleyed pretty well out there and, yeah, he just -- he stood back. The balls are heavy. Yeah the ... (Inaudible) ... Of balls we used and the conditions were very -- there was a lot of moisture in the air which didn't quite suit, you know, me matching up against him.

REPORTER: The fitness factor -- anything from last week or previously still with you?

LLEYTON HEWITT: It would have been nice to have another day like I requested but I can't do much about it now. You know it was -- it was always going to be tough to come out and the first match on High Court after, you know, three weeks off and only picking up the racket a couple of days ago and, you know, I really didn't expect a hole heap coming in here but, you know, obviously I would have liked to have played a few more matches and got a bit more match tough going into the whole American summer but, you know, at the end of the day the U.S. Open is a big one for me and, you know, as long as I'm -- I have hit my strokes by then then I'll be happy.

REPORTER: Lleyton, what were you told when you asked for not to play on the first day? Did they tell you right away that you had to play on Day One?

LLEYTON HEWITT: No. I found out at 7:eek:0 o'clock on the golf course last night --

REPORTER: Really?

LLEYTON HEWITT: -- when I rang up to find out if my practice partner was playing or not. I was pretty happy with that.

REPORTER: Lleyton, what about the rain delay? How did that affect the momentum? I mean that's a -- that seemed to change everything.

LLEYTON HEWITT: In some ways it did. In some ways it -- probably the bigger thing for me was 6 -2, 4 -3 break. You know I sort of weathered the storm. He'd come out and play great tennis at the start of the second set and I was able to sort of put that behind me and I worked my way back in the match. I grinded it out and I got to 4-3 up a break. And I don't know if you remember but, you know, the first point I hit a good first serve. I came in on a backhand. He sort of hit a half flick, you know, looking the other way sort of pass me and, you know, that was a huge turning point I think because I double-faulted the next point and that gave him the momentum from then and even though it was 5-4, you know, when we went into the rain delay, it sort of had turned a little bit the momentum. He was sort of, you know, hanging his head at 4-3 set in a breakdown and he was able to -- you know, he'd come back and to his credit he kept fighting it out and he played the better tennis.

REPORTER: What was the mental thing between being on Centre Court at Wimbledon and here in Canada? How do you try to come back after such a big high?

LLEYTON HEWITT: It's obviously a lot different but, you know, there is no doubt that me in particular get up for bigger matches and it is easier to get up for bigger matches, especially coming out after the rain delay, and the crowd is half full out there and trying to play. It's harder but that's when you have got to be still be able to win on this set of court or Wimbledon. Yeah, the court is still the same.

REPORTER: Lleyton, did he surprise you at all at how well he played tonight? He said tonight that he was even shocked about the level that he played at this evening because it seemed that you would give him a great rally. He would somehow find a way of returning what you gave him.

LLEYTON HEWITT: He played it extremely well as I said before but the conditions really helped him I think. He stood firmly (Ph) behind the baseline and he ran down everything. I actually felt like I hit the ball pretty clean from the back of the court. The court was -- you know maybe if we were playing in Montreal where there is lightning quick courts like last year then I might have had a bit better chance.

REPORTER: How does this affect your overall preparation for the American summer? What are you -- what are you going to change or what can you -- you know what would be the logistics sort of be doing?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Not a lot. I have done pretty shitty(LMAO :p) in Canada every year and then I've gone on and made the semis in the U.S., you know, and won it. I actually felt like I saw the ball well out there. I was hitting it clean enough and, you know, I didn't win the big points. I had a lot of breakpoints. Even in that last game I had chances to break back and, you know, serve to stay in the match again and I wasn't able to do it and you come to, you know, U.S. Open time and, you know, I have got to be able to play the big points better because you get in those tough five set matches and there are only one or two points here or there and yet you can go from -- you know take an example the Roddick match last year there was probably only two or three points in it and I was able to get over that hurdle and then I went on to win it so, you know, I think taking your chances in the big matches is going to be the biggest difference hopefully.

REPORTER: Your mystery fitness problems that comes and goes, does that detract in any way from your preparation, or mentally, or anything like that but obviously it would be good to get it behind you but do you live with it?

LLEYTON HEWITT: Well, I can't do much about it. I am trying as hard as I can and I have been able to block it out pretty well in the big tournaments. I think I have been pretty mentally tough in the big time and have been able to deal with it and it hasn't affected me especially in the U.S. Open last year and Wimbledon this year so I can't see why it would be any different in three or four weeks time in New York.

REPORTER: One last question. At the Cincinnati and Indianapolis, what would be your goals or what would be your realistic preparation for -- what you obviously want to do is get back to the Open in great shape.

LLEYTON HEWITT: I just want to be hitting the ball well I think by the end of those two tournaments. I'm not going to -- I would love to win them -- win the tournaments and have that confidence of match hard, you know, match toughness under your belt going in and the confidence of sort of being in a winning feeling as well but, you know, I think if I gradually just improve day-by-day for the next week or so, then I'll give myself a good chance of doing well in Cincinatti and Indianapolis. Hopefully I'll get a few more matches under my belt than I did here then.

TOUR OFFICIAL: Any other questions?

Okay. Thanks.
 

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Hewitt in, Scud maybe for Davis Cup tie
Thursday, 1 August, 2002 - Tennis Australia

ADELAIDE, Aug 1 AAP - Lleyton Hewitt is a confirmed starter for next month's Davis Cup clash with India, but Mark Philippoussis is yet to declare his availability for the relegation play-off.

Cup team captain John Fitzgerald said world No.1 Hewitt was thrilled at the opportunity to play the September 20-22 tie in his hometown of Adelaide, on the Memorial Drive centre court he regards as his own. "He wants to come home," Fitzgerald told reporters at Memorial Drive today.

"He feels that this court at Memorial Drive is almost like playing in his backyard, he hasn't lost a lot of matches on this court over the years. It was the site where he won his first ATP tour event when he was 16, he beat (Andre) Agassi that week, he loves this court.

"He's keen to come here and he is going to play unless there's something catastrophic that happens between now and the end of the US Open."
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Re Lleyton's fine at Cincinnati:

Here's an article in Australian newspaper The Daily Telegraph about the issue:

Dummy spit may cost Lleyton $370,000
By PAUL MALONE, 08aug02
AN angry Lleyton Hewitt threatened to default a match in the rich Tennis Masters Series yesterday when his running battle with the media culminated in a fine which could reach $370,000.

Tennis' ultimate competitor considered boycotting his first round match in Cincinnati because of a fine which will be a minimum of $37,764 or half of his prizemoney, whichever is greater.
Hewitt could recieve as much as $740,180 if he wins the tournament.

Facing a possible $370,000 fine ... Australia's world No 1 tennis player Lleyton Hewitt during his 6-0 6-0 drubbing of US qualifier Robbie Ginepri in the Tennis Masters Series in Cincinnati.
ATP Tour spokesman JJ Carter said Hewitt had been told before the match he would be fined for not fulfilling a compulsory pre-tournament interview for the US tournament's host broadcast network ESPN.

Tour sources said the Wimbledon champion had first been requested to give the network an interview as far back as last Wednesday and had been asked again on Sunday and Monday before his first round match early yesterday (Sydney time).

Under the ATP Tour's "Stars" program to promote the sport and make players better known, every player at every tournament can be asked to provide a maximum of two hours per tournament for sponsor commitments, junior clinics or interviews on top of mandatory post-match conferences.
It is compulsory for players to be available as a condition of playing in a tournament.

A default from his first round match would have brought Hewitt a second fine for a late withdrawal from the tournament and he reconsidered.

Hewitt said he had offered to do the interview five minutes before beginning a 6-0 6-0 demolition of American qualifier Robby Ginepri but was told the timing would not suit the network.

"In the end, I wasn't going to walk on the court. " said Hewitt, who took his sense of injustice out on Ginepri in a match lasting 41 minutes. If I am going to be fined for going out, what is the point of me going out to play? I have never, ever done an interview before I play a match.
"My head was actually spinning before I went out and I'm surprised I didn't do what (Ginepri) did and miss every ball.
"They first asked me in the days leading up (to the tournament) and I said: 'No, I'm not doing it. I've done all my other stuff before and I've got all these other requests that I'm doing'. Then they throw another one at me and tried to make out that I've got to do this, otherwise I'm going to get fined."

Hewitt said he did not want to be like other players who do "not give 100 per cent" on court.

If Hewitt takes out the Cincinnati final on Monday morning (AEST), his winner's cheque would be $740,180 and his fine would be $370,090. The fine, which has drawn instant criticism from tennis observers for its size, can be appealed by Hewitt to an ATP board of chairmen.

Carter said the board could decide whether or not to reduce the fine. A $370,090 penalty would be 65 times what Russian Marat Safin was fined for not trying in a 2000 Australian Open defeat and 196 times the penalty imposed on Czech firebrand Michal Tabara for spitting at opponent Justin Gimelstob at the 2001 US Open.

It would also be 196 times the amount Hewitt was fined for "abuse" in the French Open when he called a linesman a "spastic".
Hewitt's fine yesterday is part of what has been interpreted as a crackdown on the top male players in their obligations to the sport and the fans. Andre Agassi was fined $148,837 for being a late withdrawal from Tennis Masters Canada tournament last week.

Hewitt said he could understand why the organisers of the Women's Tennis Association Tour were thought by some people to be "going stronger than the ATP at the moment. And I can't blame them."

The dispute with his own tour will consolidate Hewitt's reputation internationally as a prickly personality, despite his welcome and improved on-court behaviour over the past 12 months.
The crackdown on Hewitt and Agassi shows the ATP particularly wants to build the international profile of its nine-event Tennis Masters Series, of which Cincinnati is part.

Agassi, 32, said on Monday he was no longer able to play four weeks of tournaments in a row anymore, hence his withdrawal from the Toronto event last week a day after winning in California. "I don't think it's a great rule by any means," he said.
Tour insiders cannot remember a fine as high as the maximum fine Hewitt faces.

WHY MAKE HEWITT A SCAPEGOAT COMMENT

by PAUL MALONE

FOUR weeks ago, Lleyton Hewitt set out his terms for what sort of world No. 1 he wanted to be. Yesterday, the ATP Tour fined him for it.
"I've got to think about what it took to get me to No. 1 in the world. And I'm not going to go trying to change everything just because I'm No. 1," Hewitt said in a Wimbledon victory press conference.

In Hewitt's mind, this week, of all weeks, would have been when he needed to concentrate on his tennis.
He was coming off a stomach virus which forced his withdrawal from one tournament and left him so short of match practice in the next that he lost his first match.

It's Hewitt's single-minded determination that made yesterday's collision with the ATP inevitable. The fine, of up to 50 per cent of Hewitt's Cincinnati prizemoney, is excessive and must be reduced on appeal.

Czech Michal Tabara was fined 10 per cent of his prizemoney, or $1888, by Grand Slam officials for spitting at an opponent at the US Open last year.

If the ATP Tour is trying to engender a greater responsibility among top players, it is fighting the right war, even if it seems to have turned its heaviest artillery on the wrong man.

It's the inconsistency in fines in a sport which has made abuse of officials an artform. It's a bad state of affairs for the ATP Tour to be at loggerheads with a player who is looking like a dominant No 1 and it is in the interests of both the tour and Hewitt to find common ground on the question of what media access he should permit in future.

TENNIS FINES – HOW THEY HAVE RANGED

August 2002: Lleyton Hewitt fined between $37,764 and $370,090 for not doing an interview
July 2002: Andre Agassi fined $148,837 for withdrawing from 2002 Tennis Masters Canada without an injury
January 2000: Marat Safin fined $5665 for not trying in 2000 Australian Open defeat
September 2001: Michal Tabara fined $1888 for spitting at opponent at 2001 US Open
May 2001: Hewitt fined $1888 for abusing an on-court official during 2001 French Open
*All sums of money expressed in Australian dollars
 
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