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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Disappointing that Lleyton lost today againt Tsonga, but hopefully he'll do 2 rounds better at Sydney :)

Just to start this thread a few Sydney articles.

Tennis greats open new look Sydney Olympic Park

Tennis greats Tony Roche and Lleyton Hewitt joined the NSW Minister for Sport and Recreation, Graham West, to officially open the new-look Sydney Olympic Park Tennis Centre today.

During the past four months all 16 courts at the Centre have been resurfaced with two-tone blue Plexicushion. Reflecting the colour change from green to a sea of blue, the trio cut a blue ribbon net on the Centre Court during the opening ceremony.

The first major tournament to be played on the Centre's new courts will be the prestigious Medibank International from January 6 – 12, which will feature the world's top tennis stars including Lleyton Hewitt, James Blake, Carlos Moya, Richard Gasquet, Justine Henin, Svetlana Kuznetsova, Jelena Jankovic and Ana Ivanovic.

Until December 22, the courts will be utilised by the National Academy (Sydney); Sydney Olympic Park Tennis Centre Members; players enrolled in coaching programs and members of the local community who simply want a social hit. The courts will then be closed to the public, reopening after the Medibank International.

Mr West said the refurbishment confirms the status of Sydney Olympic Park Tennis Centre as the premier tennis facility in NSW.

“This is a state-of-the-art transformation that gives NSW one of the finest tennis facilities in the world,” Mr West said. “Since these courts were first opened for the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games, the people of NSW have enjoyed both playing here and watching the world's best in action. The refurbishment of the Centre continues the standard of excellence and sets the benchmark for the future of the sport of tennis in NSW.

“The NSW Government is a proud partner of the Medibank International. This prestigious tournament is a major event televised around the world.”

Tennis NSW Chairman Steve Healy said all tennis players will benefit from the transformation of Sydney Olympic Park Tennis Centre.

“Our new courts are not just for champions, players of all ages and abilities can experience Australia's favourite sport at Sydney Olympic Park Tennis Centre,” Mr Healy said. “I am sure there are many tennis players who will be keen to have a hit on the new surface before the stars arrive in January and, like the elite players, they will benefit from the advantages of the new surface, such as the consistency in pace and bounce. Long term, the implications are significant for the development of tennis, particularly for our juniors and our stars of the future who train at the Centre with the National Academy Sydney.”

Medibank International Tournament Director Craig Watson said the resurfacing of Sydney Olympic Park Tennis Centre was part of national Tennis Australia initiative which aims to provide a consistent playing surface across the nation and create the best possible playing conditions for players and fans alike.

“The great advantage of Plexicushion is its consistency in pace and bounce,” Mr Watson said. “This means players at the Medibank International will experience the same conditions here in Sydney as they will when they go to Melbourne the following week for the Australian Open, which will also be played on Plexicushion for the first time in 2008. The advantage of this consistency extends to all players of all levels.”

Plexicushion is a cushioned acrylic surface that creates a medium-to-fast paced court and an even level of bounce, both of which are consistent across all courts. It will also retain less heat because it contains less rubber.

The development of the new courts follows months of testing and consultation with players about both the surface and the colour.

The fresh and contemporary new blue colours - a darker tone for the court itself, surrounded by a lighter tone - will make it easier for players and fans to see the ball. Players favoured the two-tone colour as their depth perception can be confused by a single tone.

 

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Re: Lleyton's 'Aussie summer and other 2008 season tournaments' thread

Seven of top 25 men to play Medibank International

SYDNEY: The Medibank International today announced a strong line-up of men players for the 2008 tournament to be played at Sydney Olympic Tennis Centre from January 6 - 12. The men’s draw will be headed by two world ten players - Richard Gasquet who is coming off his best year and Tommy Robredo.

“I am delighted to be able to welcome back these two great talents,” Tournament Director Craig Watson said. “Recently the tournament announced four time champion Lleyton Hewitt, two-time defending champion James Blake as well as Richard Gasquet, who has reached a world ranking of eight and for the first time in his career ended the season as a top ten player.”

Recently Gasquet qualified for the Tennis Masters Cup for the very first time where he stretched world number two Rafael Nadal to three tense sets and then overwhelmed world number three Novak Djokovic.

For Robredo, currently ranked ten, it has also been a solid year that saw him equal his career best ranking of five, he won two titles and reached the final of another two.

James Blake and Lleyton Hewitt will garner much public attention with their entries. They have squared off against one another a few times and invariably the tennis has been brilliant. Blake has only just ended the tennis year as he helped lead the United States to victory over Russia in the Davis Cup final held in Portland, Oregon.

The world number 13 commented from Portland that he was certainly looking forward to defending his title and about the potential of facing Hewitt in Sydney.

“It’s an important tournament for me as the defending champion,” Blake said. “I love playing in Sydney with the crowds there, they have always been very supportive, I’m sure it’ll be a bit different if I have to play Lleyton but that’s the way it is. I’m not thinking of that right now, there are too many good players around and Sydney is always a strong field, if it happens that I have to play Lleyton then I’ll work on a plan at that time.

“I think when Lleyton and I play each other, it tends to bring out the best in both of us. It’s a great match up and I think the fans really enjoy the tennis we both play. We’re both really competitive and not going to give the other one any opportunities - but that also goes for anyone you play.

“I’ve beaten him and he’s beaten me,” Blake continued. “We’ve had some really close matches as well and that sort of tennis creates quite an atmosphere for the fans. We had some incredible matches at the US Open and at the Australian Open and I look forward to playing Lleyton if things happen that way, but I also look forward to playing whoever I have in the draw.”

Blake will be coming to Sydney riding the crest of America’s Davis Cup victory and the vital role he played. He said: “It makes this the best year on tour ever. This by far is the best year of my career. I’m ready to put in the hard work and compete with all the guys.”

Craig Watson extended his congratulations to James on what is another important victory for his career with the Davis Cup and added: “We look forward to seeing him defending the title he won last January in such a close match against Carlos Moya. Maybe we’ll get to see the Blake-Hewitt rivalry continue in Sydney - if that occurs it will be their first meeting in Sydney.

“I can also say that the world’s best doubles team and the duo that sealed the Davis Cup for the USA last weekend, Bob and Mike Bryan, have also committed to playing in Sydney.

The Medibank International could now be considered Lleyton Hewitt’s “home event” seeing that he lives in Sydney. Just like Blake who is chasing a milestone of three consecutive titles, Hewitt is looking to eclipse another record and become the first man since John Bromwich to win this title five times.

The Czech player Tomas Berdych has the game to rattle any player and he has career wins over some of the biggest in tennis including Roger Federer. Carlos Moya remains as popular with tennis fans today as he did more than a decade ago when he broke onto the scene. The Spaniard first reached the final in 1998 and then against last January. Another player in the line-up who has done well at the Medibank International is Igor Andreev; the Russian was a finalist in 2006.

“When you look at all the names and nationalities on the entry list, the Medibank International really lives up to his name as a truly international tournament as ten different countries are represented with the direct acceptances,” said Watson.

The cut-off for the men’s main draw (listed on following page) is a very impressive 47 with the Austrian Stefan Koubek last in.

Here’s a look at the Medibank International men stars (prize money listed is in US dollars):

RICHARD GASQUET
COUNTRY: France
RANK: 8
AGE: 21
CAREER TITLES: 5
2007 TITLES: 1
2007 HIGHLIGHTS: Won Mumbai, Final Tokyo, Estoril, SF Wimbledon, Medibank International, ATP Masters Paris
CAREER PRIZE MONEY: $3,054,677
2007 PRIZE MONEY: $1,284,790

TOMMY ROBREDO
COUNTRY: Spain
RANK: 10
AGE: 25
CAREER TITLES: 6
2007 TITLES: 2
2007 HIGHLIGHTS: Won Metz, Sopot, Final Auckland, Beijing, SF Estoril
CAREER PRIZE MONEY: $5,906,990
2007 PRIZE MONEY: $1,027,147

JAMES BLAKE
COUNTRY: USA
RANK: 13
AGE: 27
CAREER TITLES: 10
2007 TITLES: 2
2007 HIGHLIGHTS: Won Medibank International, New Haven, Final Delray Becah, ATP Masters Cincinnati, Los Angeles
CAREER PRIZE MONEY: $5,183,360
2007 PRIZE MONEY: $966,585

TOMAS BERDYCH
COUNTRY: Czech Republic
RANK: 14
AGE: 22
CAREER TITLES: 3
2007 TITLES: 1
2007 HIGHLIGHTS: Won Halle, SF ATP Masters Series Monte Carlo, Munich, Tokyo, Bangkok
CAREER PRIZE MONEY: $3,443,475
2007 PRIZE MONEY: $1,126,070

CARLOS MOYA
COUNTRY: Spain
RANK: 17
AGE: 31
CAREER TITLES: 20
2007 TITLES: 1
2007 HIGHLIGHTS: Won Umag, Final Acapulco, Medibank International, SF ATP Masters Series Hamburg, Bastad, Chennai
CAREER PRIZE MONEY: $12,868,379
2007 PRIZE MONEY: $867,315

LLEYTON HEWITT
COUNTRY: Australia
RANK: 21
AGE: 26
CAREER TITLES: 26
2007 TITLES: 1
2007 HIGHLIGHTS: Won Las Vegas, SF ATP Masters Series Cincinnati, Poertschach, ATP Masters Series Hamburg
CAREER PRIZE MONEY: $17,271,212
2007 PRIZE MONEY: $662,075

PAUL-HENRI MATHIEU
COUNTRY: France
RANK: 25
AGE: 25
CAREER TITLES: 4
2007 TITLES: 2
2007 HIGHLIGHTS: Won Casablanca, Gstaad, Final Moscow, SF Estoril, New Haven
CAREER PRIZE MONEY: $2,489,784
2007 PRIZE MONEY: $699,770

 

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Re: Lleyton's 'Aussie summer and other 2008 season tournaments' thread

Thanks for posting the articles, jes ;)

Good Luck to Lleyton in Sidney!!!! :yeah:

C'monnnnnnnnn!!!!!! :rocker2:
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Hewitt draws tough line-up


January 05, 2008

IF Lleyton Hewitt was looking for some relief after his straight-sets pummeling at the Adelaide International, he certainly didn't get it at Saturday's draw for the Sydney International.

His head still spinning from his 6-4 6-2 quarter-final loss to Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Hewitt was thrust into an ugly first-round tussle with another big-serving Frenchman.

The four-time Sydney champion will meet 2007 Queen's Club finalist Nicolas Mahut, who, like countryman Tsonga, is a power server boasting a career-high ranking.

Mahut sits two places below Tsonga at No.45 in the world after a breakthrough season in which he also reached the final in Newport and broke into the top 50 for the first time.

Should Hewitt survive his testing opener, he is likely to run into yet another mighty server in Davis Cup teammate Chris Guccione, who has drawn a qualifier first-up.

Like Hewitt, Australian No.2 Peter Luczak also faces a Frenchman in the first round after drawing former Australian Open semi-finalist Sebastien Grosjean.

Australian surprise packet Joe Siriani, a semi-finalist in Adelaide this week having only ever won one match previously on the ATP Tour, will meet a qualifier in the opening round on his Sydney debut.

Alicia Molik, returning to Sydney for the first time since snaring the title in 2005, will square off with world No.23 Lucie Safarova for the second time in a week.

Molik outclassed the Czech left-hander in straight sets at the Hopman Cup in Perth and a repeat success would ensure a second-round date with world No.1 Justine Henin, one of the four top seeds with an opening bye.

Australian Nicole Pratt, in her 20th and almost certainly last season on the WTA Tour, has drawn Frenchwoman Virginie Razzano.

The $1.24 million tournament gets underway Sunday.



AAP
 

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Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Centre Court (from 11.00hrs)
1. Guccione vs. Martín
2. WTA: Henin vs. Safarova
3. Hewitt vs. Mahut
4. WTA: Hantuchova vs. Vaidisova
5. WTA: Golovin vs. Jankovic
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Lleyton wins 6-3 6-4 against Mahut.
 

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Well done Lleyton! Now keep it up and good luck in the second round.
 

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So ... Lleyton lost against Guccione 6-7 6-7 :sad:

no comments really ... but well the year is just starting :shrug:

C'mon in the Aussie Open Lleyton!!!!! :rocker2:
 

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Not a great start to Lleyton's year, I hope he can get it together next week.

From Cronin over at TR.net:
WEDNESDAY, JAN. 9 – What to make of Lleyton Hewitt after his two-tournament stumble in Adelaide and Sydney? That the losses were a two-off and irrelevant to his Aussie Open prospects, or that his off-season work with coach Tony Roche has yet to bear fruit? Maybe his stunning loss to Agustin Calleri at the '07 USO wasn’t surprising at all. Maybe he has lost a half a step and maybe adding a more effective serve is all but impossible. How else to briefly explain his punch-out at the hands at Nicolas Mahut in his hometown or his 7-6(4), 7-6(2) upset at the hands of countryman Chris Guccione in Sydney?

The most disappointing element of his loss to Guccione is that he railed against the linespeople, rather than wondering just how the man who once broke Pete Sampras and Roger Federer at ease would allow himself to get yanked into two breakers with a mediocre player who has a very good serve, but not one that’s impossible to read.

Hewitt looks like he could be headed for a first-week exit at the AO.
I really hope that doesn't happen.
 

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Lleyton won his first round match very easily!

defeated Darcis 6-0 6-3 6-0 :bigclap:

Very well done Lleyton!!! :yeah:
 

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Lleyton's post match press conference

Lleyton Hewitt 15.01.08
Tuesday, 15 January, 2008


Q. That would have to be the best start you've had in a Grand Slam.

LLEYTON HEWITT:
Yeah, it's up there definitely. Didn't do too much wrong today, especially against ‑‑ I didn't really know a lot about my opponent either.

It's never easy coming into a Grand Slam. First match is always tough, especially not knowing much about the other guy. He obviously knew a fair bit about my game.

So, you know, I went out there and was aggressive at the start and tried to dictate and got off to a good start.


Q. Was that the key to your game, aggressiveness?

LLEYTON HEWITT:
Yeah, I felt I mixed it up well, was aggressive when I needed to and stepped it up on his second serve. You know, especially early in the first set was able to put pressure on his second serve. You know, that made him go after his first serve a little bit more.

You know, then I just felt like I could dictate points from there on in, which made it ‑‑ made him feel like he had to go for a lot more.

Q. Was there something particular you worked on with Rochey that you saw the fruits of today?

LLEYTON HEWITT:
Everything is pretty good out there today. You know, obviously against that guy, you know, in the end I felt like I could do pretty much what I wanted to do out there and play on my terms, which is good.

Against the better players they're not going to give you as much opportunity to do that. But, you know, with that said, I felt like I went out there and was aggressive and took what I've been working on in practice on to the match court. Got off to a good start.


Q. Was there anything that Tony wasn't happy with today?

LLEYTON HEWITT:
Not that I've heard yet. Wait till I get on the court tomorrow.

No, I think he's pretty happy so far.


Q. Do you still get the collywobbles just before you go out for an Australian Open?

LLEYTON HEWITT:
Collywobbles? Football team gets that, mate (laughter).


Q. Butterflies in the stomach.

LLEYTON HEWITT:
Yeah, you always get nervous and anxious. I get it every week, but always in Grand Slams. You know, I think any athlete gets that.

You know, especially probably first round, as well, you want to get yourself into the tournament a little bit.

So, yeah, you're always a little bit anxious to try and get that first one under your belt.


Q. No more so this time? You had been out of the game for quite some time last year. No greater anxiety to want to do well?

LLEYTON HEWITT:
Yeah, I don't know. You know, I was looking forward to getting into the tournament, that's for sure. Feels like it's been a few months waiting just to get this tournament going.

Yeah, it's nice to get your foot in the door now and sort of have something there to build on.


Q. You said you worked on your serve. Was there anything that you tinkered with that worked well today?

LLEYTON HEWITT:
Not really. I felt like the last few days in practice I've been serving really well. I've just been hitting the spots. You know, the ball toss has been in the right spot. You know, just getting the right amount of spin on it.

Yeah, stuff that Rochey and I have been working on the whole time. I felt in Adelaide and Sydney I served in patches, even when I lost to Gooch. I started to get my serve going in that match. I felt a lot more confident with my service games.

Obviously serving against a guy like Gooch, a little bit different than serving against the best returners, as well. But I felt that was sort of a steppingstone. Then I continued it all last week in practice.


Q. There's been some impression about you can mix it with the top players anymore. Does that give you confidence you can, give you that confidence boost?

LLEYTON HEWITT:
Oh, I know I can, so it doesn't really worry me too much what other people say. So, you know, it's a matter of going out there and doing it, though.

Yeah, as I said, you know, today's one match down, and they're only going to get tougher from now on.


Q. What do you know about the next one?

LLEYTON HEWITT:
Nothing yet. Yeah, I don't know. I just know he won in four sets. Rochey and I will do our homework, though. We'll know a fair bit about the guy before we go on.


Q. You've never seen him play?

LLEYTON HEWITT:
No.


Q. Two sets up and 5‑Love, 30‑Love, you called for the Hawk‑Eye on that line call. Tell us about your reasoning for doing that. Given the circumstances of the match, do you take any of that into account?

LLEYTON HEWITT:
Yeah, absolutely. I think you have to. You have three up your sleeve before the end of each set these days, then another one in the tiebreak.

Yeah, obviously in that situation I could have done one on the last three points, got them all wrong and it still wouldn't really matter.

Right at the start, when it first came out, you're a little bit ‑‑ I was a little bit backwards towards when to really do it and when you needed to.

That ball, I didn't actually see it when it went past me. There were a couple of ball marks on the court so I couldn't tell. I asked the umpire. He said it was close, and that's when I decided to ‑‑ might as well throw one out there.


Q. Obviously you're well ahead at that stage. Do you take that into account? Do you really need to challenge this one?

LLEYTON HEWITT:
Not really. You challenge it on whether you think there's an opportunity there. Yeah, I think towards the end of sets is where more guys are going to challenge, obviously, especially in closer situations when they've got a couple of extra ones up their sleeve.


Q. How much more settled do you feel than this time last year? You've settled in with Tony. Everything seems to be heading in the right direction. Do you feel that's impacting on your game or that it will very soon?

LLEYTON HEWITT:
Yeah, I think so. I think, you know, just having Rochey in my corner, as well, to have a couple of months of hard work, you know, the mutual respect we have for each other, just going out there and practicing and doing all the hard yards.

I know I've done all the hard work with him. We've put in all the hours, you know, that we needed to and prepared as well as possible.

So in terms of that, you know, you just got to worry now about going out there and executing and playing. You know, I don't have too many distractions worrying if I'm fit enough or if I've hit enough balls or worked on the right areas of my game, stuff like that, which is a good thing to know.


Q. How curious are you and some of the other players to see what Roger's going to look like tonight because of the health problems?

LLEYTON HEWITT:
Not really. Probably won't watch at all. Unless I get to the semis and he's there. He'll obviously be hitting the ball pretty well if he gets there then.


Q. How much stock do you put into Santoro's record for breaking Agassi's record for Slams in the Open era, and why do you think he's the guy that's done it?

LLEYTON HEWITT:
He will today?


Q. Yes.

LLEYTON HEWITT:
What is that?


Q. 62.

LLEYTON HEWITT:
Just played the most Slams?


Q. Yes.

LLEYTON HEWITT:
Okay. Yeah, well, he's been around for a long time and he's still ‑‑ obviously made the semis last week in Sydney. Yeah, he's a very dangerous player. I'm not even sure how old he is, 35, 36 now maybe. Yeah, it's a great record to have, I guess.


Q. Do you feel it's a real accomplishment?

LLEYTON HEWITT:
Absolutely. To be able to go out there and put yourself ‑‑ do all the hard work to prepare for Grand Slams isn't easy. For him to be able to keep doing it at that age, and probably more so with him with the game that he's got, because he's not going to blow guys off the court either.

You know, Andre's a little bit different because he can go out there and dictate play and play on his terms a lot more than Fabrice can.


Q. Can you see yourself out there in your mid 30s in Grand Slams?

LLEYTON HEWITT:
I don't know. That's a long way. This is my 12th Australian Open in a row. That will put me in the 20s.
 
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Discussion Starter #18
Nice scoreline, Lleyton.
Keep it up :yeah:
 

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WAY TO GO, LLEYTON!!!
Darcis is Belgian but I was still rooting for Lleyton. An Australian Open where he does well, is always nice.
 

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Cheers for the interview GonzoFan;)

Great start to the tourney for Lleyton, I know he likes to get court time under his belt but I reckon it's great that he was able to race through the match rather than tiring himself out like in R1 last year when he was carrying the thigh injury. So far so good, good luck against Istomin Lleyton:cool: :worship:
 
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