LA, I believe, followed by the two TMS events in Montreal and Cincinnati. Although considering that he's been trying to do an Agassi all year with his schedule, with far less success, I wonder if he too will pull out of Montreal to focus on Cincy... not a good idea, he needs to gain new points in Canada since the Cincinnati points will come off that week.
Thanks to tara who posted this in Lleytonland. According to the article, Lleyton has no specific plans, but does intend to participate in the two masters series events. Also, info. about Mark's schedule and the points race.
I think the schedule will depend on his injury and what happens at DC. If he is fit, he will try to play Tokyo, I would imagine, because of his sponsorship from Yonex. Hope this helps...
Hewitt targets Europe
By Margie McDonald
September 10, 2003
LLEYTON HEWITT will head to Europe after this month's Davis Cup semi-final to try to force his way into the field for the $US3.7million ($5.69m) end-of-season Masters Cup for a fourth year in a row.
The 22-year-old has won the lucrative title in the past two years to secure the end-of-year world No.1 ranking both times.
A spokeswoman for Hewitt said the South Australian's schedule had not been determined beyond playing for Australia against Switzerland in the Davis Cup semi-final at Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne (September 19-21).
But his plans definitely include the last two Masters Series tournaments ¡V in Madrid (starting on October 13) and Paris (October 27). Each offers 100 Champions Race points for the winner, 70 for the runner-up and 45 for the semi-finalists.
The top eight players in the Champions Race as of November 3 qualify for the Masters Cup, to be contested this year in Houston, Texas.
Juan Carlos Ferrero, winner of the French Open and runner-up at the US Open, and Andy Roddick have already qualified. Wimbledon champion Roger Federer, Australian Open winner Andre Agassi and Argentina's Guillermo Coria are almost certain to qualify.
A player accumulates points from the four Grand Slams, the nine Masters Series tournaments and his best five results from the other events on the ATP Tour.
Hewitt fell out of the top eight at the end of April but his quarter-final appearance at the US Open pushed him from 13th to ninth on 290 points &ndash: 68 behind Argentina's consistent David Nalbandian.
An ATP spokeswoman in Sydney said Hewitt had not entered any of the tournaments in the month after the Davis Cup leading up to Madrid, where he would be an automatic qualifier. "But he can always get a wild-card," the spokeswoman said.
Hewitt has a 34-10 win-loss record this year, his best result being his tournament win at the Indian Wells Masters Series event in March.
But he picked up a few points in the big tournaments between Indian Wells and the US Open, losing in the third round at the French Open, the second round at the Canada Masters Series and first round of Wimbledon and Cincinnati Masters Series.
In that time, Hewitt dropped from No.1 to No.7.
His coach Roger Rasheed believes Hewitt was approaching his best form again before tightness of his left hip flexor muscle in a quarter-final against Ferrero.
Rasheed, who took over the coaching reins from Jason Stoltenberg after the French Open in June, told AAP in New York that Hewitt was "on his way back".
"We put things in place and have been working, developing his game to be No.1 again. And he will be that," Rasheed said.
"It takes time. It's a shame (he was injured against Ferrero) because he was playing some good tennis."
Mark Philippoussis is 10th in the Champions Race, 14 points behind Hewitt and 82 behind Nalbandian.
As well as planning to play in Madrid and Paris, he has entered Shanghai (September 22), Tokyo (September 29) and Basel (October 20) events.
"He's going to try very hard to make it (to the Masters Cup)," a spokesman for Philippoussis said.
"The indoor carpet surface for Madrid and Paris suit him because it helps his serve and volley style."
Thanks for posting that! I think I read somewhere Lleyton saying Masters Cup was not a priority. Much as I want him to play it, he shouldn't push it if he's not well. After all, one reason he's not in the top 5 already is those 2 months (or whatever) he had to take off earlier in the year under doctor's orders for his immune problems. It would be sad if he make himself sick again. Better to start again fresh and healthy next year.
From the Sydney Morning Herald...Lleyton intends to play the Adidas international in Sydney next year.
...along with his good friends Mark, Juan Carlos and, of course, Carlos Moya.
Davis Cup final foes set for Sydney replay
By Michael Cowley
September 25, 2003
Revenge - one way or the other - is a dish likely to be on the menu at the adidas International, after tournament organisers yesterday announced the line-up of stars heading to Sydney in January to compete in the event.
Less than two months after Australia meet Spain in the Davis Cup final in Melbourne, the four leading cup players will be in Sydney for the $US965,000 ($1.4 million) event at the Olympic Tennis Centre at Homebush Bay.
Lleyton Hewitt, Mark Philippoussis and Spaniards Juan Carlos Ferrero and Carlos Moya are all confirmed starters for the event, a key lead-up to the first grand slam of the year, the Australian Open.
Hewitt, who won the Sydney tournament in 2000 and 2001, said he was looking forward to returning to the venue in January.
"It's nice to come back and try and get my title back," Hewitt said. "I was able to win it in 2000 and 2001 and I played some of my best tennis on the Homebush centre court, at the Olympic site. It's a great arena and I really look forward to being back in Sydney."
Another Australian Davis Cup star hoping to be there is doubles specialist Todd Woodbridge.
"I'm trying to get Jonas Bjorkman back here," said Woodbridge. "We first teamed up in our very first tournament back here in 2001 after Mark Woodforde retired. We lost in the final, but hopefully we cannot lose the final and I can break that [most career doubles wins] record that I'm after, if I don't do it in the next few weeks in Europe.
"I know that the Spanish players are not going to enjoy the court we're putting down in Melbourne, but they will certainly enjoy the Rebound Ace court here."
Woodbridge admitted he was still feeling drained from the Davis Cup tie, not only from his marathon five-set doubles victory with Wayne Arthurs, but from being courtside at Hewitt's amazing five-set win over Roger Federer.
"I would love to have the opportunity to watch it on TV now," he said. "Sitting on the side of the court, Lleyton likes to be talked to a lot and pumped up from the bench, and you almost feel like you're giving him all your energy and you're focusing more on that than what's going on. These last few days I've been absolutely so tired.
"You look back at the weekend and we could have easily lost. We [himself and Arthurs] were down two sets to one, Lleyton's down two sets to love, to go to a fifth match, and when you're in that situation anything can happen."
Still trying to find that perfect preparation for the Australian Open...more stuff on Hopman Cup. It looks like Lleyton might get back to a more normal schedule after the 'work to rule' 2003'
Hewitt plans hectic summer
October 8, 2003
A resurgent Lleyton Hewitt is set to increase his workload in 2004 after booking a hectic tennis program this summer.
The former US Open and Wimbledon champion will play at the Hopman Cup (January 3-10) and adidas International (January 11-17) before the Australian Open starts on January 19.
Hewitt decided on a lighter playing schedule in 2003 following two gruelling years in which he finished end-of-season world No.1.
The fiery baseliner opted last year to use the mixed teams event in Perth as his only warm-up event for the opening grand slam of the year, in which he was knocked out in the fourth round.
And despite concentrating more on the grand slam events this season, Hewitt failed to win one of the big four titles this year for the first time since 2000.
But the world No.8's epic victory over Swiss star Roger Federer in the Davis Cup semi-final in Melbourne last month has the Hewitt camp confident he can again challenge for the world No.1 crown.
Hopman Cup tournament director Paul McNamee thought the South Australian was set for a much busier schedule next year after a below-par 2003.
"He made a conscious decision in '03 to back off his schedule, and it appears that in '04 he is making a conscious decision to ramp up his schedule," he said.
"I think that is a fairly safe assumption you can take from that, so he certainly means business."
Alicia Molik will partner Hewitt in the No.2 ranked Australian team for the third straight year after losing last summer's final to the United States pairing of Serena Williams and James Blake.
The management of the younger Williams sister has indicated she will play in the event despite the trauma of her sister being murdered in Los Angeles last month.
"You don't know what is going to happen and you don't want a situation like Monica Seles where she was lost to the sport for way too long," McNamee said.
"I think it is reassuring for the sport that Serena is committing to this tournament."
Blake returns for the top ranked pairing while No.3 Belgium will be headed by world No.1 Kim Clijsters and Xavier Malisse.
The mercurial Marat Safin and rising star Anastasia Myskina will play for Russia while Amelie Mauresmo will lead the French charge.
The Slovak Republic (Daniela Hantuchova/Karol Kucera) and Czech Republic (Barboro Strycova/Jiri Novak) return while Canada (Maureen Drake/Frank Dancevic) and Hungary (Petra Mandula/Attila Savolt) play off for the final spot in the draw.
LLEYTON HEWITT will make a multi-million dollar sacrifice in his quest to deliver Davis Cup triumph for Australia.
The former world No.1 will withdraw from a string of highly-lucrative European indoor events - and surrender all hope of defending the Masters Cup he has won for the past two years - to ensure he is at his peak for the Davis Cup final against Spain in Melbourne next month.
Hewitt, 22, last week underwent a procedure to remove a wart from his right foot and is now recovering in Adelaide, where he will begin preparations on Memorial Drive grass with his coach Roger Rasheed for the Davis Cup final.
Hewitt's management Octagon would not place a figure on Hewitt's commitment to the Australian cause but victories in Madrid, Paris and Stockholm and Basel would potentially earn him more than $2.5 million.
By opting out of the European swing, Hewitt has effectively lost hope of snaring a third Masters Cup trophy in Houston where, depending on round-robin results, the winner's cheque could be as high as $2.17 million.
Hewitt is also believed to have withdrawn from an exhibition in Portland the week after the Masters Cup, costing him another large appearance money cheque.
Industry estimates put Hewitt's average guarantee at $362,000 for International Series (gold) events and more for exhibitions.
Octagon vice-president Tom Ross last night praised Hewitt's decision, acknowledging Hewitt had willingly taken a financial hit to ensure he was in prime condition for the November 28-30 clash with Spain at Rod Laver Arena.
"He's making a number of sacrifices personally in terms of prizemoney, guarantees, ranking points and title defence at the Masters to give himself the best chance at the Davis Cup," Ross said
Hewitt said last night he was still unable to run after being treated with a course of injections, which would eventually cause the wart to wither and die.
"At the moment, I can't put too much weight on it and I can't run on it," he said. "But I'm on the bike and swimming."
Hewitt said he might have been able to persist with tournament plans despite the inconvenience of a sore right foot, but he wanted to be in top shape for the Spaniards, who won a sour final in Barcelona in 2000.
"The foot was not a huge dilemma," he said.
"It was bothering me some of the time, but I thought if I had it done now, I'd be right for the Davis Cup final.
"I could have kept playing and if I was playing for the dollars - and I could have got a lot of dollars by going to Europe -- you could end up jeopardising your Davis Cup preparations, which is not what you want to do.
"Davis Cup is a huge consideration for me.
"I could go over there (Europe) and chase (rankings) points to play the Masters Cup but, even if I did, that wouldn't give me enough time to get back to Australia and prepare properly for the Davis Cup final.
"It's not every day you get to play in a home Davis Cup final and I want to be ready for it."
The latest from hard-working Linda Pearce, whom I am beginning to warm up to--she certainly covers the tennis. Anyway, Lleyton still hasn't officially withdrawn from Madrid. I torment myself with faint hopes that this the mass-tournament withdrawal is some sort of misunderstanding/weird Octagon strategy. This exhibition sounds too close to Davis Cup-- Mark.
By Linda Pearce
October 9, 2003
Mark Philippoussis is being trumpeted as a confirmed starter in a new novelty exhibition event in the US that Lleyton Hewitt intends to miss because of its timing, six days before Australia's Davis Cup final against Spain at Melbourne Park.
Hewitt will today withdraw from the inaugural staging of Superset Tennis, a best-of-one-set knockout exhibition to be contested in Oregon on November 22 by an eight-man field headed by Andre Agassi.
The winner will collect the total $362,000 prize pool, but all participants are guaranteed substantial appearance fees.
Hewitt had featured in pre-event promotions, but the former Wimbledon champion's contract was contingent on the event not clashing with his Davis Cup commitments. The Australian squad has planned up to a fortnight of practice at Kooyong and Rod Laver Arena before the grasscourt final, starting on November 28.
"Trying to win the Davis Cup has been my No. 1 priority all year and I appreciate the fact that the Superset promoters acknowledged that in my agreement with them from the start," Hewitt said in a statement.
Superset Tennis's Australian managing director, Stephen Duval, has reportedly said that Philippoussis remains a "confirmed" participant, although it would seem highly impractical, virtually impossible, to arrive in Melbourne just three or four days before contesting a singles rubber on an entirely different surface in a Davis Cup final.
Australian captain John Fitzgerald could not be contacted yesterday, nor could Brian Cooney, Philippoussis's agent at IMG.
Tennis Australia spokesman John Lindsay declined to comment "until we find out whether there's any substance" to the reports. The skins-like Superset concept has the support of management companies IMG and Octagon, which acts for Hewitt.
Philippoussis, meantime, has resumed practising at Melbourne Park after recovering from the latest bout of neck soreness.
The Wimbledon runner-up will leave for the Madrid Masters by the weekend wearing a custom-made neck support while travelling.
Hewitt is yet to officially withdraw from the Madrid event, despite a recent medical procedure to burn a wart from his heel.
All players are automatically entered into grand slam and Masters Series events by the ATP and must tell organisers by the preceding Friday of any intention not to play.