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http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2007/12/01/1196394689951.html
(link has aerial pic as well)

Will Swanton
December 2, 2007

EXCLUSIVE

C'MON! Even when the ball is in his court - in his own backyard - it seems Lleyton Hewitt just can't hit a winner these days.

Desperate to make next month's Australian Open title his - after years of whingeing about how the old "slow" surface at Rod Laver Arena has cheated him - Hewitt decided to spend up to $50,000 on a replica of the newly relaid court, complete with the latest "fast" Plexicushion surface, built at his $3million Sydney hideaway.

But the tennis gods - presumably named Roger and Rafael - had other ideas. Or perhaps Hewitt's father, Glynn, who is understood to have been overseeing construction of the new courts, didn't grasp his son's very specific instructions.

The upshot is that despite Hewitt and his wife, Bec, receiving council approval to build two tennis courts on their two-hectare property, a bungle has resulted in neither court being constructed with the Plexicushion surface. And Hewitt is furious.

"Lleyton's court is as slow as a wet week," a source said. "He's immensely, immensely disappointed. It's not what he expected and not what he wanted."

The mix-up has scuppered Hewitt's plan to hole up with Bec, baby Mia, and coach Tony Roche at his Kenthurst property, in north-west Sydney, over the coming weeks to finetune his Australian Open preparation.

Instead, he will be forced to spend more time than anticipated at Sydney's Homebush Bay, where the courts have the same surface as those at Melbourne Park.

Hewitt's long-running battle with Tennis Australia over the slow surface at the Australian Open came to a head two years ago when the former world No.1 screamed "fix the courts" during a disappointing second-round defeat against Argentina's Juan Ignacio Chela.

Over the years, he had several run-ins with former open director Paul McNamee over Melbourne's Rebound Ace courts. Frustrated at failing to nab the elusive title - despite conquering Wimbledon and the US Open - Hewitt repeatedly told McNamee the Melbourne Park courts were too slow and that Australia's best players, who mostly prefer a quicker surface, should be given what they wanted.

This year he got his wish: the Rebound Ace surfaces were ripped up and replaced with the faster Plexicushion surface in readiness for next year's championship.

But Hewitt's cunning plan to have his own replica court at home on which to sharpen his winning edge has fallen wide of the line.

"I haven't seen the court at Lleyton's home, but my understanding is that it was not built by the same company we used for our courts in Melbourne," Australian Open director Craig Tiley said. "The WM Loud company are the only suppliers of this court in Australia."

Hewitt's manager, David Drysdale, confirmed neither of Hewitt's private courts were the same as the Australian Open model.

Mr Tiley said the relaid courts would threaten the famously quick hard courts of the US Open for speed.
 

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It sounds too :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: to be true.
 

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poor Lleyton :(.. though I think it's an exaggeration to build 2 courts to prepare for the AO...
 

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Haha... Really, this makes team Hewitt look a little bit stupid. I would imagine they would keep very quiet after making a mistake like that! Then again, what do I know.I've never built a tennis court.
Hewitt should look at the bright side. He now has a very good excuse. He will probably lose before the first week of the AO is over. He can now say that he wasn't able to fix his own court!
 

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Hard to believe that it could happen but funny as well.
 

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Apparently, the article simply isn't true. The article below actually quotes Lleyton, rather than the infamous "unnamed source."

http://www.news.com.au/heraldsun/story/0,21985,22858529-11088,00.html

Leo Schlink

December 03, 2007 12:00am

LLEYTON Hewitt yesterday ridiculed suggestions the wrong surface had been laid on his private practice court, declaring his Australian Open preparations were on target.

Hewitt said media reports claiming he had ordered Plexicushion - the new Melbourne Park surface -- but had mistakenly been given a generic hardcourt were false.

"It's totally wrong," Hewitt said yesterday.

"I'm very happy with the court I have at my house. It's a hardcourt, which is exactly what we ordered.

"For me, it was about putting down a hardcourt surface similar to what we have at the US Open and what we'll have at the Australian Open. I need a hardcourt I can train on all year because there are so many tournaments on hardcourt. It's pointless to have a court to train on for just one surface.

"It was never planned to have Plexicushion laid.

"I've been practising on the hardcourt every day with 'Rochey' (coach Tony Roche) and I'm very happy with the way my preparations are going for the Australian Open."

Hewitt will travel to Melbourne later this month - probably next week - to test the new Plexicushion.

He said he did not expect any problems making the transition from hardcourt to synthetic Plexicushion, which has replaced the rubberised Rebound Ace.

"I haven't hit on Plexicushion yet, so I don't know how it plays," Hewitt said.

"But the thing about hardcourts is that they're all very similar. Apart from wanting a hardcourt we could hit on all year, one of the reasons we haven't got Plexicushion at my house is that the guys putting that in are flat out doing all the courts for the Australian Open series.

"Even if I wanted Plexicushion on my court, they couldn't have put it down in time for me anyway. I am amazed at this story. It is a total fabrication."

Hewitt plans to return to competition in four weeks at the Adelaide International at Memorial Drive, scene of his first tournament title in 1998.

He will then contest the Sydney International before tackling the January 14-27 Australian Open.

A finalist at Rod Laver Arena in the centenary Open two years ago, Hewitt has not played since suffering an ankle injury in Tokyo in October.

A long-time critic of Rebound Ace, the world No. 21 has recently resumed training.

Senior officials are heartened by the results of speed testing on Plexicushion. The figures from a battery of tests show the surface will provide a slightly quicker pace than Rebound Ace and will fit into the International Tennis Federation's medium-fast pace range.

Coaches and officials say the new surface will be cooler than Rebound Ace and a better teaching court for juniors because of its lower bounce.
 

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Chances of Hewitt of winning a Grand Slam is like the chance of Roddick beating Federer, you know it can happen, but it won't.
 
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