I’m a little bit baffled by the news that the ever ailing Lleyton Hewitt, who most recently had foot surgery two months ago, intends to try and make a run for the Roland Garros title despite still having pain and having not played in some months.
Why Hewitt even thinks he has a chance against the top guys I don’t know. I can’t remember the last time Hewitt had the fire power to consistently beat the current top three. The last time he really challenged any top three was probably when he was part of it.
I know I sound very anti-Hewitt but he spends a few months on the circuit then has more surgery, then he drags his growing family around the world for a few months before more surgery. If I’m being completely blunt with my views (and I don’t know why I’d stop now) he should just call a spade a spade and admit that he is, at best, a top 20 player now.
Sure he can still earn some money but is it really worth the toll on his family and body? He did well in the commentary box this year at the Australian Open so maybe he should be looking beyond his surgeon’s waiting rooms.
However it seems Tony Roche disagrees with me (oh no!) saying that the pain is no issue for Hewitt and that his charge has a good chance at making a run at the big boys. “I think he’s used to that. Look, he’d be the toughest competitor that I’ve seen. He’s had a lot of setbacks the last couple of years but he keeps bouncing back.
He keeps wanting to improve and he’s so keen, which is great for Australian tennis because we need him to hang in there. It’s his first tournament back from his operation. It’s a big ask, but he could do it if he got the right draw.
Unfortunately, he’s not going to be seeded so you’ve got to rely on a good passage through that first week and not running into, say, the top three or four guys.
But Lleyton is still as keen as ever. He feels in the grand slams, given the right opportunity, that he can still be competitive with the top guys. I know he’s looking forward to Wimbledon, getting on the grass.
He sees that surface as being well suited to his game.
Two years ago, he lost to Roddick in five sets and actually had a break in the fifth and Roddick came up with an unbelievable shot and Roddick nearly beat Federer in the final.
So he’s not too far away. One point there and he could have been in the final.
So if he gets the matches under his belt and good preparation, he can do very, very well at Wimbledon.”
I don’t know what you guys think but in my mind there’s a bloody big difference between challenging Roddick and challenging Federer. Sure Roddick played a blinder of a final that year and he deserved to win but apart from Halle when was the last time Hewitt really troubled Federer regularly?
Hmm I wont be surprised if he’s off the circuit injured again before the seasons out.
Anyway my Hewitt rant is over.