Lleyton Hewitt has added Peter Luczak to his enormous entourage to try and help the ailing Australian tennis star have one last successful bid at the top of the game despite his ongoing issues with his big toe.
The big toe has proven to be a big problem with a prominent Australian specialist saying it was the worst he’d ever seen and he wondered how Hewitt was even walking. The problem is that having a problem like Hewitt’s throws off your whole foot biomechanics and leaves you vulnerable to injuries elsewhere as Lleyton knows only too well.
Peter joins Hewitt’s team as a traveling hitting partner. Read more
>Bernard Tomic is going to have to wait a little longer to find out if he will be given a wild card after Tennis Australia has decided to make him sweat. Jelena Dokic and Peter Luczak, both finalists in the qualifying have been awarded wild cards into the Australian Open in January.
“Last week was good practice because it’s a good sign I was getting through matches pretty easily. Overall I’m happy in the whole performance in that week. I played well and I got better with each match – there was a big difference between my first match and my semis and finals. Now I just have to focus on the summer and no matter what happens after the summer, continue to play as many weeks as I can and I think I’ll improve with that a lot.
I had a similar scenario two years ago, winning the playoff and doing well, then I was unlucky with injury and glandular fever kind of stopped my year and I still finished 50 in the world. I’ve got to look at things like that.
My goal is not just to play well in the Australian Open but to play well and to see where I am from maybe the top 20 and the top 10 players and then to keep working.” – Jelena Dokic
The controversy surrounding Bernard Tomic’s Australian Open chances, and career in general, continue to make the rounds. Tomic will find out within the next week if his apparent “illness” will cost him a place in the Australian Open. Read more
Carsten Ball has been chosen along with Lleyton Hewitt to play a singles rubber for Australia in the Davis Cup tomorrow against Japan. Peter Luczak, ranked 40 places higher than Ball, played singles earlier this year in the tie with Chinese Taipei.
Luczak is a more experienced clay court player than Ball but he apparently has a wrist injury that would be better served by some time off. Captain John Fitzgerald has long promoted the abilities of Ball but has frequently ‘preserved’ him for doubles or chosen others such as Hewitt or Tomic instead of Ball, to some irritation for the American born Australian. However this time Ball has not been over looked and Tomic has been told to learn how to play on a clay court. “We like the match-ups we have and it is time for Carsten to step up and go to the next level. This is his first live singles rubber and we think he is ready.”
“There is no doubt it is a nightmare schedule for all of us,” Hewitt said in Brisbane today. It’s ridiculous to be playing this week firstly. The ITF really have got to have a good look at it. Because if you are expecting to play two Masters series for the ATP, and then come back and play a Davis Cup tie in between that – it takes a lot of effort.” – Lleyton Hewitt
In Australian Davis Cup it’s all about Lleyton Hewitt (and a little bit about snubbing Tomic). The tie is being held on clay because the Davis Cup heads wanted Hewitt to play and recognised that having him fly from the clay courts of Europe, play on a hard court in Australia, and return to European clay courts over the course of 3 weeks would not be helpful to the Australian number 1 or his hip.
Hewitt has arrived in Australia and was seen practicing ahead of the May 7-9 meet against Japan in Brisbane.
Pat Rafter Arena, normally a hard court, has been converted to a clay court for the benefit of Hewitt, much to the delight of Peter Luczak who plays well on clay. The presence of the clay also gives selectors a reason to keep Bernard Tomic off the team now that Hewitt is back without blatantly favouring what Hewitt would no doubt prefer aka a Tomic free Davis Cup team. The issues between Tomic and Hewitt have been well publicised and it comes as no surprise that with the return of Lleyton Hewitt, Bernard Tomic has been told to practice his craft.
“It’s mid-season and we wanted Lleyton. The way his body is, it wouldn’t have been particularly good for him to be playing on clay, then hard and clay because surface changes can affect the body. It’s pretty impressive that he’s going to come back in the middle of two Masters series in Rome and Madrid. So the scheduling is horrendous for our team.” – Todd Woodbridge
It was announced today that Bernard Tomic has been dropped from the Australian Davis Cup team despite his successful first meet earlier this year against Chinese Taipei. The meet with Japan will be played on clay courts, which Tomic has been struggling on this year. Not that Hewitt, who is also returning after hip surgery, has had much more success on the red dirt in singles.
It has been denied that Tomic is being bumped to avoid ruffling Hewitt’s feathers.
Hewitt, Peter Luczak, Carsten Ball and Paul Hanley have been named in the team. The tie will be held May 7-9 in Brisbane.
- Peter Luczak has defeated Tsung-Hua Yang 6-3, 6-3 in the first dead rubber of Australia’s meet with Chinese Taipei. The win puts the Australian’s up 4-0. Lleyton Hewitt has also told John Fitzgerald that his rehab is coming along better than expected and that he hopes to make himself available for the next tie in May, presumably against Japan.
- The Czech Republic have also dominated proceedings defeating Belgium 3-0 by pairing Radek Stepanek and Tomas Berdych against Olivier Rochus and Steve Darcis.
- Doubles experts Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi have kept India alive in their meet with Russia by winning the doubles against Igor Kunitsyn and Teimuraz Gabashvili
- Japan has defeated the Philippines 3-0 as have Kazakhstan against Korea.
- The People’s Republic of China are leading 2-1 against Uzbehistan.
Gael Monfils and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga created an almost insurmountable problem for Germany in Friday’s Davis Cup rubbers. Monfils defeated Philipp Kohlschreiber in the first rubber with Tsonga taking the second rubber in 4 sets over Benjamin Becker. It is highly unlikely that the Germans will recover from this scoreline. It has been 50 years since they have last recovered from such a deficit in Davis Cup and 72 years since they beat the French in a tie.
Monfils was understandably delighted saying “We had a great dayyy.come on one more pointttt….” on his Twitter site. It was Monfils’ first victory in Davis Cup. Monfils was utterly dominant on serve, feeding off the crowd and blasting Kohlschreiber off the court, eventually winning 6-1, 6-4, 7-6.
Tsonga was impressive given his recent poor health. The Frenchman has been off the tour recently with bad gastro that caused him to lose 3kg (7 pounds). Despite his understandable lack of energy Tsonga came out on top 6-3, 6-2, 6-7, 6-3 spending just 3 more minutes that Monfils did on court.
Not far away in Belgrade, Serbia, John Isner bombarded Viktor Troicki with 21 aces in the first Davis Cup match of his career. The American still went down to the Serbian 7-6, 6-7, 7-5, 6-4 in 3 hrs 36 minutes. Novak Djokovic then stepped up to the plate and took Sam Querrey out 6-2, 7-6, 2-6, 6-3. Nova still didn’t look quite on form, losing his concentration and dropping the third set, but he was in form enough to get the job done.
Novak Djokovic played only 2 Davis Cup matches last year, losing both, against Ferrer and Nadal. This marked Djokovic’s first win in Davis Cup since 2008
Carsten Ball and Paul Hanley secured the tie against Chinese Taipei in Melbourne, giving Australia a 3-0 lead after Saturday’s doubles match, winning 7-6, 7-6, 6-2. Bernard Tomic and Peter Luczak will play the reverse singles tomorrow to try and give Australia a 5-0 victory.
Posted in Benjamin Becker, Bernard Tomic, Carsten Ball, Gael Monfils, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, John Isner, Novak Djokovic, Paul Hanley, Peter Luczak, Philipp Kohlschreiber, Sam Querrey, Viktor Troicki
After all the fuss surrounding Bernard Tomic’s appointment to Australia’s Davis Cup team, the young Australian helped Australia get off to a great start, destroying Tsung-Hua Yang 6-2, 6-1, 6-1 in their third career meeting and first time against each other outside a juniors event. Tomic has won all of their previous meetings.
A rain delay meant a later start for the Davis Cup newcomer but he seemed unworried by the situation. The rain forecast was the reason he got to play the singles rubber with John Fitzgerald saying he didn’t want Carsten Ball to have to play 2 games in one day if the game was rained out. Tomic had said he was confident heading into the match, having previously being untroubled by Tsung-Hua, and quickly broke him to get to a 4-1 lead int he first set.
Peter Luczak had a slow start, losing the first set 4-6 to Chu-Huan Yi before rallying to win dominantly 4-6, 6-3, 6-2, 6-3. Luczak has had some good form to start the 2010 season getting to the quarterfinals in Santiago and Sydney and pushing Rafa Nadal in his first round match at the Australian Open.
The doubles rubber will be played tomorrow, weather allowing, by Carsten Ball and Paul Hanley against Tsung-Hua Yang and Chu-Huan Yi. Australia is expected to win this rubber too, with the Australian’s being far more experienced in doubles play.
Bernard Tomic is set to become the youngest ever player to play for Australia in the Davis Cup. He has been named to play singles, along with Peter Luczak, against Chinese Taipei in the tie which starts tomorrow at Melbourne Park, where the Australian Open is held.
Tomic’s first match is a re-match of his 2008 Australian Open Boys final against Tsung-Hua Yang, Chinese Taipei’s number 1 player who is 2 years Tomic’s senior. Tomic has won both of their two previous meetings and will be feeling confident about succeeding again on home turf as Australia’s newest Davis Cup member.
Tomic was given the opportunity to play singles after John Fitzgerald deliberated and decided to keep Carsten Ball for the double rubber with Paul Hanley, deciding to share the load after assessing the form of the players.
“With all pride, I’m going to try my best and pull this team to victory as much as I can and support in any way.” – Bernard Tomic
While Ball was apparently disappointed with the decision Fitzgerald said “I think he’s a bit of a sleeping giant, Carsten, and I think he’s going to come to the fore very shortly. I think Carsten’s going to win major doubles titles soon and Paul Hanley is an established, very good player and I think plays his best tennis at this level, which is a sign of a pretty good player.”