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Lleyton Hewitt
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lindseywagners Offline
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Lleyton Hewitt
I was watching his match against Dmitrov today and then went and looked up some stats on him. I am interested in a quick summary of his career, particularly why he never sustained his reign at the top of the game? He reached No. 1 at 20 years old but several years later he was basically never heard from again. Was it that Federer came and was just better, putting a stranglehold on things -- or did Hewitt not continue to develop?

Thanks in advance for the history lesson.
12-Jun-2013 12:42 PM
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Front242 Offline
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RE: Lleyton Hewitt
He peaked very young and obviously injuries later in his career hampered him but he was at his peak around 21-23 years of age or thereabouts unlike many players today who are peaking way later so his best years were already behind him after 23 as opposed to ahead of him.
12-Jun-2013 02:04 PM
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Kieran Offline
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RE: Lleyton Hewitt
He dumped the coach who brought him to the top, took a crazy lawsuit against the ATP for fining him because he missed a press conference and generally went up his own A-double-dollar-sign, giving his dad too much control. It was a pity, because he was doing great under Darren Cahill, but you know what they say: Daddy Knows Best!
12-Jun-2013 02:18 PM
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DarthFed Offline
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RE: Lleyton Hewitt
It was mostly injuries and the advancement of the game to more power from the baseline. Even take a match like prime Hewitt vs. Nadal, Djokovic or Murray and amongst other things the latter 3 players are bigger, stronger, even quicker versions of Hewitt.

Hewitt was still very much in the mix through 2005 but it's been all downhill since then.
12-Jun-2013 03:48 PM
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Didi Offline
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RE: Lleyton Hewitt
Unlike Nadal, Hewitt thrived on super fast surfaces. He loved having a big server as a target in front of him and owned most of the game's best servers back then, even Pete, with laser sharp returns, chip & charge approaches or great passing shots etc. Nadal's long backswing motion and topspin is a disadvantage vs. big hitter on fast courts, whereas Hewitt's ROS was more like Djokovic. It is no coincidence that Lleyton's downfall collided with the homogenization of the courts. From 2000 - 2005 he made a total of 10 semis combined at the US Open, Wimbledon and the YEC. Just before the courts (and his body) started to change.

Add to that countless injuries, his physical and emotional decline. I guess that not just his body but also his mind burnt out at some point. When you spend so much emotional energy in almost every single match, you are bound to burn out. Finally the simple fact that even before he was done he ran into Federer, who was simply a much superior player overall. That said, I liked Hewitt and enjoyed many of his matches around 2000-2004 from a pure tennis point of view (liked his style) but also from an entertaining aspect. He was such a fierce competitor, he still is.
12-Jun-2013 04:50 PM
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jhar26 (06-15-2013)
lindseywagners Offline
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RE: Lleyton Hewitt
Cool insight! Appreciate it.
(This post was last modified: 12-Jun-2013 07:01 PM by lindseywagners.)
12-Jun-2013 07:01 PM
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ricardo Offline
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RE: Lleyton Hewitt
(12-Jun-2013 04:50 PM)Didi Wrote:  Unlike Nadal, Hewitt thrived on super fast surfaces. He loved having a big server as a target in front of him and owned most of the game's best servers back then, even Pete, with laser sharp returns, chip & charge approaches or great passing shots etc. Nadal's long backswing motion and topspin is a disadvantage vs. big hitter on fast courts, whereas Hewitt's ROS was more like Djokovic. It is no coincidence that Lleyton's downfall collided with the homogenization of the courts. From 2000 - 2005 he made a total of 10 semis combined at the US Open, Wimbledon and the YEC. Just before the courts (and his body) started to change.

Add to that countless injuries, his physical and emotional decline. I guess that not just his body but also his mind burnt out at some point. When you spend so much emotional energy in almost every single match, you are bound to burn out. Finally the simple fact that even before he was done he ran into Federer, who was simply a much superior player overall. That said, I liked Hewitt and enjoyed many of his matches around 2000-2004 from a pure tennis point of view (liked his style) but also from an entertaining aspect. He was such a fierce competitor, he still is.

Actually from what i saw, i didn't think Federer was that much superior to Hewitt but his style certainly was a bad matchup for him. His strength finds little use while his weakness gets exploited by Fed time after time. The biggest weakness, he was unable to hit heavy spinning balls, means he couldn't get any advantage by taking advantage of Fed's bh. While his excellent flat fast shots ran right into Fed's hands, as Roger loves it. Obviously Fed is a better player but the one-sidedness of their matches was mostly due to matchup issues.

Same with Hewitt vs Sampras, he would be tough to handle for Pete no matter how old/young Sampras was.

I think Hewitt has been very under-rated and almost reduced to a lucky born-at-the-right-time fluke, because in his physical prime he was a nightmare for almost all players - in fact he was a fav against anyone but Fed. Looking at Hewitt vs Djoker last year in the Olympics, he showed how he could penetrate Djoker's defense with his pattern of play - despite the obvious lack of heavy power. The way he could open up the court (obviously the surface allows it) by mixing up angles and depths, was extremely clever and not many players are capable of it. On top of that, he actually has very good hands - he volleys way better than people give him credit for. I just think a lot of people like to write players like him off, being relatively 'small, not really powerful, no big weapons in particular' - this type of players usually don't get their deserved respect because they don't look that 'impressive'. Ferrer is a bit similar, except he is not really as good as prime Hewitt.
13-Jun-2013 08:56 AM
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jhar26 (06-15-2013)
Haelfix Offline
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RE: Lleyton Hewitt
Hewitt was an amazing player in his prime. He scared people like Murray does today with the incredible defense and counter punching. IMO he is probably the best point constructer of all time. I don't think you can ever say that he made a bad shot selection.

Hewitt really had no weakness, but he could never create his own pace. So he really needed the fast courts. But I mean as you can see with the del po match, he's really created to thrive on heavy hitters and people who have technical weaknesses in certain parts of the court.

Without the injuries, and with more fast courts on the AtP he would still be challenging the top four.
14-Jun-2013 10:54 AM
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isabelle Offline
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RE: Lleyton Hewitt
How old is he ? 32 ?
Scared that he beat Delpony even if the Argentinian didn't play well
15-Jun-2013 03:38 AM
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ricardo Offline
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RE: Lleyton Hewitt
(14-Jun-2013 10:54 AM)Haelfix Wrote:  Hewitt was an amazing player in his prime. He scared people like Murray does today with the incredible defense and counter punching. IMO he is probably the best point constructer of all time. I don't think you can ever say that he made a bad shot selection.

Hewitt really had no weakness, but he could never create his own pace. So he really needed the fast courts. But I mean as you can see with the del po match, he's really created to thrive on heavy hitters and people who have technical weaknesses in certain parts of the court.

Without the injuries, and with more fast courts on the AtP he would still be challenging the top four.

exactly, i think too many fans just write players off who they think don't have 'pure firepower'. Fact is by taking the ball early and constructing the point efficiently will make a player tough to beat. Easy to say one can just 'overpower' somebody, Hewitt was always one of the little guys around who crashed his opponents, and made it look like he 'overpowered' them - by hitting tons of winners.
15-Jun-2013 06:14 AM
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herios Offline
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RE: Lleyton Hewitt
(15-Jun-2013 03:38 AM)isabelle Wrote:  How old is he ? 32 ?
Scared that he beat Delpony even if the Argentinian didn't play well


30+ doesn't mean much theses days. Top 100 is full of them. Especially on grass, where the points are ending in 2-3 shots most of them.
And because of how short thr points are on grass his chances are the best on this surface, as the ROS has a deciding factor, more than the othermore of surfaces.
Hewitt's ROS always been top notch.
(This post was last modified: 15-Jun-2013 12:19 PM by herios.)
15-Jun-2013 12:05 PM
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tented (06-15-2013)
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