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Yours!05
02-03-2006, 03:32 PM
http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/common/story_page/0,5744,18031221%255E2722,00.html

History says Hewitt faces many unhappy returns after 25th birthday
AAP
February 04, 2006
LLEYTON HEWITT turns 25 on February 24 and, apart from the very obvious and imposing obstacle of Roger Federer, history suggests time is against Australia's former world No.1 adding to his grand slam tally.
Of the sport's 26 multiple grand slam winners in the men's open era, two thirds of their titles were won before the age of 25.
All-time great Mats Wilander and fellow former world No.1-ranked players Jim Courier, Yevgeny Kafelnikov and Gustavo Kuerten are among a list of celebrated players never to win a big one after turning 25.
Bjorn Borg won the last of his 11 the day after turning 25.
Boris Becker had collected five of his six slams by 23, John McEnroe was unable to conjure an eighth beyond 25 and Stefan Edberg's well had also run dry by 26. He had won four of his six majors before his 25th birthday.
Hewitt lifted the last of his two grand slam trophies at 21, following up his 2001 US Open triumph with Wimbledon glory in 2002.
Wilander likens the counter-punching Hewitt to Borg and himself, adding the South Australian might have suffered from mental burnout - as both Swedes did - after enjoying success early in their careers.
While Hewitt, at 20 years and eight months, remains the youngest player to end a year at No.1, Borg and Wilander were both teenage grand slam champions. Borg was finished by 26.
"The similarity between those three players is that we were really mature early on," Wilander said. "No one had to tell us how to motivate ourselves; the ambition was there, we knew the game. No one tactically had to tell us anything.
"With somebody like (Andre) Agassi, he was totally immature. And the fact he has played for 17 years is because you've got to take seven years out of the picture because he went all the way down (for a period of two years) and when he was 18, he basically came in with closed eyes and just hit.
"When I'm 17, I'm already playing percentages, same with Lleyton. So I think when you're playing every point, every shot with your mind, not your body, at a certain point you will run out. There's a certain number of balls you can hit under pressure.
"Someone like Pete Sampras, he could stay longer because he didn't hit that many balls. He didn't take as much mental grind. Mental intensity is the key."
After landing four majors by 22, Wilander was forced to change his game as the power and aggression of Becker, Edberg, Ivan Lendl and company threatened to pass him by.
The Swede is now urging change for Hewitt, who this week dropped to No.11 in the world rankings, his lowest position in almost two years.
"I'm only saying that because I know what it did to my game," Wilander said.
"I changed my game, not completely - I still did what I did well - but I added a few things. I added a lot more serve and volley, a lot more slice backhand. With that, your attitude changes because then suddenly it's like 'whoa, the great thing is to serve and volley now'.
"And that's much more fun because you haven't done it before so Lleyton can do that, of course.
"It's not too late. I'm sure Lleyton knows how to slice the ball. Or I know he does - he just needs to use it aggressively and he needs to use it for a purpose.
"He needs to serve and volley with a purpose, not as a surprise tactic.
"I did it after I won four majors and I didn't win one for two years. So I thought 'well, I have to do something'."
Wilander proceeded to snare three more slams in 1988 and it took until Federer in 2004 for another man to win as many in a calendar year.
"Lleyton has got to the point where there are other young kids - there's Baghdatis, there's Nadal - and you cannot not stay back against them anymore," he said.
"You've got to take it to them. It's not enough to keep counter-punching. The guys are too good."
There have been some players to prosper later in their careers, most notably Sampras and Lendl, who each amassed seven slams after turning 25.
But they truly are exceptions, the pair contesting an amazing 37 major finals between them with Sampras winning on 14 occasions and Lendl eight.
Jimmy Connors accrued his eight slams at a steady rate between 21 and 31, grabbing four either side of his 25th birthday, while five of Agassi's eight have come after his 25th birthday.
So, as Wilander says, there is hope for Australia's two-time grand slam champion - providing he's still hungry.
"I hope he has it in him. I think he has," Wilander said.
"He's too talented, he's got too good a set of hands, he cares too much, he's physically too strong, too quick. And he's got the technique. It's not like you're suddenly telling Andre Agassi to hit slice backhands. He can't do it.
"Lleyton can. And he can volley, he moves well enough.
"It's just a matter of does he want to put himself through that. It is a bit of a grind.
"He is grinding now, but you're going into the unknown. He can stay like he is - No.4 in the world for another three or four years most probably - or he can take it to another level, down or up. You never know."

pound cat
02-03-2006, 03:44 PM
I suspect a late maturity theory. Hewitt may have come to the realizaton that trying to live up to the sports accomplishments of his father (footie) and his mother (something else which escapes me) and Rocky may in fact not be The Meaning of Life. In fact his wife and child could becone his focus,,,and when he plays tennis it willl be in a more laid back way. He's won his titles, made his name in tennis history, made his money. Stranger things have happened.

Bets, anyone?

Yours!05
02-03-2006, 04:05 PM
I suspect a late maturity theory. Hewitt may have come to the realizaton that trying to live up to the sports accomplishments of his father (footie) and his mother (something else which escapes me) and Rocky may in fact not be The Meaning of Life. In fact his wife and child could becone his focus,,,and when he plays tennis it willl be in a more laid back way. He's won his titles, made his name in tennis history, made his money. Stranger things have happened.

Bets, anyone?Listening to many Rafter interviews he is still searching for something/anything to do. It is clear he loves his family, but most guys need to do something purposeful and productive. If Pat's at a loss, I can only think Hewitt will spend his days being a public nuisance of some sort.;)
For Lleyton there will be no "love of the game" tennis in the near future; he has to win!

pound cat
02-03-2006, 04:11 PM
Listening to many Rafter interviews he is still searching for something/anything to do. It is clear he loves his family, but most guys need to do something purposeful and productive. If Pat's at a loss, I can only think Hewitt will spend his days being a public nuisance of some sort.;)
For Lleyton there will be no "love of the game" tennis in the near future; he has to win!


That's what chasing the dream as a professional tennis player does. no itme to pursue a hoppy or an outside interest. Pat likes to golf, but....

Then there's always stamp collecting LOL

christo
02-03-2006, 10:04 PM
Tough problem to quit young with gobs of dough, lovely wife and kids. I think I might be able able to give it a go.

rfprse
02-03-2006, 10:48 PM
Maybe, aside from all x's and o's, Hewitt is just getting (or trying to be seen as) too "happy" to get a kind of "fire/anger/hate" that fuels his tennis?

I wonder the same thing as Wilander, why Hewitt does not try to attack the net a little more? His volley seems to me maybe not a thing of beauty but as sound as anyone in tour. At least he knows how to do it unlike so many others.

I think Rafter's being at a loss :( may have something to do with a possible regret about not giving one last push for wimbledon. Well, it's just my wish that he had given it one last go speaking.

Cybele
02-04-2006, 12:12 PM
If Pat's at a loss, I can only think Hewitt will spend his days being a public nuisance of some sort.;)


:D

maybe he could become Jelena Dokic's coach....

raftermania
02-04-2006, 10:58 PM
Hey Yours! Very interesting article. I'm 23 now, so I better take advantage of these next two years and win me a wimbledon!

ssuHeartsRivald
02-04-2006, 11:22 PM
Yep, interesting, i've read this article before Yours! put it in this board.
And i'm in the same thinking with Wilander that there's a lack of motivation for a career furthermore when you be a rising star in the very young age (not for all of course).
So the guys like Nadal should be more very careful to maintain his motivation, playing style, or his mind. It's not easy to get something bigger than you expect let alone you are under 21. Federer got first slam in the age of 22, who is Federer when he was 19>he was just the 'yesterday afternoon kid' so he got many looses and hard times so when he become a star, he really know how to handle all this problem because he was there before>>>just IMO

raftermania
02-05-2006, 09:57 AM
Yep, interesting, i've read this article before Yours! put it in this board.
And i'm in the same thinking with Wilander that there's a lack of motivation for a career furthermore when you be a rising star in the very young age (not for all of course).
So the guys like Nadal should be more very careful to maintain his motivation, playing style, or his mind. It's not easy to get something bigger than you expect let alone you are under 21. Federer got first slam in the age of 22, who is Federer when he was 19>he was just the 'yesterday afternoon kid' so he got many looses and hard times so when he become a star, he really know how to handle all this problem because he was there before>>>just IMO

Hey, you've got an interesting name. What does it mean, or where did it come from? Thanks

ssuHeartsRivald
02-12-2006, 06:03 AM
Hey, you've got an interesting name. What does it mean, or where did it come from? Thanks
you mean ssuHeartsRivald...
no special meaning, actually.
'ssu' is abbreviation of my full name. The rest of words....i'm just like it and sounds good to say it.

AndrewD
02-12-2006, 07:10 AM
It's certainly an interesting article although, as much as I'd like to see Hewitt add a dimension to his game, I just don't think he will: at least not in any significant way. Hewitt seems to epitomise a very particular kind of Aussie (a lot more of us than the stereotypical image would suggest) and, unfortunately, being adventurous and taking risks is anathema to them. Rather, they're the insular, provincial sort of bloke who values sameness over uncertainty and isn't greatly interested in life outside of their bubble (or across the boarder) .That's on top of an openly aggressive attitude to any kind of authority or advice (interpreted as being told what to do) and a large chip on the shoulder. Hardly the ideal assortment of personality traits when the best thing for your game is to 'go into the unknown.

Yours!05
02-12-2006, 07:16 AM
It's certainly an interesting article although, as much as I'd like to see Hewitt add a dimension to his game, I just don't think he will: at least not in any significant way. Hewitt seems to epitomise a very particular kind of Aussie (a lot more of us than the stereotypical image would suggest) and, unfortunately, being adventurous and taking risks is anathema to them. Rather, they're the insular, provincial sort of bloke who values sameness over uncertainty and isn't greatly interested in life outside of their bubble (or across the boarder) .That's on top of an openly aggressive attitude to any kind of authority or advice (interpreted as being told what to do) and a large chip on the shoulder. Hardly the ideal assortment of personality traits when the best thing for your game is to 'go into the unknown.LOL Andrew. Luckily not many have been tennis players so far.;)

AndrewD
02-12-2006, 07:36 AM
LOL Andrew. Luckily not many have been tennis players so far.;)

Ha, ha, funny about that isn't it.

Seriously though, I think Hewitt's problem is his personality. Now I don't mean that in the way others might think (or the media keep telling us) but that, by nature, change and risk taking aren't part of his make-up. Getting him to adopt new tactics will require a lot more effort than someone with a bit more daring. If he is to do it, however, I think the first step should be to engage a new coach. Nothing against Roger Rasheed ( a decent serve-volleyer himself) or a slight on his qualifications but I think that in order to embrace change he has to make one to begin with. That means, trusting someone new. If he can do that then he might just be able to trust a new game plan.

Watching the Davis Cup are you?

Yours!05
02-12-2006, 07:41 AM
Ha, ha, funny about that isn't it.

Seriously though, I think Hewitt's problem is his personality. Now I don't mean that in the way others might think (or the media keep telling us) but that, by nature, change and risk taking aren't part of his make-up. Getting him to adopt new tactics will require a lot more effort than someone with a bit more daring. If he is to do it, however, I think the first step should be to engage a new coach. Nothing against Roger Rasheed ( a decent serve-volleyer himself) or a slight on his qualifications but I think that in order to embrace change he has to make one to begin with. That means, trusting someone new. If he can do that then he might just be able to trust a new game plan.

Watching the Davis Cup are you?Yup (yawn, but loving Luczac's effort). Agree about the coach, but guys like this don't breach their comfort zone unless forced. I'm hoping for a rift between Bec and the Parents - leading to a total rethink.

Cybele
02-12-2006, 08:35 AM
I'm hoping for a rift between Bec and the Parents - leading to a total rethink.

how very Machiavellian of you, Yours!05

Yours!05
02-12-2006, 08:37 AM
how very Machiavellian of you, Yours!05Why, thank you.:cool:

West Coast Ace
02-12-2006, 08:46 AM
After Wilander's "the other players need to mess with Federer's head and skirt the boundaries of sportsmanship" rift during the AO, I find it hard to take him seriously. And in this case Hewitt is a little too Type A for me to see him being content to play the role of Soccer Dad any time soon. I think he can afford a nanny.

I fully expect that, barring injury, we'll be seeing Hewitt for 4-5 more years.

ACE of Hearts
02-12-2006, 08:47 AM
I still think Hewitt has alot left, its a matter if he really wants to keep playing.It will be interesting to see how he does this year.I will give him the benefit of the doubt at the Aussie Open.

slice bh compliment
02-12-2006, 09:11 AM
...
Watching the Davis Cup are you?

Wish I could be there (for any&all of 'em). Friday's Haas/Gasquet match was incredible. The FRA/GER dubs match was great too. Looks like the RUM/USA and the AUS/SUI ties will make for a great Sunday. Go Gooch!

Yours!05
02-12-2006, 09:13 AM
Wish I could be there (for any&all of 'em). Friday's Haas/Gasquet match was incredible. The FRA/GER dubs match was great too. Looks like the RUM/USA and the AUS/SUI ties will make for a great Sunday. Go Gooch!I'll be getting back to you on that.

AndrewD
02-13-2006, 05:34 AM
As far as the coverage goes, I've got to take my hat off to whicever network is providing the feed. It's been, in my opinion, absolutely superb. Excellent camera positioning that puts the Aus Open (and all other majors apart from Wimbledon) to shame. Reminds me of the Hopman Cup coverage which was also first rate.

I've also found myself enjoying the style and standard of tennis far more than most of the matches at the Aus Open. Definately one of the fastest clay courts I've seen (no doubt the indoor setting adds a bit of pace) so the rallies haven't been interminably long and playing the net isn't akin to a suicide mission.

Full marks to Guccione as well. A pretty nerveless display from someone playing their 2nd and 3rd Davis Cup matches. While he may never been a top 20, or better, player I think he's shown that top 50 isn't out of the question. Wayne Arthurs managed it and Guccione has a serve almost as good but groundstrokes and volleys far superior.

Yours!05
02-13-2006, 06:10 AM
As far as the coverage goes, I've got to take my hat off to whicever network is providing the feed. It's been, in my opinion, absolutely superb. Excellent camera positioning that puts the Aus Open (and all other majors apart from Wimbledon) to shame. Reminds me of the Hopman Cup coverage which was also first rate. Agree.

I've also found myself enjoying the style and standard of tennis far more than most of the matches at the Aus Open. Definately one of the fastest clay courts I've seen (no doubt the indoor setting adds a bit of pace) so the rallies haven't been interminably long and playing the net isn't akin to a suicide mission. Ditto.

Full marks to Guccione as well. A pretty nerveless display from someone playing their 2nd and 3rd Davis Cup matches. While he may never been a top 20, or better, player I think he's shown that top 50 isn't out of the question. Wayne Arthurs managed it and Guccione has a serve almost as good but groundstrokes and volleys far superior.No Wimby (JA) then?:)