Does Lleyton Hewitt need the money?

Discussion in 'General Pro Player Discussion' started by zam88, Jan 14, 2013.

  1. zam88

    zam88 Professional

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    Otherwise why would a former #1 and 2 time grand slam champion subject himself to going out there tournament after tournament with 1 QF appearance in the last 6 years.

    I don't get it... and i sure as hell hope Fed and Nadal don't allow themselves to be satisfied with that level of performance... it would be depressing.

    If I was a true hewitt fan i would've wanted him to quit years ago.
     
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  2. ark_28

    ark_28 Hall of Fame

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    Was thinking about this myself, it is a tough one isnt it?? I mean I guess many will say that if he is still enjoying it then keep going, at least one thing you can say is that being an individual he is not letting anyone down as such, (In cricket the legendary Sachin Tendulkar has been woeful for India for 2 years after a 20 year career they will not drop him and now people are starting to lose respect as the great man is becoming a liability) Hewitt does not have to worry about that!

    But it also depends on how Hewitt wants to be seen himself! I like you find it very hard to see how a former world number 1 and 2 time grand slam champion can be happy playong out a few years on tour like a journeyman it does not make much sense to me either!
     
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  3. Doubles

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    He still plays because he loves tennis. What more reason do you need?
     
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  4. Masayoshi

    Masayoshi Semi-Pro

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    I think you guys underestimate how enjoyable it can be to make a living at your passion in life. Maybe he loves the game, maybe he loves the competition, or maybe he loves the spotlight. Whatever it is, that can be way more of a motivating factor than one's "legacy" or whatever.

    Look at all those rock bands that persist well after they're culturally significant. The Rolling Stones are still out there playing now, when their heyday was 40+ years ago! And of course living the rock & roll lifestyle at their age seems weird/creepy/immature to a lot of people, but they don't seem to care.

    As long as Lleyton continues to earn his spot on the tour, more power to him. As was said, it's not like he's bringing a team down with a high veteran salary or something.

    EDIT: As for his decline compared to years past, I can imagine shifting the goalposts a little from winning a slam to upsetting a top 10 seed at a slam. If he's someone that thrives on challenge, he can define that challenge to one that's reasonably feasible. Once he achieves that goal, he may set the goalposts further out again.
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2013
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  5. iriraz

    iriraz Hall of Fame

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    Well if he needed the money he would play tons of tourneys.But except the Slams he is barely seen on tour.A few tourneys here and there but other then that he is probably enjoying his family life and trying to compete in the biggest events.I wouldn`t consider him at this point a full season player.
    IMO he should call it quits after this season if he can`t improve his ranking so he doesn`t have to rely on wildcards all the time
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2013
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  6. Cormorant

    Cormorant Professional

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    Hewitt's form is sound (as is his health, according to him), so it's a shame that he can't buy any composure when two points from a set or, say, when he's leading by a double break. I've not forgotten how close he came to beating Ferrer at the USO last year(before his fitness failed him), nor the fact that two-thirds of his exits in slams in the past six years have come at the hands of established top ten players.

    He remains good value in majors, and I think only when he stops entertaining us with some vintage play will we have the right to float the prospect of him hanging up his hat.
     
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  7. Masayoshi

    Masayoshi Semi-Pro

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    Indeed. I love his hands at the net - a rare trait nowadays. Too bad he doesn't have the power on serve or ground strokes to really hang with the elite players, though.
     
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  8. namelessone

    namelessone Legend

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    Why not keep playing if he ENJOYS it? I'm sure he's got enough money but athletes that really really love what they do tend to keep going for as long as physically possible. It's said that every athlete has 2 deaths: once they leave the sport(for many it means that the career they trained for since they were children ends around age 30-35) and when they actually die.

    A post tennis career might sound amazing to us(lots of money, free time, spend more time with the family) but for the guys involved it also means that they don't have anything to do, unless they are willing to become coaches or something like that, finding something to keep them busy.
     
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  9. zam88

    zam88 Professional

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    then play on the seniors circuit or something.

    How can it be fun to train hard enough to get into these grand slam tournaments to maybe win... one match? maybe zero matches?


    If he's really having fun out there getting pwned, then far be it from me to question it... but it seems miserable to me. Seems like if i were him i would've capitalized on my fame and became a tennis announcer for Aussie TV
     
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  10. zam88

    zam88 Professional

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    i do recognize that he's only in his low 30's and has the rest of his life to pursue a second career, be retired, or do whatever he wants to do.
     
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  11. Masayoshi

    Masayoshi Semi-Pro

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    It's different competing on the "real" tour. You're in there with the best, and you're a part of history. Even if you don't do so well. Each time you upset even a 12th seed or something, you're having an impact on how the whole tournament shakes out. And you get to test yourself against the best, not some random 50 year old former great.
     
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  12. heninfan99

    heninfan99 Legend

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    Wasn't it just a year ago he beat Raonic in the AO?
    He gave Tips (top ten player) a tough match).

    I think he's worked hard to overcome a tough injury and wants to compete while he can. Like another poster said, plenty of time for him to work in TV and continue with his clothing line down the road.

    I like seeing him out there.

     
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  13. loci

    loci Rookie

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    for the professional athlete, competition at the world-class level is a drug. nothing more, nothing less. for someone as strong-willed as hewitt, he's going to leave the tour only when he feels that he can no longer overcome the circumstances of injury or poor results. right now, he believes that there is something still left to fight for. that's admirable and while out there, that attitude is the right one to have.
     
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  14. Flash O'Groove

    Flash O'Groove Hall of Fame

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    I wonder why he doesn't retire, pick up a new job in a office, and spend all his time on a tennis board waiting to go back home to watch some tennis...

    By the way, you guy could also recognize that he has very few shameful loss in slams. Here are his last opponent in each slams since 2005.

    2006: Chela, Nadal, Baghdatis, Roddick
    2007: Gonzales, Nadal, Djokovic, Callieri
    2008: Djokovic, Ferrer, Federer, -
    2009: Gonzales, Nadal, Roddick, Federer
    2010: Federer, Nadal, Djokovic, Matthieu
    2011: Nalbandian, - , Söderling, -
    2012: Djokovic, Kavcic, Tsonga, Ferrer

    The draw were never kind to him.
     
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  15. Relinquis

    Relinquis Hall of Fame

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    It's not about money. Lleyton is Lleyton ; a fighter.

    competing at this level gives his life a purpose. this matters a lot once you turn 30 and have achieved a bit of success.

    you train, you practice, you keep in shape, you develop techniques to compensate for injuries, you go out there focused and test yourself against the best in the world. it gives you meaning and fills the emptiness of life.

    what else is there to strive for? rafter is leading the Davis Cup team and Hewitt doesn't seem like the coach type. he doesn't seem like the business type either, as if making money would fill the tennis void.

    love him or hate him, there are strong reasons for both, he has always been a fighter. i think he'll keep at it until his body breaks down even more and stops him. i think that's admirable in a way.

    I'm not complaining, he's still great to watch as his latest match showed us.
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2013
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  16. joeri888

    joeri888 G.O.A.T.

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    In 10 years id rather see fed like Hewitt than not At all. Hewitt is actually fun to root for these days
     
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  17. Clarky21

    Clarky21 Banned

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    Nadal did not even play the AO in 2006 so how could Hewitt have played him?

    I also think that if Lleyton wants to play then let him. He's not hurting anyone by continuing on. He's still competitive enough and had a great start to this year before the AO, a slam he has never really done well at anyway. Nothing wrong with him wanting to still go out and compete.
     
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  18. Sabratha

    Sabratha G.O.A.T.

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    French Open. He lost in the 2nd round of the Australian Open to Chela in 2006.
     
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  19. tacou

    tacou Legend

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    Rusty is one of the few true competitors left on tour. I mean I love Jo Tsonga but the dude is top 8 for awhile now and still has a very questionable mental game and he is far from the only one in the top 20 like this.

    In the past few years Lleyton has had a lot of injury trouble, and yet when he returns and gets some matches in him, he's had decent results until the next injury. His AO last year was solid and he won Halle not too long ago beating Fed.

    I think Lleyton wants to play (sooner than later of course) a full season without injury and see how he does. A full seasons for him of course will still be about 10 tourneys, but ideally with no injuries in between.
     
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  20. Doubles

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    Why should he play the Senior Circuit? Last I checked, a broken down Hewitt gave tipsarevic a close three set match. He's not what he used to be, but he's still got game.
    He. Clearly wants to play and the idea of playing seniors must be rather boring to him.
     
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  21. Alchemy-Z

    Alchemy-Z Hall of Fame

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    Maybe he just enjoys the tour.

    The Travel/ Hanging out with the other guys/ Playing in front of big crowds.

    I mean look at Jimmy Conners....had he not continued to play as long as he did we never would have had the magical USO semi final run..that was so historic.

    Eventually you don;t count on them winning..but every once in a while you get to see the fire and the champion comes thru.

    and players like this make for good early round upsets.
     
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  22. Gasolina

    Gasolina Professional

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    On a side note, I saw him hitting at USO grounds last year with Tomic. It was embarassing to see all these people ask autographs for Tomic and completely ignore the former #1 player on the other side.

    Like maybe 2 or 3 people recognized him.
     
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  23. OrangePower

    OrangePower Hall of Fame

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    Presumably he is playing because he still loves tennis, enjoys tennis, and wants the challenge of playing against the top players. He probably thinks he can still get better as his health improves (whether that's realistic or not, who knows).

    Actually I think this is to be admired.
     
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  24. zam88

    zam88 Professional

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    that's fine.


    I guess though that I absolutely cringe at the thought of Nadal, Federer, Djoker doing this.... I know everyone can't walk away like Sampras... in fact 99.999/100 can't walk away like that.

    But Roddick is a better player than Hewitt is right now and I absolutely respect him for getting out.

    There's something about a former #1 and slam champion just hanging around like this that seems somewhat uncomfortable.


    If for any reason Nadal, Federer, or Djoker were to pull a Hewitt type stunt and play until nearly 40 whilst losing a ton along the way, i'd lose respect for any of them.... including my favorite player ever in Roger..... don't subject us to more than 1 Rosol moment please?
     
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  25. Mustard

    Mustard Talk Tennis Guru

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    Like Jimmy Connors, Lleyton Hewitt loves the challenges of playing tennis matches, and will carry on for as long as he feels physically able. Andy Roddick walked away because he was not amongst the top players on a consistent basis anymore, and Roddick didn't want to carry on touring once his top 10 days were clearly over. That's a different mindset to Hewitt.
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2013
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  26. Mustard

    Mustard Talk Tennis Guru

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    They should play for as long as they have the desire and are physically able. You're a long time retired, so why rush retirement? The time to retire is either when you're physically wrecked or if you start resenting the travel/early mornings/practice/playing matches etc. instead of relishing it.
     
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  27. tacou

    tacou Legend

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    you do realize he lost to a guy whose seeded to make the quarterfinals? If he had been lucky enough to draw Juan Monaco I think he'd have gone a bit further.
     
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  28. Amelie Mauresmo

    Amelie Mauresmo Banned

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    I feel the same way about Venus Williams as I do Hewitt their time has PASSED. Hewitt is no longer a slam contender the man does NOT need the money why subject himself to this humilation of losing to younger players? I don't get it.

    All of Hewitt's rivals expect Federer are GONE. Roddick, Ferrero, Safin, they retired they knew the writing was on the wall if they aren't winning no point in playing.

    Venus Williams same thing, she's going to be knocked out by Sharapova if they meet in the third round. Why do it? Venus and Hewitt are multi millionaires they don't need the money. They are tarnishing their legacy.
     
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  29. OrangePower

    OrangePower Hall of Fame

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    I absolutely respect both Roddick and Hewitt.

    Roddick was motivated by being top 10, and when that became no longer realistic, he decided to retire rather than continue without a chance of maintaining his goals.

    Hewitt is in a very different position; unlike Roddick he was out of the picture for a long time due to injury, and as a result I think his motivation is just to play better, enjoy playing healthy, and maybe try have one more deep run in a major. Maybe the odds are slim, but it's something he can still conceivably achieve.

    In both cases their decisions are based on their own personal motivations, and not based on how others are going to perceive them or their 'legacies'.

    If for example Fed continued to play till age 40 while dropping to #50 or whatever, I would maybe cringe as a fan seeing his decline in playing ability and watching him get beat by mediocre players, but I'd respect that he is playing out of a love for the game and the competition.
     
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  30. veroniquem

    veroniquem Bionic Poster

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    He got unlucky with the draw. He could probably have won a few rounds at AO if he hadn't drawn a top 10 (20) player right away.
     
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  31. Prisoner of Birth

    Prisoner of Birth Banned

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    Tendulkar has been far from woeful. He's still the highest ranked Test Batsmen from India. And in ODIs, he has as good a record as anybody other than Dhoni and Kohli. People in India love him more than ever and I can vouch for that. It's media-rubbish that he's losing his "respect" just so they can sell their "news".
     
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  32. tacou

    tacou Legend

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    Hewitt hasn't been a slam contender since the 05 AO. But h's had deep runs, classic wins and great upsets. As we all say (including top ranked players like Tsonga and Berdych) there are only 4 guys competing for slams. Everyone else should retire?

    I especially feel differently than the bolded parts. If you aren't winning majors anymore you should simply give it up? They've been playing since age 3-4, it's a huge decision to give it up. And these are adults we're talking about and their careers. Unlike a lawyer or doctor or whatever, you can't just keep going. Once you hang up the racket you are no longer a pro player and you never will be again.

    For Venus specifically, why would she not want to face Maria Sharapova in the third round of the Australian Open...beautiful stadium, beautiful country, amazing fans and a world stage. You really can't conceive of why she'd want to compete even if she is no longer the favorite to win?
     
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  33. zam88

    zam88 Professional

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    Agree, Venus should be a doubles specialist with her sis and move on.


    Having said that, when you walk on the court and blow another one of the top 150 players in the world off the court like Venus did last night, it's probably just enough to keep you going especially when you are probably hanging out with your sister the whole 2 weeks to root for her anyway.
     
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  34. joeri888

    joeri888 G.O.A.T.

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    You guys are all about pride, legacy, and goatness. The guy just loves to play and loves to compete. Retirement is forever. As long as he enjoys he should absolutely play. Why not. Why you guys think someone makes a fool of himself by playing a grandslam tennis tournament is beyond me.

    Hope Lleyton shuts some people up at Wimbledon.
     
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  35. Prisoner of Birth

    Prisoner of Birth Banned

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    Some people just like playing. They don't need money, they don't need trophies to validate their existence on the tour, they just want to play because they love the game and love to compete. Why can't we just let them play and watch them while we still can?
     
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  36. tennis_pro

    tennis_pro G.O.A.T.

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    The difference between Connors and Hewitt is that Connors was in the top 5/top10 until the late 80's when he was 37. He even made another major SF at 39.

    Hewitt hasn't done anything comparable to late Connors since like 2006 (when he was 25)? Connors was competitive until pretty much the end of his career.

    It's been fun having Lleyton being the ultimate underdog at the AO (since I don't remember him playing a lot during the year bar an odd WC) for a couple of years now but it's getting riddiculous.
     
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  37. joeri888

    joeri888 G.O.A.T.

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    Connors did not have massive surgery like all the time. Why do you even judge the guy? What's so ridiculous. Why is he more ridiculous than Somdev Devvarman or Simone Bolelli?

    Also, Hewitt came within a few points of beating Andy Roddick in the Wimbledon 2009 QF. Setting up a semi, with a favoured but pretty beatable Andy Murray. He would go on to beat Federer on grass a year later.
     
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  38. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Of course he needs the money.
    He has to feed his family.
    Local hero LatrellSpreewell needed all of the 11 million per, 8 year package, to feed his family.
     
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  39. tennis_pro

    tennis_pro G.O.A.T.

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    Because he's leagues above them. I can understand the fighting spirit but doesn't he have any pride? There's only a certain amount of beatings he can get at the AO before it starts to look riddiculous.

    That was more than 3 years ago, he was 28 at the time and still in the top 30. Besides, I didn't critisize him, then. Heck, even a year ago he made a great effort getting to the 4th round and even took a set off of Djokovic.

    Obviously, he'll do what he wants but I, personally, don't feel comfortable seeing such a fantastic player from a few years back getting straight setted in his home major by a former journeyman. Repeatedly.
     
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  40. BrooklynNY

    BrooklynNY Hall of Fame

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    I wouldn't be so sure Venus is going to get cleaned up by Sharapova.

    It's going to be a shotmaking contest, and a 2nd serve contest - one that Venus can win depending on how shes moving and hitting the forehand.

    It's not going to be here are 100 bad shots, show me how to hit a forehand match like Shaza vs some no name top 60 player.
     
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  41. joeri888

    joeri888 G.O.A.T.

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    I agree to some level. But this is the first time he looked a bit helpless imo. Last year was great, Kooyong was good. He had a rough draw and didn't play great (served poorly in particular). I guess it's one of those days. When you only play 4 times a year, and you have a bad day on one of those, people start talking like for the past 4 years you've always been some sort of clown. Hewitt has not been a clown. He's never been. If this year goes on like this, and Wimbledon results in a poor showing, then yes, maybe he could hang up his racquet at next year's AO. However, last year he did great here, the year before he won Halle and another tourney I think, in 09 he went to the Wimbledon quarters, I don't think that's all that bad. Hewitt's an amazing player, but particularly an amazing fighter. People here are way too busy talking about pride and legacy, while they should actually enjoy the fact that the great player may have vanished but the fighter clearly hasn't
     
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  42. iriraz

    iriraz Hall of Fame

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    Obviously Hewitt could have retired a long time ago.But he still likes to play these kind of matches in front of a big crowd.Obviously he is no longer a full season player,and his ranking is not that important to him.
    And i don`t criticise any player who has a good enough ranking to compete in as many tournaments as he can.
    But my biggest issue regarding Hewitt is,if he gets like last year a dozen or so wildcards to compete and his ranking is still around 80 or so then it`s a bit of pointless.
    Last year for example,getting a WC into the French Open was ridiculous.He never did that well on clay and on top of it he was far from ready to compete.
     
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  43. tacou

    tacou Legend

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    He's better than those guys and that's why he should retire?
    It's more prideful to retire than do everything to feel healthy again and see how you compete?

    The most overlooked point in this thread is he faced TIPSAREVIC. I realize Tipsy isn't an absolute top dog but he's been in the top 10 for awhile now and is seeded #8.

    Hewitt would've rather played a guy like Delpo or even Berdych to be honest. They could blast him off the court but he also could frustrate them more so than Tipsy.

    2009 was 3 years ago, yes, but Hewitt has not been playing for 3 years since then. He's lost significant time to injury, and that's the point: when healthy, he's been competitive. He wants to see what he's got left if he can string together a few healthy months.
     
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  44. wangs78

    wangs78 Hall of Fame

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    One thing to remember is that despite Hewitt's former #1 ranking and 2 slam titles, I don't think he was ever recognized (by fellow players, the media, fans, or himself) as the BEST player on tour. He basically had a window of opportunity where the old guard was winding down and new guard was still maturing and he just happened to mature a bit faster and played consistently enough to accomplish what he did. Don't get me wrong, he deserves credit for what he did but I just don't think anyone ever put him in the league of top top players. With that said, I don't think playing like a journeyman really bothers him at all because he was not at the top long enough to get used the glory, adulation, media attention etc. Someone like Fed, Nadal and Djokovic other hand should definitely quit when the quitting is still good.
     
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  45. fps

    fps Legend

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    Absolutely, he needs matches and he wants to train and see what level he can get back to, and he wants to compete with the best. It's not like he's taking someone better's place, he's a great character, people want to watch him, and he still plays terrific tennis, which would be even better if he could get an injury-free run/
     
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  46. NLBwell

    NLBwell Legend

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    Why would anyone play tournaments if they couldn't win a Slam?
    They like to play and compete.
     
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  47. Gorecki

    Gorecki G.O.A.T.

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    typical question of someone who doesnt like this sport...

    for crying out loud. 99% of the people in this forum who play tennis are paying to do it, whereas guys like LH (whom i dislike very much) are getting payed to play the sport we all love...

    why is this even a question????
     
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  48. 90's Clay

    90's Clay Legend

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    I have no clue.. The game past him by 7 years ago.

    And people say because he "loves the game or needs the money" You can do both on the seniors tour.. Its fun, and you make good money still

    Hell.. Teach tennis.. Whats wrong with that?

    If I won as many titles as Hewitt did, I wouldn't be able to stomach just going out in an earlier round year after year.. He should have more pride then that
     
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  49. Gonzalito17

    Gonzalito17 Hall of Fame

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    He loves to play and he still can compete with the best tooth and nail as he showed vs. Djokovic at the OLY last year. He can be a TV commentator any time he wants, a job is waiting for him, he was fantastic last year in the booth.

    Killer Cahill talked about this last night, said he thinks Hewitt wants his three kids to be able to see him play the big tournaments and "see him play on TV." Interesting comment by Killer.
     
    #49
  50. NadalAgassi

    NadalAgassi Guest

    I agree with most of what you said except for one thing. Hewitt was definitely a transition player who capatilized on his window between eras, but Hewitt during his time at #1 WAS considered the best player in the World at the time. He was probably only the best since the really great players were either too old and on the way down or not matured yet, but he still was for that year and half period or so the best. The only one you could make a case was better was Agassi, but Hewitt had a winning record vs Agassi and won more big titles during those 18 months, so he was the best. The next closest were people like Safin and Haas who werent really close at all overall, even if Safin on his day could still blow Hewitt off the court.
     
    #50

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