How do you feel about Lleyton Hewitt now?

Discussion in 'General Pro Player Discussion' started by abraxas21, Mar 29, 2010.

  1. abraxas21

    abraxas21 Professional

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    I remember I used to hate Hewitt with a passion back in the old days when he was winning a lot and acting like a punk. Aside of the pushing game style he had, his loud 'come ons' bothered me, his language didn't appeal me and in general his whole histrionic fist-pumping behaviour pissed me off quite a bit. That racial incident with Blake in the USO and his refusal to recognize he didn't mean anything 'racial' also bothered me. In a nutshell, I guess he was the kind of player people were meant to hate and I was one of them.

    However, with time, I've come to like the bloke a little bit. He surely ain't my fave player but I have warmed up to him somewhat and I even want him to win most often than not at this point. From what I've seen, his attitude seems to have changed for the better, at least.

    Anyhow, what do you think about him now compared to your thoughts 8 or 9 years ago?
     
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  2. T1000

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    Pushers don't take the ball off the rise, hit winners, and play the net.
     
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  3. Li Ching Yuen

    Li Ching Yuen Legend

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    Overachiever, that's for sure.

    Good for him tho, it's nice to see someone that fights as he does, getting rewarded.
     
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  4. Blinkism

    Blinkism Legend

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    Hewitt was never a "pusher". That is a myth (that some Murray fans, for one, LOVE).

    And everyone I knew liked and still like him. One of my all-time favorites, personally.
     
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2010
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  5. Ljubicic for number1

    Ljubicic for number1 Hall of Fame

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    Feel pretty much the same as you, I do admire how he has handled himself during his fall down the rankings, he has accepted his spot in tennis like a man and hasn't been bitter about the young guys coming through and knocking him off. Definitely matured a lot from his early days as would be expected.
     
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  6. jamesblakefan#1

    jamesblakefan#1 G.O.A.T.

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    What does that mean? I don't see Murray fans call Hewitt a pusher, usually the same folks that call Murray a pusher call Hewitt one as well. :rolleyes:

    I used to hate Hewitt, but grown to love the same things I used to hate about him.
     
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  7. quest01

    quest01 Hall of Fame

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    Hewitt is too small to play tennis

    Hewitt is the same now as he was 8 to 9 years ago the problem is his game hasn't changed to fit the evolution of the game today. Another problem with hewitt is that he's too small to play tennis on the ATP tour anymore, back then you would have guys like Gaudio and Coria doing well but in the game today players are bigger and stronger.
     
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  8. Carsomyr

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    I think his lack of success made his character more appealing. And as numerous people have mentioned, Hewitt was not a pusher.
     
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  9. nfor304

    nfor304 Banned

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    Hewitt's game has changed significantly since he was number 1. Back then he was like Michael Chang, a rabbit who got to everything and relied solely on his movement. He was no pusher though. he used his movement aggressively and used it to take as many balls as he could on the rise and to control the dimensions of the court. When he started struggling with injuries and illness in 2003-2004 he made a conscious and very obvious effort to become more aggressive and to shorten points. That's part of the reason why he went from number 1 to number 17 in 2003, but its also why he has continued to play well into his twilight years even though his movement and speed have declined dramatically.

    I hate it when people make generalizations how its impossible to play well if you are small. Rochus has hovered around the same ranking for like 8 years now. His brother Christophe has been getting better and better as he gets older. Davydenko has spent 5 years in the top 10 and is just as small and light as Coria and Hewitt. You cant tell me all the players on the tour now are significantly bigger or taller than they were 7 years ago. That doesn't make any sense at all.

    Unless your trying to say that Hewitt has shrunk...
     
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2010
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  10. OddJack

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    The guy froze in his teens. Never really grew up. He got yesterday more than what his game wuld get him today, if he was starting over, that is.

    Sadly, he is history now, along with Safin, Nalbandian, Blake, and soon Roddick.
     
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  11. abraxas21

    abraxas21 Professional

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    I always thought of Lleyton as a pusher to be honest. Although in many times he was able to use the pace of his opponents' shots to make his own aggresive comebacks, he wasn't the type of player who felt most comfortably adding his own pace to the ball and dictating the rhithm from the start. His game plan was to push the ball and wait for his opponent to either miss trying to attack or attack for him to reply in a likewise manner. Many times I remember having thought that Hewitt's best tennis comes when other try to attack him with high speed shots.

    That said, to the ones who think he's too short, I'd say Hewitt isn't that small, imo. He's listed as 1.80 m. Higher than Kolya (1.78 m.) and Coria (1.75 m.). A couple of more inches probably wouldn't hurt but he's okay the way he is, imo.

    Now Olivier Rochus (1.68 m.), that guy is small!
     
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  12. abraxas21

    abraxas21 Professional

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    ps: could someone tell me how to edit one of my posts please? i just can't seem to find the place :S
     
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  13. Blinkism

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    Some Murray fans have said something along the lines of "people used to call Hewitt a pusher too, so if Murray is a "pusher" Hewitt is one, too"

    Which is BS, in my humble opinion.
     
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  14. jamesblakefan#1

    jamesblakefan#1 G.O.A.T.

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    Well people did call Hewitt a pusher. Doesn't mean he was one. I just think they were trying to point out the term "pusher" is an opinion, not fact. A lot of it is based on personal opinion. It's a pejorative term, a lot of people hated Hewitt and used the term pusher to put him down - similar thing happens w/ Murray. That's where the Hewitt-Murray comparison comes from, not saying they play similar games (maybe I am indirectly, I don't know :?)
     
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  15. Blinkism

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    I guess you're right. But, in my opinion, Hewitt is not what I'd classify as a "pusher".
     
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  16. rudester

    rudester Professional

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    I think there is an entire thread on the definition of a pusher. Whatever Hewitt was/is I could not help but respect his gritty determination even though i did not particularly like him much.
     
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  17. Blinkism

    Blinkism Legend

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    Yeah it's the Murray vs. Wawrinka Wimbledon 2009 match thread.
     
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  18. rossi46

    rossi46 Professional

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    What about Davydenko ?? I am pretty sure he is even shorter than Hewitt.
     
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  19. namelessone

    namelessone Legend

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    Pusher my ass. What is it with everyone and "pushing" nowadays? If you don't end the point in a couple of exchanges or try to play tactically you're a pusher. If you try to end the point quickly by going hard at the ball you are a ballbasher(a pejorative term usually which means you can only do that and that you are limited).

    I think many people have no idea what a pusher is. It is a player who just softly pushes the ball back and waits for a error because he has no weapons of his own. How can Nadal be a pusher when Nadal has no soft shot in his arsenal? Nadal is spin,spin,spin and has to generate a lot of power off the wing for his ball have that much topspin,speed and placement. Nadal needs to get deep balls to glitch your game,until you make a error or you give a short ball for him to put away. Murray can also rip it but he gets stuck in a passive game mode sometimes like he doesn't know when to pull the trigger.

    The closest thing I have seen to a pusher on the big stages is Simon,who feeds you normal balls,then gives some "barely over the net" soft balls with little speed to them and then he can unleash a whopper forehand on your ass. But even those soft balls are a strategy and it is not pure pushing as you would see at your local tennis court.

    Hewitt was not a PUSHER. Tennis is getting the ball over the net and keeping it between the lines. That's all it is. Deal with it.
     
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  20. CanadianChic

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    I still don't care for him.
     
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  21. defrule

    defrule Professional

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    Very down to earth guy.
     
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  22. tintin

    tintin Professional

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    didn't care about him when he was on "top";don't care about him now and never will
    arrogant racist punk
     
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  23. CanadianChic

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    Well said.
     
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  24. Mustard

    Mustard Talk Tennis Guru

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    Lleyton Hewitt tends to be way underrated by some people today, who seem to have forgotten how good he once was.

    When Lleyton Hewitt was a teenager, I thought Hewitt was going to be the next big superstar in tennis, i.e. that he was going to be Sampras' replacement. But he was far more exciting to watch than Sampras IMO, and what really impressed me was his mental attitude. I was a big fan of Hewitt from the moment I saw him play. He reminded me of a football (soccer) player who uses a lot of passion in matches.

    Hewitt was mentally ready for the tennis elite almost from the start of his professional career, whereas other guys of his generation, including Federer, took years in putting all the pieces together mentally.

    In 2000, he started the year with a bang and people were talking him up as a huge star of the future and some were even backing him to win the Australian Open there and then until Magnus Norman beat him. Hewitt rose up the rankings fast and was becoming better all the time, and made his big grand slam breakthrough at the US Open that year in getting to the semi finals and winning the doubles title with Max Mirnyi.

    In 2001 and 2002, we saw Hewitt's best years in terms of results as he finished both years as world number 1, won the 2001 US Open, 2002 Wimbledon and the Masters Cup in both years, providing us with some thrilling matches. Hewitt also won 2002 Indian Wells. There was also his perfect performance at Florianopolis on clay in 2001 Davis Cup when he played 3 matches, a singles match against Meligeni, a doubles match with Rafter against Kuerten/Oncins, and a singles match against a prime Kuerten, and Hewitt won all 3 matches without dropping a single set.

    I thought that Hewitt was only going to improve further in 2003, especially after he won his second masters series shield at Indian Wells, but instead he had a wobble and become much more inconsistent. Him blowing a 2 set lead at the French Open against Robredo after playing perfect clay-court tennis up to that point, was massively out of character. Jason Stoltenberg quit as his coach after that, Hewitt looked sluggish at Queens where he had been 3-time defending champion and then had that awful first round loss at Wimbledon to Ivo Karlovic, the lowest point of Hewitt's career.

    But Hewitt somewhat rescued something out of 2003 with those phenomenal Davis Cup 5-set wins against Federer and Ferrero, the former particularly, and Hewitt looked like he was getting that consistency back. In 2004, I honestly think Hewitt was starting to play his best tennis ever, but the only problem was that Roger Federer was about to hit his prime, and Federer handed Hewitt some very tough losses that year. Hewitt was in the matches at the Australian Open and Wimbledon, but he was thrashed out of sight in Hamburg, the US Open and the Masters Cup. In 2005, Hewitt had a phenomenal run to the final of the Australian Open, but a similar pattern to 2004 continued as the year enfolded with Federer beating Hewitt regularly in big tournaments, only Hewitt was now starting to be dogged with injuries for the first time, which forced him to miss the clay-court season and the last months of the year.

    After 2005, Hewitt's speed, that he relied on so much, was reducing somewhat due to injuries, and with a player of Hewitt's style, a loss of speed is going to affect your game a lot, especially in regards to playing at elite level. Since then, Hewitt has still given us some great and exciting matches, but he hasn't played at elite level on a consistent basis since 2005.

    Those who say Hewitt has overachieved are very wrong, because he has massively underachieved. Without Federer around, Hewitt is a probable 7-time slam winner across 3 slam tournaments and with another Masters Cup to his collection, which would have been a vast improvement on what he has achieved in actual reality. He was recently voted the third best player of the noughties behind Federer and Nadal, even ahead of Agassi. A great achievement.
     
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2010
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  25. sillymonkey

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    Always liked Hewitt. His "come ons" never bothered me; they're no worse than other players celebrations. I like his tenaciousness and pluck.
     
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  26. Ocean Drive

    Ocean Drive Hall of Fame

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    Ha, Hewitt was never a pusher and he was a way better player than Murray and Davydenko.
     
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  27. Anaconda

    Anaconda Hall of Fame

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    Seriously. OMFG!! do you actually like any player on tour?


    Anyway Hewitt is one of my personal favourites with Safin and Roddick. He may have come across as a jackass but really who cares. Love you rusty :)
     
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  28. Gugafan

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    Great summary of Hewitts career. He deserves full credit for breaking the top 20 last year after hip surgery and having to deal with issues off the courts, such as kids. No one gave him a shot at Wimbledon, but he took eventual finalist Roddick to 5 sets and knocked off Del Potro.

    In 04-05 he reivented his game, added abit more power and he lost to Federer in like 3 of the of the 4 slams. During this time he had great success against the likes of Nalbandian, Davydenko and Roddick all who were pretty close to their prime at the time.
     
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  29. SLD76

    SLD76 Legend

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    I still dont like Hewitt personally as a player. The only reason he is less offensive now is because he doesnt play as many matches of consequence, where emotions can run high and where his complete lack of sportsmanship can manifest.


    I admire his determination to hang around the game even though it has long sinced passed him by, but I still think he is a bit of an arse.
     
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2010
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  30. Richie Rich

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    i think that pretty much sums up the perception of him
     
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  31. Ocean Drive

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    The game hasn't passed him by, he's simply gotten worse, for various (respectable) reasons.
     
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  32. SLD76

    SLD76 Legend

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    Well, imo, if you do the same things reasonably well that made you a top 5 player and now you are a 30-20 player, the game has passed you by.
     
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  33. Ocean Drive

    Ocean Drive Hall of Fame

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    Yes, he lost to federer 5 out of 7 slams he contested in the course of 2004 to 2005. (Didn't play Roland Garros in 2005)
     
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  34. jamesblakefan#1

    jamesblakefan#1 G.O.A.T.

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    Except Hewitt's nowhere near the mover he was when he was #1 in the world. It's like saying if Nadal fell 3 years from now, it would only be because he wasn't all that good to begin with, not because of the problems w/ his knees. Hewitt has had the same type of injury problems.
     
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  35. Ocean Drive

    Ocean Drive Hall of Fame

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    Haha, Hewitt isn't close to the player he once was. I don't see how that is debatable. He is about 15 steps slower than he once was, which was his key asset, if he can't move around the court like he used to, he's not going to be able to hit the ball like he used to. Maybe you just started watching tennis, if you have, just compare clips of him now to 2000-2005 or even 2007.
     
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  36. Mustard

    Mustard Talk Tennis Guru

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    Eh? Hewitt is slower now than he was at his peak. That's vital for a player who plays the sort of style he does. And these days Hewitt is out with injury quite often.
     
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  37. SLD76

    SLD76 Legend

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    Hence the phrase, reasonably JBF, or are you saying he is a completely inept mover now? Im not saying he is as young as he was at his best or moves the same, but the dropoff isnt that precipitious.

    The game passed him bye. As of 2005/6.
     
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  38. Mustard

    Mustard Talk Tennis Guru

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    Hewitt has faded from the elite of tennis since 2006, because of injuries and the subsequent loss of speed.
     
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  39. samprasvsfederer123

    samprasvsfederer123 Banned

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    a he shouldnt have won in wimby 2002 against wimby he wont win any more grand slams no more masters shields no more important titles, and it wont be so big when he retires atleast thats how i feel goodbye hewitt you unfortunatley were wiped off the face of the earth and havent come back in 5 years
     
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  40. OJ ROD

    OJ ROD Semi-Pro

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    I don't think Murray or Hewitt are pushers. But Hewitt is more agressive than Murray. A pusher won't make it on the tour, but sometimes it seems to me that Murray pushes that line as much as he can.
     
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  41. Ocean Drive

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    The game hasn't passed him "bye"...

    So you're telling me guys who were in the top 10 during the periods he wasn't are just better players than he ever was?

    Pretty amusing.
     
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  42. zagor

    zagor Talk Tennis Guru

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    I don't buy that "game passed him by" stuff for a second.Hewitt's nowhere near the player he once was.

    He's quite underrated IMO.He was a terrific player once with amazing movement,return of serve,mental tougness and laser like passing shots(just ask Henman).
     
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  43. jamesblakefan#1

    jamesblakefan#1 G.O.A.T.

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    English, please?
     
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  44. Morrissey

    Morrissey Guest

    When did Hewitt hit winners?
     
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  45. The Edberg

    The Edberg Banned

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    Hewitt at his peak was just as good as anyone in the top 10 right now aside from Roger and Nadal. The game didnt pass him by. He just lost alot of his game once injuries hit.. Mostly the movement and speed which was so important for his counterpunching style
     
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  46. Morrissey

    Morrissey Guest

    I like that you said this because in a predominantly pro Hewitt thread it was refreshing to see it from that perspective. But it's hard to get under opponents skin when you're losing all the time. When he lost his speed he slowly started to lose the desire and fighting will he had from 2000-2005. He had abililty to hit some winners, but only when he had pace coming to him. As we know, he was incapable of generating his own pace.

    Where I compare him to Murray is not mentally, but style-wise on the court, mainly defensively. Both are like brick walls at the baseline, can change direction of the ball in rallies and absorb pace greatly. They also had a great ability to return big servers like Roddick and company. Difference is that Murray can crank the ball and create tremendous pace on his own as opposed to Hewitt who simply rolled it back and waited for his opponent to create the pace again. Murray also can bomb aces more than Hewitt ever could, that could also be because Murray is taller and Hewitt is under 6 feet. But where they are very different is mentally, when Hewitt was in "lock down" mode and you know what I mean, he was really hard to break down unless you were Federer or maybe Agassi back then.

    Roddick knows that "lock down" mode Hewitt had many times over the peak years of his from 2000-2005. He was tenacious, fast and got off on having an "enemy" or creating additional adversity to get fired up, which led to many hating his guts and the whole country of Argentina wanting to strangle his neck. He became unlikeable due to that attitude, but to be at the level he wanted to be he NEEDED to be that way.

    Sort of like Djokovic in his early days of 2007 and 2008 (his peak years). He was cocky, showed a lack of respect to guys like Nadal & Federer and he thrived on it. You could see he played best when he was sticking his chest out and bumping it with his fist and making sure guys like Fed and Nadal saw that during their matches. He wanted to let the world know he was hot **** and he didn't care about the resume that Federer and Nadal carried in front of him. For a while there he was slightly better than them, but when people got sick of his arrogance and his imitations of other players the locker room probably followed as well. It may be possible that the locker room vibe towards Joker was negative after a while. He came off as a smart ass (like 95% of this forum). When his demeanour softened and became more humble and mellow you could see a dip in his quality on court too.

    In a way this is similar to Hewitt. When everything blew over at the AO 2005 when Chela spat in his direction and people wanted to choke him he sort of changed and became more subdued on the court, especially after intense and great rallies. You knew he was aware of the reception outside of the tennis courts. But also, how long can you have this "me against the world" attitude for? Especially when you found the love of your life and just got married? Not to mention have banked in millions of dollars? Soon, that attitude dies and with that his speed went down a notch somewhere in 2005. His contract with Nike also expired that year and they never renewed it, probably foreseeing his demise and also focusing on a young, more marketable with more upside in Rafael Nadal. From the fall of 2005 and onwards Hewitt's career when on a downward spiral. Surely injuries hurt him, but so many things left him as well. His speed and day in day out desire amongst other things.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 30, 2010
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  47. The Edberg

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    LOL...:) Thats just sad when you think about but it's true.. Djokovic's "peak years" where he was essentially 19-20 years old. whereas now he should be at his peak career wise with possibly a handful of slams, a stint at number 1 or possibly number 1 now with Nadal not top form and Federer pretty much just a slam player. Yet he is 20 times less tenaciously driven today, and is still clinging on that sole slam back 2 years ago
     
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  48. Ocean Drive

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    Can't believe some guy has just said Hewitt lost desire for the sport...after multiple injuries, he's still on court with as much fire as ever.
     
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  49. THUNDERVOLLEY

    THUNDERVOLLEY G.O.A.T.

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    Agreed. He's nothing but a transitional hiccup between the heart of the Sampras and Federer generations.
     
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  50. Justin Side

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    I've always liked Hewitt. Leaves it all on the court.
     
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