Lleyton Hewitt builds his perfect player

Discussion in 'General Pro Player Discussion' started by Cesc Fabregas, Jan 9, 2011.

  1. Cesc Fabregas

    Cesc Fabregas Legend

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    IF LLEYTON Hewitt was suddenly equipped with the divine powers to construct the perfect tennis player, only five men would be used as building blocks.

    All of them have won grand slams.

    All of them have beaten, and lost, to Hewitt.

    Andre Agassi, Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Pat Rafter and Pete Sampras are the components in Hewitt’s world-beating prototype.

    Tennis neophytes armed with shallow opinion rather than fact might question Hewitt’s qualifications to comment on Agassi and Sampras.

    Not so.

    Hewitt defeated both men before the champion Americans won their final majors.

    It is clear Sampras, Agassi and Rafter left a deep impression on Hewitt in the formative stages of the South Australian’s barnstorming career.

    Just as Nadal and Federer have over the past five years.

    “The serve. Pete Sampras would have to be up there when he was on, especially his second serve,” said Hewitt, winner of Wimbledon and US Open singles crowns.

    End of sidebar. Return to start of sidebar.
    “Returns. Andre, he’s got to be up there.

    “Forehand. It’s between Rafa and Roger. Totally different forehands, that’s the hard thing.

    “Backhand. Rafa, at the moment, has got a pretty good backhand for his style of play.

    “Volley. It’s probably between Pete (Sampras) and Pat (Rafter).

    “Slice backhand. It would have to be Rog.

    “There’s so much variation on his slice, he can use it as a defensive shot and an offensive shot extremely well.

    He’s able to come into the net off it and he’s able to bring his opponent in on it.

    ”Top-spin backhand. Rafa or Agassi.”

    There are two areas where Hewitt could easily have nominated himself.

    Return of serve and movement.

    Injuries to Hewitt and corresponding advances in fi tness and technique have seen Nadal and Federer take movement to new levels of excellence as Hewitt has been forced to cede his reputation as the fastest man in the game.

    “In terms of movement, it’s Roger and Rafa in a lot of ways,” he said.

    “Roger is a little bit more of a fluent mover, but Rafa gets to more balls by sort of grinding and standing a long way back and whatever.

    “Whereas Roger’s movement is more like Pete’s. They were sort of like a cat, just sort of gliding across the court, cutting off angles extremely well. (Novak) Djokovic moves extremely well, (Andy) Murray moves well.”

    Hewitt lost 15 matches in a row to Federer after winning seven of his first nine against the Swiss.

    Apart from outrageous talent and textbook technique, Hewitt says Federer’s most bankable asset is intangible.

    The X factor.

    “Roger is the guy that’s been able to change his game up the most, purely because he doesn’t give you a lot of rhythm most of the time,” Hewitt said.

    “He’s sort of changed tennis.

    “There are a lot of guys out there now – (Tomas) Berdych, (Marcos) Baghdatis and (Fernando) Gonzalez – who can hit through anything, hit extremely hard. (Juan Martin) Del Potro, guys like that.

    “But Roger is able to nullify their pace by using different shots, different shot selections and spin.

    “Whereas Rafa has sort of got his A-game and sticks to it the whole time, Roger is actually able to do a lot of different things.”





    http://www.heraldsun.com.au/ipad/lleyton-builds-the-perfect-player/story-fn6bn647-1225984238931
     
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  2. The-Champ

    The-Champ Legend

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    I'm surprised he chosed Nadal's bh and and not Agassi's.
     
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  3. Paul Murphy

    Paul Murphy Hall of Fame

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    #3
  4. BLACKOUT

    BLACKOUT Rookie

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    Hewitt knows his tennis, always has and always will.
     
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  5. The-Champ

    The-Champ Legend

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    of course he does, but doesn't it surprise you that he would chose Nadal's bh and not agassi's.

    I'm a Nadal fan but I'd take Agassi's bh any day. AA bh was a formidable weapon, penetrating and took the ball really early with it. Hewitt should know this, he had a taste of it at the USO 2002.
     
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  6. Pwned

    Pwned Hall of Fame

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    That's what I was thinking. That is what Agassi was known for (and the return).
     
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  7. Tennis sensation

    Tennis sensation Hall of Fame

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    Yes, I am surprised too.
     
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  8. The-Champ

    The-Champ Legend

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    yeah, Rafa chickens out a lot on the bh side and resorts to his defensive slice. Maybe a tactical move? AA on the other hand bulldozes everyone with his bh, and for me that's leaps and bounds better than Rafa's put-the-ball-in-play bh.


    Anyway, LLeyton has his reasons, I just wish Rafa hits his bh like this all the time


    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GZ8AKFCtiVc&feature=related
     
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  9. The-Champ

    The-Champ Legend

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    oh and another thing, Hewitt can't choose between Federer and Nadal's fhs.



    I'm starting to believe, he's a **** :D
     
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2011
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  10. Pwned

    Pwned Hall of Fame

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    Surface and time period!
     
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  11. sdont

    sdont Legend

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    Is it a nice way to say that Rafa is mono-dimensional?
     
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  12. Hitman

    Hitman G.O.A.T.

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    I used to love some of Hewitt's old interviews. :)

    He would win a match, and then talk about his opponent. He would literally talk about every match his opponent has played in that event, the amount of games, where the guy was broken, how he won each set, when he was foot faulted, if the sun got in his eye when he was serving to the ad court... He would give the guy's whole life history as if he was his coach that week!!!

    Great stuff.

    A bit shocked also that he did not pick AA's backhand. That shot is legendary.
     
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  13. tennisoz

    tennisoz New User

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    No surprise in Hewitt choosing Nadal's bh over Agassi's. Obviously both are incredible shots, but Rafa's bh is highly underrated and extremely versatile. His ability to create angle from the centre of the court without sacrificing speed is unmatched by anyone. Agassi's was obviously flatter, but Nadal's doesn't suffer any loss of speed, whilst generating high spin....and that is the scary part. The court is effectively way bigger for Nadal, and effectively wayyyyy wider for his opponents.
     
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  14. BLACKOUT

    BLACKOUT Rookie

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    @The-Champ, I am surprised he didn't pick Agassi BH or Rafa's, maybe he was thinking of that spin or the nasty cross court BH that Rafa hits for a lot of winners when your not expecting it
     
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  15. joeri888

    joeri888 G.O.A.T.

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    Only things I'd question is pete's first serve (to me Goran's or Ivo's are both better), and backhand (no way it's either Nadal or Agassi), there are a ton of better backhands in the history of the game.

    Also: Forehand--> Fed over Nad obv. for me.
    Movement--> Nad over Fed obv. for me.
     
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  16. jdubbs

    jdubbs Hall of Fame

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    Hewitt went on to say: "Look at him (the linesman) and tell me what the similarity is (beckoning towards Blake)"
     
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  17. BrooklynNY

    BrooklynNY Hall of Fame

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    Youre completely ignoring the fact that, Goran, Ivo serve is magnified by the fact that they are several inches taller than there opponents on average.

    Sampras serve is the best, pound for pound. (or inch/meter for inch/meter)
     
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  18. Mustard

    Mustard Talk Tennis Guru

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    Which could mean one of three things:
    1. Hewitt was being racist
    2. Hewitt was pointing out the similarity between the same linesman foot-faulting him twice
    3. Hewitt was accusing the linesman of being racist towards him.

    Why did the media assume it was number 1 for definite? Hewitt claimed it was number 2, but I personally think it was number 3. Still, I absolutely love the way that Hewitt went on to win the whole tournament, beating Roddick and Sampras along the way, with the press people painting him out to be some sort of racist monster. Mental toughness at its best.
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2011
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  19. Mustard

    Mustard Talk Tennis Guru

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    Aye, they were great interviews. That and his tennis game convinced me he was the next big star in tennis after Sampras. He was always mentally ready for the tennis elite.
     
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  20. NadalAgassi

    NadalAgassi Guest

    Nadal has a much better running backhand, probably the best one in history. Agassi has a better stationary backhand.
     
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  21. jdubbs

    jdubbs Hall of Fame

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    Yeah, I thought it was #3 as well. But even if you THINK it, you shouldn't say it. Hewitt always seemed like a little unlikable, spoiled twerp. Kind of like Andy Murray.
     
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  22. BrooklynNY

    BrooklynNY Hall of Fame

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    I dont know if this was posted but here is this excerpt from a recent Hewitt interview.

    He acknowledges that he basically played in between the Sampras and Federer Eras, but you have to give him credit for taking advantage of that window, with a Wimbledon Title, only what, like 5-6 different winners in the past 20 years, and USO, a Davis Cup and 80 weeks at number 1.

    Hewitt [...] would not change a thing. So is there anything he would alter? The fact, perhaps, that having seen off Pete Sampras and Andre Agassi, he played the second half of his career in the shadow of the Federer-Nadal duopoly, when grand slams for mere mortals have proved so hard to win?

    ''I was in between eras, I guess,'' he reflects. ''I felt that my game was probably at some times suited better to beating guys like Sampras and Agassi. But I don't know what I'd change. I would have liked to have won the 2005 Australian Open. The 2001 Davis Cup final, I would have liked to have won that one as well. And there's small matches here and there, but as a whole it's not too bad.

    http://www.smh.com.au/sport/tennis/its-the-lleyt-lleyt-show-20110108-19jai.html
     
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  23. Jchurch

    Jchurch Guest

    This. Lol Rogerbestsexylovenicefriendlyphilanthropyclass
     
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  24. NadalAgassi

    NadalAgassi Guest

    Hewitt was lucky in some ways but unlucky in many others. He was kept from winning many more slams by a guy like Federer. And he is a far better player than guys like Kafelnikov, Rafter, or Bruguera who also won 2 slams so it is hard to say he is lucky.

    He is also unlucky in that like he said his game wsnt really tailor made to beat Federer. In fact his game is extremely ill suited to play Federer, which explains how players who arent better than prime Hewitt like Djokovic and Murray have made more impact on Federer. And it was too far into his career to change by then. It was better suited to playing guys like Sampras or Agassi if anything. As he said he was kind of between eras.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 11, 2011
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