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View Full Version : Lleyton vs ATP...Pulls out of Barcelona...now Rome!


Tennis Fool
Apr 15th, 2003, 12:23 AM
**Updated on 4/15/03**

Well, looks like it's going to be a long summer, folks :o

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Tennis-Embattled Hewitt pulls out of ATP event
Tue Apr 15, 8:37 AM ET

By Ossian Shine

LONDON, April 15 (Reuters) - World number one Lleyton Hewitt has pulled out of next week's Barcelona Open -- just hours after threatening to sue the tournament's overseers -- the player's management said on Tuesday.



The news of the Australian's withdrawal from the Spanish claycourt event comes after it was revealed he could be set to sue the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) for 2.5 million Australian dollars ($1.51 million).


Hewitt's agents at Octagon said he would miss the Barcelona event because the player's doctor has advised that he continue to take several weeks rest following two tournament wins in the U.S. on hard courts in March at Scottsdale and Indian Wells and Australia's quarter-final Davis Cup victory in Sweden earlier this month.


Hewitt also technically withdrew from the ATP Masters Series event that is being held in Monte Carlo this week.


"Lleyton was forced to withdraw from an event that was never included in his schedule this year," Hewitt's representative, Tom Ross of Octagon, said referring to Monte Carlo.


"The ATP automatically enters all top players in Masters Series events, regardless of their individual intentions."


Hewitt's schedule does include ATP events in Rome and Hamburg next month in the lead-up to the French Open (news - web sites), which begins in Paris on May 26.


NEW LOW


His relationship with the organisers of men's tennis hit a new low earlier on Tuesday with the world number one threatening to sue the governing body for allegedly damaging his reputation.


The threat, reported in Sydney's Daily Telegraph newspaper, involved Hewitt's legal team telling the ATP they will sue for A$2.5 million (US$1.5 million) unless they agree to drop a fine imposed on him for failing to do a television interview last year.


Hewitt alleges the ATP breached its contract with him and defamed him in media statements. He also claims the ATP "intentionally and without justification" interfered in his business affairs by withholding part of his prizemoney.


Hewitt's lawyers said they would begin proceedings in the South Australian Supreme Court in June unless the matter can be resolved privately.


Hewitt, 22, was fined US$106,000 for failing to attend a television interview shortly before he was due to play a match in Cincinnati last year.


The fine was reduced to US$20,000 on appeal in January.


The ATP confirmed that it had received "

Sam L
Apr 15th, 2003, 12:27 AM
This is the most preposterous thing I have ever heard. He'll be suing the organisation that puts bread and butter on his table. Anyway, whatever, I hope he loses.

Gowza
Apr 15th, 2003, 12:34 AM
i thought it was $2.5 million? maybe i heard it wrong. i think this will really hurt his rep and probaqbly screw up australian tennis. at the moment the mens tennis is the big thing in australia and hewitt being #1 means he gets most of the attention and this will cause us to suffer. less youngsters will play and we will miss out on some good players.

i don't really get why he is doing consideriing that he has a lot of money already.

i don't think it is right what the atp did but hewitt doesn't need the money so why try and get it? and to bring it up so much time after the incident occurred is doesn't really help, it just makes him look more stupid.

i hope everyone can get over this as soon as possible for the sake of the game. may i reiterate that it is just a GAME so why do these things always get in the way? they should just be left alone imo.

lleytnkim
Apr 15th, 2003, 12:44 AM
Its $2.5 mil. aussie dollars, which is US$1.5 million. I don't think its about money, its more about matter of priciple. Lleyton thinks he didn't do anything wrong in Cincy last year. He is not happy that they're asking him to pay US $20,000 fine for that. And there are other things that have contributed to his decision to sue the ATP. Perhaps monetary damages is the only thing he can sue them for. who knows?

This article will give you a better view of the situation.

HEWITT TO SUE TENNIS CHIEFS

EXCLUSIVE: By LEO SCHLINK
15apr03

WIMBLEDON champion Lleyton Hewitt has threatened multimillion-dollar legal action against the peak international men's tennis organisation for allegedly damaging his reputation.

Adelaide's world No 1 is believed to be demanding almost $2.5 million after he was fined an estimated $US106,000 ($A175,711) by the Association of Tennis Professionals.

The penalty – the largest levied on an Australian sportsman – was for failing to do an interview with American TV network ESPN in Cincinnati on August 6 last year. The original fine was reduced by the ATP to $US20,000 ($A33,153) on appeal but this did not satisfy Hewitt's concerns about the handling of the matter.

His father, Glynn, said yesterday the proposed court action was not about money but reputation.

"If the issue were money, Lleyton could have accepted one of the compromise offers made by the ATP prior to the appeal," Mr Hewitt said.

"It should be understood that the issue is, and always has been, about clearing Lleyton's name.

"In light of the appeal finding, we now have no choice but to proceed to the courts to safeguard Lleyton's rights, both in respect of this and other matters," Mr Hewitt said.

Lawyers acting for the 22-year-old have told the ATP proceedings will be issued in the South Australian Supreme Court in June unless the matter can be resolved privately.

Hewitt said last night he could not comment on the court action. The basis of the champion's claim are that the ATP acted unlawfully in withholding his prizemoney in Cincinnati, where he was beaten in the final by Spaniard Carlos Moya.

Hewitt alleges the ATP breached its contract with him and also defamed him in media statements.

He also claims the ATP "intentionally and without justification" interfered in his business affairs.

The feud between Hewitt and some of the most powerful tennis administrators in the world has simmered since the ATP fined Hewitt half his prizemoney in Cincinnati for not doing the interview.

Hewitt insists he was prepared to do the interview and asked an ATP staff member to tell ESPN.

Hewitt appealed against the violation in November and the ATP reduced the fine to $US20,000 on January 14. Mr Hewitt said he and his son were "disappointed but not surprised" the ATP had reduced its original fine – a fact the ATP has not disclosed, citing confidentiality.

"If the ATP believes that a reduction of over 80 per cent of the amount of the fine will satisfy our concerns at the attitude adopted by the ATP or its handling of this matter, it is mistaken," he said.

"We remain of the view that there was no proper basis for any action to be taken or fine to be levied by the ATP." The US Open winner and Davis Cup spearhead claims his conduct in Cincinnati did not breach his contract with the ATP, nor the provisions of the STARS program, which obliges leading players to perform a specified number of promotional and media duties.

Hewitt alleges there was not a "reasonable investigation to determine the facts" regarding his alleged refusal to do the interview.

Hewitt and coach Jason Stoltenberg claim he was willing to do the interview and had told officials as much.

Hewitt claims the appeal hearing in New York on November 6-7 "did not comply with the rules of natural justice".

It is understood Hewitt believes he was defamed in a number of statements to the media by ATP chief executive officer Mark Miles and other ATP representatives. Hewitt could also present evidence on unrelated issues claiming:

HE was blackmailed with "deliberate and malicious manipulation" of the wild card system to undertake a medical examination in Miami.

THE ATP had sent an unidentified representative to Hewitt's hotel in Zurich "requesting him to sign a form refusing to do a drug test".

THE ATP had demanded Hewitt be interviewed for a soft porn magazine.

The ATP declined yesterday to comment on the issue.

Because of his disaffection with the ATP, Hewitt has thrown his support behind the fledgling International Mens' Tennis Association, which is seeking a stronger player voice in the running of men's tennis.

Hewitt's frustration with the ATP has led him to follow a lighter tournament schedule, endangering his almost two-year reign as world No 1.

tennischick
Apr 15th, 2003, 01:29 AM
wow. :eek: i'm sure that the ATP is missing the days when the compliant android ruled...:o

DutchieGirl
Apr 15th, 2003, 01:35 AM
Go Lleyton! ATP suck! ;)

And btw, Wayne Ferreira is supposed to have something to do with the setting up of the other Mens Tennis body. And if Wayne thinks there's something wrong with the ATP, then there most probably IS!

King Lindsay
Apr 15th, 2003, 01:38 AM
Talk about biting the hand that feeds you.

Lleyton's always been a brat, but this is insanity. I hope this actually does go to court, I'd love to hear both sides present their sides of the story.

When did this story break? I thought it would be pretty big news that the world #1 is suing the very organization he is #1 of.

Gowza
Apr 15th, 2003, 01:44 AM
King Lindsay, it happened at wimbledon last year.

Philbo
Apr 15th, 2003, 01:45 AM
On the surface, it looks a little petty, but if they truley feel he didnt deserve to be fined, I udnerstand them wanting to fight the fine..

". i think this will really hurt his rep and probaqbly screw up australian tennis. at the moment the mens tennis is the big thing in australia and hewitt being #1 means he gets most of the attention and this will cause us to suffer. less youngsters will play and we will miss out on some good players" -

thats just silly - you actually think a 7 year old who likes tennis is gonna say "dad I dont want to play tennis anymore, lleyton is suiing the ATP"??? Of course not.

Go Lleyton, your a legend!!

King Lindsay
Apr 15th, 2003, 01:45 AM
Gowza .... no, it didn't. Whatever are you talking about, man? I want to know when the story broke that Lleyton is planning a lawsuit against the ATP. That did not happen at Wimbledon.

Gowza
Apr 15th, 2003, 01:47 AM
sorry, i thought you meant when did the incident happen, not when he planned a lawsuit.

first i heard of it was yesterday.

King Lindsay
Apr 15th, 2003, 01:49 AM
Quite okay. Thanks for answering the question.

Btw, the incident occurred at Cincinnati.

TennisHack
Apr 15th, 2003, 02:18 AM
Well, if you're going to try to steal my thunder from the ATP forum, you could at least rope in my boy Sjengster, too:

THE ATP had demanded Hewitt be interviewed for a soft porn magazine.

LMAO . . . in what lifetime?

King Lindsay
Apr 15th, 2003, 02:22 AM
Tennishack, lol, I saw that and was actually like, "hey, maybe lleyton was being mistreated," but now i realize that Magazine was probably Playboy or something like that. LOL, I highly doubt they wanted him exposed in said softporn magazine, just one of the interviews to go with the ladies. ;) cuz you know, that's why people read those mags. The articles.

TennisHack
Apr 15th, 2003, 02:26 AM
Oh, but KL, I'm sure the ATP demanded Potatoman interview with said "softcore" magazine (there's actually a debate about what "softcore porn" actually means in the other thread in the ATP forum).

Those miscreants. ;)

King Lindsay
Apr 15th, 2003, 02:38 AM
I know, eh? Poor Lleyton, so hard done by. If the only the ATP would stop persecuting him! why can't they just let him play his tennis while paying him millions of dollars and just expect nothing back like they are supposed to! How dare they ask that he support the very tour that supports him! Clearly, Mark Miles and co. have been sent by the devil.

DiZZiA
Apr 15th, 2003, 03:54 AM
SYDNEY, April 15 (Reuters) -- Lleyton Hewitt's relationship with the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) has hit a new low with the world No. 1 reportedly threatening to sue the governing body for allegedly damaging his reputation.



LOL!!!! Does he ever have any reputation??? :rolleyes:

Talking about hurting tennis Australia is totally bullshit, I've known a few Aussie tennis fans over the net and 95% of them don't like Lleyton!!!

He is nothing compared to Pat Rafter regarding the contribution to Australia!!!

Dawn Marie
Apr 15th, 2003, 04:27 AM
He rep was screwed up before any interview was supposed to be.

Lleyton is a complete Idiot.

DutchieGirl
Apr 15th, 2003, 04:39 AM
Q:

If you got fined(docked pay, less hours or something) at work for supposedly doing something wrong when you actually hadn't, wouldn't you want to fight for your rights?

So what's the difference with Lleyton fighting for his rights? If he believes he's been wronged, then let him take it to court and sort it out!

1jackson2001
Apr 15th, 2003, 04:46 AM
He is kinda dumb for doing this. He is hurting his rep even more than supposedly helping it.

ico4498
Apr 15th, 2003, 05:05 AM
Lleyton strikes a mighty blow to breathe some interest into the anemic ATP!

Hey, if you're not personally charismatic, nothing wrong with manufacturing artificial excitement.

Isn't there a ATP thingamajig for snoozer related posts?

go hingis
Apr 15th, 2003, 07:04 AM
Good on Lleyton, if he feels his been wronged then he has the right to fight.
Why should he just sit there and take it, the ATP think there all that, "the hand that feeds him", hhmm where would the ATP be without it's players, (something they should think about).
I'ts about time someone stood up the the ATP or WTA or any big organisation, why should the little man always put up with everything, why does the big bad wolf get away with it.
Personally the manner the ATP handled this, was wrong and now it looks like their going to pay, I hope Lleyton lets all the juicy secrets out!

Lisbeth
Apr 15th, 2003, 07:35 AM
LOL!!!! Does he ever have any reputation??? :rolleyes:

Talking about hurting tennis Australia is totally bullshit, I've known a few Aussie tennis fans over the net and 95% of them don't like Lleyton!!!

He is nothing compared to Pat Rafter regarding the contribution to Australia!!!

It's true he isn't our adored Pat, but it's simply untrue to say 95% of Australians don't like him. It may be true of the net friends you happen to come across, but I know many, many Australians in real life who love him and another big group who don't love him but like him well enough to stay up to all hours and watch him play Wimbledon. The group who actually hates him is really quite small from where I stand.

Lisbeth
Apr 15th, 2003, 07:36 AM
And I meant to say, it's common to sue for defamation and not just for the $. If Lleyton feels he's been wronged then it's his right to sue, even if I don't necessarily think it's going to help that reputation in the long run!

JonBcn
Apr 15th, 2003, 07:45 AM
wow. :eek: i'm sure that the ATP is missing the days when the compliant android ruled...:o

From compliant android to complaint android.

Hopefully their lawyer will provide any number of amusing examples of on-court antics to prove that Hewitt is not all that bothered about his reputation. Hell, i'd like to run the case the for them!

Car Key Boi
Apr 15th, 2003, 09:32 AM
From compliant android to complaint android.

Hopefully their lawyer will provide any number of amusing examples of on-court antics to prove that Hewitt is not all that bothered about his reputation. Hell, i'd like to run the case the for them!

i agree

and i would like to see how Lleyton's legal Bois can show loss of $1.5 million as a result of ATP's *unreasonable* behavoir

i can see both sets of lawyers rubbing their hands on this one, especially if it ever does go to court

- Car Key Boi

possie
Apr 15th, 2003, 11:40 AM
Q:

If you got fined(docked pay, less hours or something) at work for supposedly doing something wrong when you actually hadn't, wouldn't you want to fight for your rights?

So what's the difference with Lleyton fighting for his rights? If he believes he's been wronged, then let him take it to court and sort it out!

I agree Sarah.

Kirt12255
Apr 15th, 2003, 01:47 PM
:wavey: :wavey: :wavey: :wavey: :wavey: :wavey: :wavey: :wavey: :wavey: :wavey: HELLO!!!!!!!!!!

The Press-Conference was before his match!!!!!! he had every right not to show for it!

To fine the number 1 (Mens or Womens) Is also biting the hand that feeds the tour.....think about it! :wavey:

Car Key Boi
Apr 15th, 2003, 02:58 PM
Q:

If you got fined(docked pay, less hours or something) at work for supposedly doing something wrong when you actually hadn't, wouldn't you want to fight for your rights?

So what's the difference with Lleyton fighting for his rights? If he believes he's been wronged, then let him take it to court and sort it out!

well it's gone way beyond Mr. Hewitt "fighting for his rights"

if he felt that the $40k fine was unjust, then fine, he can appeal and take it to court and he could have do so quietly

BUT he didn't

from the get go he's been pissing & moaning in the media at the ATP, banging his fists on the table and generally acting like the asshole that he is

now he has the nerve to threaten them with a $1.5 million lawsuit over the "bad reputation" due to this affair - what a joke!

and he has received a bad rep, but it's all his own doing - he's a fucking dipshit

- Car Key Boi

VSFan1 aka Joshua L.
Apr 15th, 2003, 03:06 PM
I think Lleyton could care less about 2 things --

1-His reputation.

2-The money in this case.

It's all about principle. I hope he wins and then takes the money and gives it to charity. Ever since ATP World was shut down, it shows me the ATP cares nothign about its fans.........NOW talk about biting the hand that feeds you.

GO LLEYTON! :D

VSFan1 aka Joshua L.
Apr 15th, 2003, 03:06 PM
And another thought....Lleyton is set for life, so even if he was to lose, it wouldn't affect him one bit.

servenrichie
Apr 15th, 2003, 03:07 PM
I live by the the doctrine, if you have nothing good to say about another player, then dont say it. Let's say i am going to make an exception here and say that Lleyton "the rat" Hewitt, has and is still making an ass of himself over this case. This case would have been settled quite long ago. It is quite easy pay the damm chicken change and move on, the whole world would have forgotten about it, but no, he has to display his obnoxious nature. Principles? Give me something else to work with. It is just a power play. I hope he wont rub off Kim one of these days! Talk of the beauty and the beast!

Kirt12255
Apr 15th, 2003, 03:15 PM
I live by the the doctrine, if you have nothing good to say about another player, then dont say it. Let's say i am going to make an exception here and say that Lleyton "the rat" Hewitt, has and is still making an ass of himself over this case. This case would have been settled quite long ago. It is quite easy pay the damm chicken change and move on, the whole world would have forgotten about it, but no, he has to display his obnoxious nature. Principles? Give me something else to work with. It is just a power play. I hope he wont rub off Kim one of these days! Talk of the beauty and the beast!

Perhaps you have forgotton that people are not only players....but people as well.

Who says it is Lleyton Suing anyhow....could guarantee it is his marketing group.

Lleyton has been known to donate to charity....he doesn't need the money....and calling him a Rat????

Get educated before you "Gun-Sling" from your'e hip.....who has taken the mens game up a level???? Perhaps a question you should think about!!!!

servenrichie
Apr 15th, 2003, 03:25 PM
Are we now back-pedalling? Iit is no more him suing but his agency? Give me a break.

BY the way, I have learnt a long time ago here, that people who attack the way you write, do so only because they ran out of valid arguments. Remove your head from Llyetons ass and look for a valid argument shithead!

Kirt12255
Apr 15th, 2003, 03:30 PM
Are we now back-pedalling? Iit is no more him suing but his agency? Give me a break.

BY the way, I have learnt a long time ago here, that people who attack the way you write, do so only because they ran out of valid arguments. Remove your head from Llyetons ass and look for a valid argument shithead!

And you are quoting who??? exactly???

servenrichie
Apr 15th, 2003, 03:34 PM
My, my you have a short memory dont you? Didnt you just say it is his agency/marketing group?
As i said before, remove your damm head from his ass, maybe you could come up with something that makes sense, fool!

Kirt12255
Apr 15th, 2003, 03:40 PM
:wavey: I guess you mean me.....and for someone who "Never" says anything bad about other players....you need new batteries for your'e vibrator!.

A) As you know any strong player has an entourage of many many people...including publicists!

B) As I said before....Lleyton donates alot to charity....and even being #1....Values Davis Cup highest on his list.....bad bloke huh??? check the US Team!

C) Lleyton fought through a democracy of bullshit in Australian Tennis to Breed the new generation here and make them realise that it "IS" possible....Todd Reid...JNR Wimbledon Champ last year....bad thing I guess huh?

D) Shit-Head.....don't call me a shit-head unless you have anything to prove my point wrong...it's called diplomacy!

Roxers
Apr 15th, 2003, 03:45 PM
I knew before that Potato is an ass

servenrichie
Apr 15th, 2003, 03:50 PM
I never say anything about other players and I stand by that. What has donating to charity or being a Davis cup hero got to do with paying a fine of violation? Is he supposed to get a special treatment just 'cause he donates to charity and play Davis cup. Whatever he has done for you in Australia tennis-wise is no skin of my nose, I am talking about international tennis here and not Australian tennis. I called you shit-head, which by the way i am repeating, because you chosed to insult me first, obviously you forgot the word diplomacy then.

Back to the topic, what you just listed is not enough to justify him not paying the fine and suing ATP. But you are doing fine, continue bringing out your head from his ass, you may still get that inspiration...

I will be gone now, i may check back later to see what you came up with shit-head :wavey:

Kirt12255
Apr 15th, 2003, 03:58 PM
I never say anything about other players and I stand by that. What has donating to charity or being a Davis cup hero got to do with paying a fine of violation? Is he supposed to get a special treatment just 'cause he donates to charity and play Davis cup. Whatever he has done for you in Australia tennis-wise is no skin of my nose, I am talking about international tennis here and not Australian tennis. I called you shit-head, which by the way i am repeating, because you chosed to insult me first, obviously you forgot the word diplomacy then.

Back to the topic, what you just listed is not enough to justify him not paying the fine and suing ATP. But you are doing fine, continue bringing out your head from his ass, you may still get that inspiration...

I will be gone now, i may check back later to see what you came up with shit-head :wavey:


I won't bother "Shit-Head"....my main point was by fineing the best in the game....it sends a negative message. If they were wrong then yes...Neither Lleyton or Serena should have been fined....Lleyton before a match (they have no right)....Serena at AO (Not worth it either).

As for your'e point with Marketing groups and Publicists??? do they not work together ??? "Shit-Head"......you abused me first....look back idiot.

Kirt12255
Apr 15th, 2003, 04:03 PM
OK I appologise ....it was me who went first....but your'e post was nasty ok !

Vicky88
Apr 15th, 2003, 04:26 PM
I say good on Lleyton for having the courage to stand up for what he is believes is right. Yes, he could just shut up and pay the fine, but it is the principle. If he let's them get away with it this time, what's to prevent them pulling the same stunt again.

Also this crap about how no-one in Australia likes him. I am a big Pat Rafter fan, as are most Aussies. Yes Lleyton is not Pat, but I do admire all he has achieved. All the hoo-ha about how he is a bad role model. Ask any of the young kids what they think, and most of them will tell you how much they love him and Kim.

As for the ATP, they say there is never smoke without fire, and taking into account what is going on with the ATP player's trying to set up an opposing organisation one could probably assume there is something bad within the ATP.

baleineau
Apr 15th, 2003, 04:35 PM
did monica successfully sue Fila? i can't remember the details.

1jackson2001
Apr 15th, 2003, 05:14 PM
I still think $1.5 million is too much. It makes him look like a money monger, which is supposedly not what his goal is. He's gonna worsen his rep thru this whole debacle no doubt. There will be people who won't even take him seriously anymore.

jmp
Apr 15th, 2003, 05:55 PM
This is an interesting development out of the "Cincinnati Incident". King Lindsay and I were commiserating last Tuesday about the press in the Jon Wertheim/Jennifer Capriati thread when I brought this up. Cliff and Pat mentioned several times how unprofessional and disappointed they were about Hewitt not giving them pre-match interviews. That was followed by several articles. After the "USO Incident", Hewitt figured out how his mouth could get him in trouble and he tried to take the "no comment" route. He interviewed after every match and kept his comments upbeat and tennis related. Neither Cliff or Pat asked him about the controversy during these interviews.

As for US dollar amounts, $106,000 is an exorbitant fine. That was the headline and not the fact that it was reduced to $20,000 on appeal. In legal proceedings, $1.5M is very minor in terms of defamation. The suit has to have a good sum of money involved to be taken seriously. Just prior to this fine, Agassi was fined $80,000 for dropping out of a tournament at the last minute. Everyone understood that he really didn't have a medical problem. He was pacing himself because he had gotten enough match play by going deep in his previous tournaments. That story just faded away because of Agassi's good reputation.

As I wrote about Jennifer, we can see poor behavior for ourselves on the court. But, the press took the extra step to let us know Hewitt wasn't doing pre-match interviews. We wouldn't have known, or probably cared, otherwise. The ATP decided to get in on the act and publicized it. If he has matured and is tryig to squash some of his earlier conduct, I think Hewitt should pursue this course of action.

Some people are very uncomfortable with the media obligations required of them. Jennifer and Lleyton have trouble dealing with it. Lindsay and Venus don't like a lot of press attention on them. But, they handle it better. Serena says, "Bring it on!"

gentenaire
Apr 15th, 2003, 06:22 PM
This is the same ATP that wanted ATPworld to be taken offline.

Tennis Fool
Apr 15th, 2003, 11:18 PM
*Bump due to update*

CJ07
Apr 15th, 2003, 11:22 PM
hewitt is a jerk

but hey, if you can get more money, then why not?
hes only going to play like 15 or 16 events this year

he can kiss that #1 ranking good bye

Tennis Fool
Apr 15th, 2003, 11:35 PM
hewitt is a jerk

but hey, if you can get more money, then why not?
hes only going to play like 15 or 16 events this year

he can kiss that #1 ranking good bye

Not if he makes himself #1 of the the IMTA...

King Lindsay
Apr 15th, 2003, 11:56 PM
This is an interesting development out of the "Cincinnati Incident". King Lindsay and I were commiserating last Tuesday about the press in the Jon Wertheim/Jennifer Capriati thread when I brought this up. Cliff and Pat mentioned several times how unprofessional and disappointed they were about Hewitt not giving them pre-match interviews. That was followed by several articles. After the "USO Incident", Hewitt figured out how his mouth could get him in trouble and he tried to take the "no comment" route. He interviewed after every match and kept his comments upbeat and tennis related. Neither Cliff or Pat asked him about the controversy during these interviews.

As for US dollar amounts, $106,000 is an exorbitant fine. That was the headline and not the fact that it was reduced to $20,000 on appeal. In legal proceedings, $1.5M is very minor in terms of defamation. The suit has to have a good sum of money involved to be taken seriously. Just prior to this fine, Agassi was fined $80,000 for dropping out of a tournament at the last minute. Everyone understood that he really didn't have a medical problem. He was pacing himself because he had gotten enough match play by going deep in his previous tournaments. That story just faded away because of Agassi's good reputation.

As I wrote about Jennifer, we can see poor behavior for ourselves on the court. But, the press took the extra step to let us know Hewitt wasn't doing pre-match interviews. We wouldn't have known, or probably cared, otherwise. The ATP decided to get in on the act and publicized it. If he has matured and is tryig to squash some of his earlier conduct, I think Hewitt should pursue this course of action.

Some people are very uncomfortable with the media obligations required of them. Jennifer and Lleyton have trouble dealing with it. Lindsay and Venus don't like a lot of press attention on them. But, they handle it better. Serena says, "Bring it on!"

JMP, one correction. Agassi's fine did not fade away because of his good reputation. It faded away because HE PAID IT. lol. Hewitt might want to take a page out of his book.

Kirt, you cannot seriously be telling us all that Lleyton deserves the credit for Todd Reid's Junior win at Wimbledon. that's a laugh.

And what? The ATP shouldn't fine Lleyton for breaching his committments because he's #1 in the world? what kind of logic is that? Should the president of the USA be above the law too (no smartasses chiming in that he already is, lol)? You say it sends a bad message when they fine the game's best. I say it would send an even worse message if they fine everybody else but yet allow lleyton to do whatever the fuck he pleases.

King Lindsay
Apr 16th, 2003, 12:01 AM
:wavey: :wavey: :wavey: :wavey: :wavey: :wavey: :wavey: :wavey: :wavey: :wavey: HELLO!!!!!!!!!!

The Press-Conference was before his match!!!!!! he had every right not to show for it!

To fine the number 1 (Mens or Womens) Is also biting the hand that feeds the tour.....think about it! :wavey:

It wasn't a press conference, first of all. It was an interview. A five minute pre-match interview that they would play during the match to follow. Lleyton refused to do it. Then, (probably realizing he would be fined for it) he reversed his stand and agreed to do it. Problem? It was ten minutes before the match and by that time already too late for ESPN.

So Kirt, tell me why he had every right not to do that interview? It was part of his press obligations. But I guess since he's #1 in the world, the rules don't apply to him, right? I know Lleyton feels that way, good to know his fans are equally brainwashed.

Sam L
Apr 16th, 2003, 12:17 AM
I wonder what he'll be doing if he didn't have the ATP to run a tennis tour and offer millions in prizemoney. Some of these people need a dose of reality. And as others have said, I find it really funny that he be talking about "reputation". What reputation?

Chris_Martin's_woman
Apr 16th, 2003, 12:30 AM
I think that this is just so silly.......come on Lleyton........the ATP is not worth the fuss and stress.....just move on!

Lisbeth
Apr 16th, 2003, 12:37 AM
Kirt, you cannot seriously be telling us all that Lleyton deserves the credit for Todd Reid's Junior win at Wimbledon. that's a laugh.



Actually, I believe that one's true. it was reported here that Lleyton called Tennis Australia early last year and said send him any top juniors who needed better practice than they were getting and they could stay with and train with him all day for a few weeks. I believe the only cost to Tennis Australia in this deal was the airfare and maybe accommodation, no coaching fees at all. The first guy they sent was Todd and it was shortly before he won junior Wimby. Might be a coincidence but then again it probably wasn't.

Chris_Martin's_woman
Apr 16th, 2003, 12:48 AM
I believe it.......

kell
Apr 16th, 2003, 12:55 AM
OK I appologise ....it was me who went first....but your'e post was nasty ok !

lol at you two! Maybe you should name a time and place and fight this out like men ;) (Go Kirt!!!)

DutchieGirl
Apr 16th, 2003, 01:20 AM
I never say anything about other players and I stand by that. What has donating to charity or being a Davis cup hero got to do with paying a fine of violation? Is he supposed to get a special treatment just 'cause he donates to charity and play Davis cup. Whatever he has done for you in Australia tennis-wise is no skin of my nose, I am talking about international tennis here and not Australian tennis. I called you shit-head, which by the way i am repeating, because you chosed to insult me first, obviously you forgot the word diplomacy then.

Back to the topic, what you just listed is not enough to justify him not paying the fine and suing ATP. But you are doing fine, continue bringing out your head from his ass, you may still get that inspiration...

I will be gone now, i may check back later to see what you came up with shit-head :wavey:if you never say anything about players then what the heck are you doing in here putting Lleyton down and calling him a rat?

lleytnkim
Apr 16th, 2003, 01:29 AM
Actually, I believe that one's true. it was reported here that Lleyton called Tennis Australia early last year and said send him any top juniors who needed better practice than they were getting and they could stay with and train with him all day for a few weeks. I believe the only cost to Tennis Australia in this deal was the airfare and maybe accommodation, no coaching fees at all. The first guy they sent was Todd and it was shortly before he won junior Wimby. Might be a coincidence but then again it probably wasn't.
It is true! :D Lleyton did indeed call Tennis Australia about it last year. In fact, he hits with 3-4 aussie juniors at all four majors and some masters series events. Todd was at the Nasdaq open in Miami before the DC tie vs Sweden to hit with him.

Wise young men follow star west

December 13 2002
By Linda Pearce

Todd Reid is likely to benefit from practising with Lleyton Hewitt.

When the invitations to the inaugural Australian Open training camp were distributed earlier this year, Lleyton Hewitt declined, preferring to end his demanding season at home in Adelaide than away at Melbourne Park. That inspired an alternative plan: rather than bring Hewitt to the camp, why not take part of the camp, Mohammed-like, to Hewitt?

Over the next fortnight, the beneficiaries of practice sessions with the world No. 1 will be Wimbledon junior champion Todd Reid and several of his Australian Institute of Sport teammates such as Ryan Henry and Raph Durek.

Reid is expected to spend three days in Adelaide next week, with the balance of the roster to be filled as necessary.

"I think Lleyton really acknowledges the guys' potential, their work ethic, so he wants to integrate them into his training over the next couple of weeks," Tennis Australia's head of men's tennis, Peter Johnston, said yesterday. "He's more comfortable staying in Adelaide at the moment, and we respect that, so we've tried to find a way to work that in."

The link is John McCurdy, Hewitt's former Octagon agent and now the head AIS coach, while Hewitt's coach, Jason Stoltenberg, has co-driven the idea. Its genesis came at Wimbledon, where the six Australians in the boys' singles rotated on warm-up duty as Hewitt swept the senior event.

"It just follows on a little bit from Wimbledon, and Lleyton's keen to do it, really," McCurdy said. "He's got a real interest in the young guys that are coming up. It's just a great and quite unique opportunity for us, so we're taking advantage of it. He's No. 1 in the world, so it's just a great experience for some of these young boys to spend some time with him."



This is a quote from Todd Reid after hitting with Lleyton at AO this year.

Sydney teenager Reid spent three days hitting with Hewitt and getting a "few pointers" from the Wimbledon champion in Adelaide last week and should not be overawed this summer when he plays in only his third and fourth senior tournaments.

"We hit for a couple of hours every day, Reid said yesterday. "That was a good experience hitting with Lleyton, just to see what it's all about - the No.1 in the world. We talked about a few things to bring into my game. [Now], hopefully, I can get some matches under my belt and start my career."


Good on Lleyton for doing this! :kiss: :worship:

Lisbeth
Apr 16th, 2003, 01:44 AM
Thanks for posting that - I might have got the story a bit mixed up, but I still doubt any other boys at Wimbledon had a hitting partner anywhere near the #1 man! It has to help.

tennischick
Apr 16th, 2003, 01:53 AM
CKB i totally agree with you. this does make him seem rather petty bec it's not as if he can't afford the fucking fine. however...does anyone wonder how much of this is the Potato himself acting up and how much is his father who seems to be ever-present and vicariously involved in every single aspect of his son's life?

just trying to be fair to the Potato. no doubt he's an idiot but perhaps the larger idiot's name is Glenn? :confused:

King Lindsay
Apr 16th, 2003, 02:11 AM
Well, maybe he did hit with Todd. I thought Kirt was saying that Lleyton's success had brought up tennis' profile in Australia leading to promising new players like Reid. Which of course is ridiculous, since when Reid and his peers took up the game, nobody had ever heard of Lleyton hewitt.

How much of this is his parents' influence? Hopefully none. You would have to hope that they would have more sense than that.

Tennis Fool
Apr 16th, 2003, 02:40 AM
How much of this is his parents' influence? Hopefully none. You would have to hope that they would have more sense than that.

I dunno about that. Ever heard a guy named Stefano Capriati?

King Lindsay
Apr 16th, 2003, 02:44 AM
Did you read where I said "hopefully"?

Stefano Capriati? Oh yeah. I know him. Venus and Serena's daddy.

Tennis Fool
Apr 16th, 2003, 02:50 AM
Yeah, I saw the "hopefully". Hopefully, you hope I hadn't;)

servenrichie
Apr 16th, 2003, 07:20 AM
Inkyfan wrote:
if you never say anything about players then what the heck are you doing in here putting Lleyton down and calling him a rat?


Take the time to read the preceeding post. I was ready to make an exception this time. That boy pisses me off and I think the "the Rat" fits him :p

Kirt12255, take a look at King Lindsay's post and find out why he should not be given a special treatment. He should pay the damm fine and move on, so we can discuss interesting things.

Ah, now I got it, that's his own way of craving for attention :(

Kirt12255
Apr 17th, 2003, 01:24 PM
Inkyfan wrote:
if you never say anything about players then what the heck are you doing in here putting Lleyton down and calling him a rat?


Take the time to read the preceeding post. I was ready to make an exception this time. That boy pisses me off and I think the "the Rat" fits him :p

Kirt12255, take a look at King Lindsay's post and find out why he should not be given a special treatment. He should pay the damm fine and move on, so we can discuss interesting things.

Ah, now I got it, that's his own way of craving for attention :(

Well for a start I would like to appologise for calling you a shit-head, but only to the other posters that had to see it. I find it most amusing that there is nothing about it over here at all in the papers or news!

Yes I read King Lindsays post who made some interesting points for "debate"!!!

Fact is....these Players don't get their money from the ATP....they get it from the sponsors of the tournament.

Hense....Sponsors...sponsor tournaments and give money to the players that play the ATP...the ATP survives because of talented sportsmen who wear their patch on their shirt.....when a player is about to play a match and is focused....the last thing they want is some crap interview with trivial questions (ie....."Is Kim here with you?" etc) Yes I think 1.5 million is far too much, but we are outsiders and don't know all the details!! If anyone is going to make a point then Lleyton will....Aussies don't go half assed about anything. When I said it wasn't him....do you REALLY think Lleyton wrote a letter himself to the ATP Board of Directors saying "I am going to Sue you for 1.5 Million dollars???" If you think yes???? Then you truely are a moron.

servenrichie
Apr 17th, 2003, 01:54 PM
Kirt12255 wrote:

...When I said it wasn't him....do you REALLY think Lleyton wrote a letter himself to the ATP Board of Directors saying "I am going to Sue you for 1.5 Million dollars???" If you think yes???? Then you truely are a moron.
=======================
My, you are truly the moron here, if you think Hewitt's camp is going to sue anybody on behalf of Hewitt without his consent. What it means? It means he is suing moron! :rolleyes:

Kirt12255
Apr 17th, 2003, 02:04 PM
Kirt12255 wrote:

...When I said it wasn't him....do you REALLY think Lleyton wrote a letter himself to the ATP Board of Directors saying "I am going to Sue you for 1.5 Million dollars???" If you think yes???? Then you truely are a moron.
=======================
My, you are truly the moron here, if you think Hewitt's camp is going to sue anybody on behalf of Hewitt without his consent. What it means? It means he is suing moron! :rolleyes:

Did I say it was without his consent??? :rolleyes: All I am saying is.....perhaps he didn't want to do the press conference before his match! Perhaps you could begin to try and pull my points to pieces first...as I have your's....before you add to the debate.

Yes I am sure Lleyton agreed to sue....although I doubt the idea came either from him or the amount! It hasn't been mentioned here (Australia) so perhaps it's purely a case of "Threatening to Sue"...I don't know...nor do you to be frank!! To call him a "Rat"....shows an un-educated point of view...that was my point.

servenrichie
Apr 17th, 2003, 02:20 PM
Kirt12255 wrote:

Did I say it was without his consent??? All I am saying is.....perhaps he didn't want to do the press conference before his match! Perhaps you could begin to try and pull my points to pieces first...as I have your's....before you add to the debate.

Yes I am sure Lleyton agreed to sue....although I doubt the idea came either from him or the amount! It hasn't been mentioned here (Australia) so perhaps it's purely a case of "Threatening to Sue"...I don't know...nor do you to be frank!! To call him a "Rat"....shows an un-educated point of view...that was my point.
==========================

Sorry, you didnt pulled any of my points into pieces, you keep dancing around the topic with arguments like "Hewitt is doing a lot of charity, he is a Davis cup hero and he is not suing, but his management" and really, our little argument here is getting boring. What i deduced so far in your posts is your anger at the word "rat" other than that you havent made a simple case why he shouldnt fufil his obligations. It is part of being the top man in the game and he is getting mightly well paid for it. So no, I am not buying the "perhaps he didnt want to do interview before a match".
Common, this whole topic is becoming ridiculous, so he didnt want to do an obligatory interview before a match, okay that is his prerogative, but he should pay the damm fine and move on. His whole action has not only been detrimental to the ATP, but to himself too, if i might add.

Also whether the idea of suing came from him or not, that is not the issue. You see, he is solely responsible for his affairs, but pay people to manage some aspects on his life for him and that is why the headline didnt read "Hewitt's management considers suing the ATP". Get that once and for all and move on :rolleyes:

Kirt12255
Apr 17th, 2003, 02:36 PM
Kirt12255 wrote:

Did I say it was without his consent??? All I am saying is.....perhaps he didn't want to do the press conference before his match! Perhaps you could begin to try and pull my points to pieces first...as I have your's....before you add to the debate.

Yes I am sure Lleyton agreed to sue....although I doubt the idea came either from him or the amount! It hasn't been mentioned here (Australia) so perhaps it's purely a case of "Threatening to Sue"...I don't know...nor do you to be frank!! To call him a "Rat"....shows an un-educated point of view...that was my point.
==========================

Sorry, you didnt pulled any of my points into pieces, you keep dancing around the topic with arguments like "Hewitt is doing a lot of charity, he is a Davis cup hero and he is not suing, but his management" and really, our little argument here is getting boring. What i deduced so far in your posts is your anger at the word "rat" other than that you havent made a simple case why he shouldnt fufil his obligations. It is part of being the top man in the game and he is getting mightly well paid for it. So no, I am not buying the "perhaps he didnt want to do interview before a match".
Common, this whole topic is becoming ridiculous, so he didnt want to do an obligatory interview before a match, okay that is his prerogative, but he should pay the damm fine and move on. His whole action has not only been detrimental to the ATP, but to himself too, if i might add.

Also whether the idea of suing came from him or not, that is not the issue. You see, he is solely responsible for his affairs, but pay people to manage some aspects on his life for him and that is why the headline didnt read "Hewitt's management considers suing the ATP". Get that once and for all and move on :rolleyes:

I have better things than to be arguing with you....we will have to agree to disagree don't you think?? I havn't heard a date for action....which shows me that it is a Hype-Up of something that will not happen.....the ATP will drop the case before it hits the courts (pardon the pun)....just don't be calling me a shit-head....I don't take well to abuse.....we need to realise this isn't a thread for us to fight in....if you want to debate it more...then leave me a PM and we can discuss it there.

servenrichie
Apr 17th, 2003, 02:43 PM
Right, I have better things to do than to argue with you on this. It wont hurt you to ackowledge something your idol did wrong. I have said this before and i shall say it again, you insulted me first and I insulted you back. You cant keep harping on my insult to you and conveniently foget yours. That's it, I 'm outta here

Experimentee
Apr 17th, 2003, 02:50 PM
His reputation was already not very high. One interview couldnt have ruined it any more. He should just let it go and do what hes paid to do and thats play tennis, which he isnt even doing much of nowdays!

Tennis Fool
Apr 29th, 2003, 10:54 PM
**Updated due to Hewitt pulling out of Rome**

Says he's overcommitted to the clay season and wants to be fresh for the French Open.

I wonder if that's the only reason:rolleyes:

Crazy Canuck
Apr 29th, 2003, 10:58 PM
This could go two ways.

When all is said and done at the start of June, and a fresh hungry Hewitt comes off his best RG ever, we might say "he's brilliant!"

If he crashes out early, or shows no improvement on previous performances, we might say "what a dumbass!"

;)

CJ07
Apr 29th, 2003, 10:59 PM
oh whatever

Elke
Apr 29th, 2003, 11:21 PM
Lleyton has a weak immunity system, but this is getting really worrying!:eek::eek:
Hope he gets COMPLETELY healthy any time soon.

1jackson2001
Apr 30th, 2003, 05:51 AM
I'm shocked and appalled.

Crazy Canuck
Apr 30th, 2003, 06:21 AM
I'm shocked and appalled.
Don't you mean that this is a "shame and a tragedy"? ;)

Oh man, I HAVE to find that article that I'm making reference to here... hilarious shit :D

Chance
Apr 30th, 2003, 06:22 AM
is he only playing Hamburg before the FO?

Crazy Canuck
Apr 30th, 2003, 06:24 AM
Hamburg and World Team Cup. So two straight weeks before Roland Garros.

Sam L
Apr 30th, 2003, 06:35 AM
He's only hurting his chances. His chances for winning Roland Gorros = 0

He's probably thinking that him pulling out of tournaments would have the same effect as when the Williams sisters do it. LOL! Keep on dreamin'...

SerialKiller#69
Apr 30th, 2003, 06:37 AM
lleyton and ATP have had already a number of collisions. i think it's about time that ATP needs to learn its lesson. i believe lleyton is a reasonable guy with sound principles.

servenrichie
Apr 30th, 2003, 08:42 AM
sound principles? my ass!

Crazy Canuck
Apr 30th, 2003, 08:44 AM
lleyton and ATP have had already a number of collisions. i think it's about time that ATP needs to learn its lesson. i believe lleyton is a reasonable guy with sound principles.
Him not playing isn't going to make them learn anything. Now they have a more markettable player as number 1, something that I'm sure they aren't too upset about... even if it will be short lived.

tennisIlove09
Apr 30th, 2003, 09:02 AM
:rolleyes: I realize Hewitt's upset with the ATP [and I'm sure he wants to join that new tour...] but does he realize that he's basically giving Andre #1? What is Hewitt going to do? Play slams that's it? Get over it Hewitt :rolleyes:

Isn't he suing for the ATP giving him a bad name...frankly he's doing that all on his own, by acting immature.

Chance
Apr 30th, 2003, 09:13 AM
Hamburg and World Team Cup. So two straight weeks before Roland Garros.

thanks for replying.

If he thinks boycotting atp tournaments is not going to affect his chances of winning FO, then he is deluding himself. To tell you the truth I don't give toss about what he does but if he loses
early in FO,then I might get better coverage of the womens matches.
Sometimes I have a one track mind ;)

servenrichie
Apr 30th, 2003, 09:19 AM
Well I think he should retire ;) and concentrate on giving Kim moral support. In the background, where he wont be seen or heard! If and when that happens, I might even be persuaded to start liking the boy :p

Beat
Apr 30th, 2003, 09:37 AM
This could go two ways.

When all is said and done at the start of June, and a fresh hungry Hewitt comes off his best RG ever, we might say "he's brilliant!"

you'll never hear those words coming out of my mouth :o

PS
Apr 30th, 2003, 09:49 AM
the shame and tragedy continues,I see...shame Hewitt won't get spanked in Rome,tragedy -I have coverage,so I can't witness that...

great smash
Apr 30th, 2003, 09:54 AM
It's hard knowing what's the real motivation but did anyone ever consider that he's just following doctor's advise?

Lindsayfan
Apr 30th, 2003, 09:58 AM
well maybe he just realized that he'll never be competitive on clay so he prefers to avoid some bad losses :rolleyes:

PS
Apr 30th, 2003, 10:03 AM
It's hard knowing what's the real motivation but did anyone ever consider that he's just following doctor's advise?

no matter what reason-shame and tragedy is there...

King Lindsay
Apr 30th, 2003, 11:24 AM
:rolleyes: I realize Hewitt's upset with the ATP [and I'm sure he wants to join that new tour...] but does he realize that he's basically giving Andre #1? What is Hewitt going to do? Play slams that's it? Get over it Hewitt :rolleyes:

Isn't he suing for the ATP giving him a bad name...frankly he's doing that all on his own, by acting immature.

It's not a new tour, it's a new PLAYER'S ASSOCIATION. Very very different stuff, huh?

Plus, I think Lleyton already joined up.

Kirt, for the second time now, it was not a press conference he skipped, it was a little, quick sitdown interview. would've been over in five minutes.

Shuji Shuriken
Apr 30th, 2003, 01:08 PM
Woohoo...go Llyeton.....you keep up your boycotts or whatever. That way it'll solidify my Andre's position at no. 1. You rock Andre, James, Andy and Juan Carlos :hearts: :kiss:. Woohoo :bounce:.

Mase
Apr 30th, 2003, 01:15 PM
Ive honestley always seen him as a littl bitch, and this just seems to prove to me what my first intuition was right... Dont get me wrong I respect him as a player, but cmon now. A freaking 5 min interview is what caused this? I just want to say, DUDE dont be such a baby...

ans
Apr 30th, 2003, 04:00 PM
It wasn't a press conference, first of all. It was an interview. A five minute pre-match interview that they would play during the match to follow. Lleyton refused to do it. Then, (probably realizing he would be fined for it) he reversed his stand and agreed to do it. Problem? It was ten minutes before the match and by that time already too late for ESPN.

So Kirt, tell me why he had every right not to do that interview? It was part of his press obligations. But I guess since he's #1 in the world, the rules don't apply to him, right? I know Lleyton feels that way, good to know his fans are equally brainwashed.

good to know that you know how lleyton feels

harloo
Apr 30th, 2003, 04:06 PM
IMO, Lleyton is the most boring player on the ATP and if he was more of a personality his effect on pulling out of these tournaments would have more impact.

I can understand that some ATP rules are unfair to players, especially the one about them having to play all of the Masters Series. However, I don't know if this is the right way to go about it. Maybe he should try to rally all players behind him on certain issues instead of pulling out of tournaments. I hope he does not pull out of any slams, because Andre will be able to get ahead even more.

King Lindsay
Apr 30th, 2003, 04:09 PM
good to know that you know how lleyton feels

Never said anything of the sort.

ans
Apr 30th, 2003, 05:14 PM
It kind of annoys me (but hey, don't mind me) that some people on this board claim to know everything like things that happened they didn't witness at all or like the thoughts and feelings of the players. Some players are just "lived" by their fans or especially by the ones who can't stand them. We, as their fans don't know everything either of course but we read more about them, we visit their sites...and we do not only read the negative things.
And I can understand you don't like a player, just as I don't like Serena but why bashing them? Why don't you show yourself a true fan by respecting the opponents of your favourites.
Just a thought, you guys,...mmm...maybe I should start teaching religion or something. :)

King Lindsay
Apr 30th, 2003, 05:36 PM
It kind of annoys me (but hey, don't mind me) that some people on this board claim to know everything like things that happened they didn't witness at all or like the thoughts and feelings of the players. Some players are just "lived" by their fans or especially by the ones who can't stand them. We, as their fans don't know everything either of course but we read more about them, we visit their sites...and we do not only read the negative things.
And I can understand you don't like a player, just as I don't like Serena but why bashing them? Why don't you show yourself a true fan by respecting the opponents of your favourites.
Just a thought, you guys,...mmm...maybe I should start teaching religion or something. :)

If any of that is addressed to me, you're hysterically off base.

ans
Apr 30th, 2003, 05:48 PM
If any of that is addressed to me, you're hysterically off base.

it was meant "in general"

King Lindsay
Apr 30th, 2003, 06:47 PM
In that case, I think I can agree with your point.

ans
Apr 30th, 2003, 07:23 PM
thanx, still some reasonable people in here :)

eshell
Apr 30th, 2003, 07:33 PM
Hewitt to be Bjorn again
By Neil Harman
April 30, 2003

LLEYTON HEWITT will bypass another of the most significant tournaments in the world to make certain he is fully prepared for the six weeks when he feels he can perform a task thought to be beyond the physical bounds of the modern player.


Hewitt - advised to rest.

The Australian, whose 75-week reign as world No.1 was brought to an end on Sunday when Andre Agassi won the US clay court title in Houston, has said he will not play the Rome Masters next week.

The lure of back-to-back French Open and Wimbledon championships is eating away Hewitt.

Even to contemplate such an accomplishment - last performed, for the third year in succession, by the extraordinary Bjorn Borg in 1980 - Hewitt knows he cannot venture to Europe too early and run the risk that his style, which calls for more output than any other player, will cause a breakdown in his fitness.

The Wimbledon champion intends to make his 2003 clay court debut at the Hamburg Masters, starting next Monday week and, the following week, he has chosen to spearhead Australia in the World Team Cup in Dusseldorf, his debut in the event.

By the time the French Open rolls around at Roland Garros, where Hewitt, 22, has not been beyond the quarter-finals in four attempts, he should have been exposed to the perfect amount of time on clay for someone of his physique and approach.

There are those who will interpret Hewitt's decision as another snub to the ATP's Masters Series, given he has been at loggerheads with the association for five years and is involved in litigation with them, a fall-out from a TV interview that did not take place in Cincinnati last year.

The message from Hewitt and his advisers is the player had long outlined his priorities for the season and he will not be diverted, however much the ATP has tried to market the nine-event series as the vehicle for the biggest and best in men's tennis.

Neither Hewitt nor Agassi played in Monte Carlo this month. Agassi will play in Rome, Hewitt will not and the two will reverse the situation in Hamburg.

"We have changed the schedule a couple of times because Lleyton's goals are Davis Cup - because he really believes with their draw and Mark Philippoussis's return to the team Australia stands a real chance of winning it back - and he wants to win a grand slam for the third year in a row," Hewitt's manager Tom Ross said.

"He is not conceding the French Open to anyone and he wants to retain his Wimbledon title.

"When he got back home (after three tournaments in the US in March and the Davis Cup tie in Sweden in early April) his doctors told him he needed a real rest."

The Times

The Australian

ans
Apr 30th, 2003, 07:34 PM
Lleyton Hewitt - a man to be proud of

Saturday 13 July 2002

Article published courtesy of The Courier Mail

WATCHING the reaction to Lleyton Hewitt's fabulous Wimbledon victory prompted me to think yet again just what we expect from our sporting stars.

No one questions Hewitt's ability but there are plenty who question his manner and that's something that intrigues me.

As a coach, I'm more interested in his performance and I can tell you one thing, he's the type of guy you'd really want to have in your football team because he'd bring with him an attitude of "if you're going to beat me you're going to have to play well because I'm not going to give up". You could use 13 of those guys in your rugby league team.

As an Australian, I've been thrilled to bits by Lleyton's wonderful performances around the world. He is to me what Pat Rafter was: a bloke who's out there doing his best every time he steps on to the court. He makes me very proud to be an Australian.

As an observer, I'm fascinated and infuriated by the contrasting reactions young Lleyton attracts from critics and fans alike. Lleyton has plenty of critics (haven't we all) but I reckon those critics either don't understand, or won't take time to try to understand, that we're all different. You can't take Lleyton Hewitt and force him into a Pat Rafter mould because they are different people.

Pat managed to keep his emotions in check on the tennis court and we all loved him for it but Lleyton needs to let his emotions out. He feeds off them and they make him the great player he is.

I don't find Hewitt's on-court antics - the chest-thumping, the fist-pumping, the "c'mons'' - offensive because I recognise that those things are just Lleyton. He reminds me in many way of Gorden Tallis. They both play with emotion, aggression and passion and if you take those things away from them you take away what they are and you're left with someone else which mightn't be anywhere near as good.

Just what do people find offensive about sporting emotions anyway?

Let me take you back to June 26, just for a minute. You're in your loungeroom watching the third State of Origin match and Dane Carlaw scores one of the great Origin tries to draw the match for Queensland and allows us to keep the shield. Do you just sit there or do you jump up, punch the air and yell?

I'll let you in on a little secret, when Dane scored I jumped out of my chair in the coach's box, punched the air and yelled.

Then I headed down to the field to be with the players so I didn't see the post-try celebrations by the players until I watched a video of the match just the other day. I thought the way the players rushed in to celebrate with Dane was great, not offensive. At one stage in rugby league, some post-try celebrations were getting dangerously close to being offensive because they were belittling the opposition but that's pretty much disappeared, thank goodness.

So if we're not offended by footballers celebrating a try or cricketers celebrating a wicket why on earth would we be offended by Lleyton Hewitt celebrating winning Wimbledon. If anything he's probably more entitled than most to let it all out because he's playing an individual sport.

The other thing I keep telling myself about Lleyton is that we are still dealing with a young man and we simply can't put old heads on young shoulders. I've been in the coaching game for a long time and the young men who come to me now are exactly the same as the young men who were coming to me 20 years ago, they're no more mercenary and no worse behaved, they're just young guys with big dreams.

We're always so quick to criticise young people but do we ever stop to think what we were like when we were 17, or 18, or 21?

The youngsters who start out on the hard road to the top in sport invariably have talent - they can kick, or swim, or run, or serve - but that doesn't mean they have every other part of their lives together and it's not fair of us to expect them to be what they aren't.

I couldn't believe the criticism of Lleyton when he was photographed with a big cigar in his mouth after Wimbledon. He's a bad role model, the critics said. I'll tell you something about role models - I've had a lot of them in my life and not one of them has been perfect. (You tell them! )

But I'd rather not dwell on the negative reactions to Lleyton's triumph.

What I'll remember most about his efforts at Wimbledon won't even be the final, it will be his five-set win over Shalken in the quarter finals.

I watched it right through and Lleyton was gone at one stage. He had lost his rhythm and couldn't get it back but somehow he managed to pull out three fabulous shots and toughed it out.

Hope you enjoyed the cigar, kid. You certainly earned it.


Wayne Bennett's column appears every Saturday in The Courier-Mail

lleytnkim
Apr 30th, 2003, 10:19 PM
Lleyton Hewitt - a man to be proud of
Wayne Bennett (who wrote this feature) coaches Aussie rugby team Brisbane Broncos.