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Hewitt and Moya take heart from World Team Cup showing
2003-05-25 09:05:40 GMT (Reuters)






By Simon Cambers

DUESSELDORF, Germany, May 25 (Reuters) - Lleyton Hewitt and Carlos Moya have both taken a confidence boost from the World Team Cup, even though neither of their teams made the final.

Chile won the final against the Czech Republic on Saturday and their Fernando Gonzalez was the event's most successful player, winning all eight of his matches.

But Australian Hewitt and Spaniard Corretja found personal success to carry them confidently into the French Open, which starts on Monday.

Hewitt, the top seed in Paris, was unbeaten in his three singles clashes, including a notable victory over Carlos Moya.

Corretja, a former runner-up in Paris but who has been out of form for much of this year, sparked into life with two singles wins out of three.

For world number one Hewitt, the victory over Moya, a man he had lost to four times in succession, was a step forward as he bids for a first French Open title.

"It's a nice little confidence boost," Hewitt said. "I feel like it was probably one of my best matches on clay and to know you can match it with these guys just a few days before the French is a good feeling.

"But I don't think you should read too much into it as far as next week is concerned."

Hewitt, who has been dealt a tough draw in Paris with several top claycourters in his quarter, will privately be delighted at breaking his run of four straight defeats against Moya, who has been in top form in 2003.


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Moya lost two of his three singles matches in Dusseldorf but said he was still confident of a good showing in Paris, five years on from his first, and only, grand slam title.

"I have won a lot of matches this year, which will help me in Paris," Moya said. "To win in Paris would be really great. It would be the best achievement for me, and a great story as well, after I was injured and then came back.

"I feel like I'm playing well. I'm not saying I'm going to win the French Open but if I get a bit lucky then I have a chance."

Corretja, runner-up to Moya in 1998 and a semi-finalist in Paris last year, began the week in woeful form and low on confidence.

An opening day defeat by Todd Martin did not help but something clicked in Spain's next matches as he beat Radek Stepanek and Wayne Arthurs.

"I would say I've taken 10 steps forward," a delighted Corretja said. "If I hadn't played the matches this week I would have arrived at Roland Garros with a lot of doubts. All of those have vanished now.

"If last week I was playing at 50 percent, now I am playing at 75 percent. With some hard training over the weekend my game should be set for Paris."

Gonzalez did not drop a set in his four singles matches as Chile won the World Team Cup for the first time and his team mate Marcelo Rios could be a danger in Andre Agassi's section of the draw in Paris.

"If I get to play Agassi in the second round then it will be good, a big challenge," Rios said.
 

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It was certainly good for Hewitt, but I'm not sure about Moya - losing to the same man after having matchpoint twice in as many matches and thus losing the entire tie, and then failing to beat one of your greatest pigeons on your favourite surface? Even Blake, who along with Hewitt is Moya's other pigeon, gave him an unexpectedly close match on clay.
 

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Moya usually struggles in slow and heavy conditions, so hopefully he'll put Hamburg and the World Team Cup results behind him.
 

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That's the weird thing, though - you'd expect Hewitt with his lack of firepower to struggle even more than Moya on slow, heavy clay, and yet Hamburg is where his best clay-court TMS results have come in the last few years and he's also beaten Moya at Dusseldorf in similar conditions. Mind you, he was certainly stepping it up and trying to hit winners against Moya in that match, even though he couldn't do it without this horrid strangled gasp of exertion whenever he hit the ball.
 

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Yes, Hewitt may have observed the strategy used by the slew of "young americans" and Nadal attacking Moya, pressurising his serve and backhand.
 
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