Personality-wise, I am not a fan of Lleyton Hewitt. I pretty much think that, while he has definitely matured over the years, sometimes he should learn to shut up. Actually, a lot of the time he should learn to shut up. He can be so totally... naff is the word that comes to mind, but it's not the right one. I think I might just go with irritating.
But on court? I cannot help but respect the dude.
On court, he has completely outperformed his abilities. Someone with a game like his - counterpunching, no real weapon - should never have reached #1 in the world and stayed there for as long as he did. And he really shouldn't be a contender on the world stage.
Australian commentators are fond of asking whether Lleyton has the chance at another Slam. To that I say, categorically, no. He's an overachiever, and the real talent of a lot of the others in the field has caught up with him. But what he does have is the potential to go deep, to take any draw that is even slightly favourable and run with it. While it would be surprising to see him in a Slam final, it would not be surprising to see him in, say, the quarters. That is the kind of ability and... surprise factor he has.
What I'm trying to say is that I have a whole lot of respect for the on court Lleyton - for the way he never gives up and for the way he does so much with what little (comparatively) he has. Case in point, overcoming the promising young Turkish dude Marsel Ilhan in Barcelona. I'll be interested to see how he does from here...
3 weeks ago