Hewitt takes pot shot at Tipsarevic

Sportal January 15, 2013, 7:55 am
Lleyton Hewitt

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Australian veteran Lleyton Hewitt said eighth seed Janko Tipsarevic 'played as well as he could play', as the Serb dismissed Hewitt in straight sets at the Australian Open on Monday night.

In a broadside at Tipsarevic, Hewitt claimed the world number nine 'doesn't play like that all the time' following his 7-6 (7-4) 7-5 6-3 loss at Rod Laver Arena.

"He (Tipsarevic) played as well as he could play, there's no doubt about it. Yeah, he's only won four titles," Hewitt said following the loss.

"There's not too many guys in the top 10 consistently that have only won four titles. So there's something missing there.

"But... I've seen him play big matches against Andy Roddick at Wimbledon. Obviously, he came really close a few years back to beating Roger here.

"I think he beat Andy as well in the US Open at a night match. He's a quality player, there's no doubt about it; otherwise he wouldn't be in the top 10. But for him to stay in the top 10, he has to play that level week in and week out."

Continuing the 'Tipsarevic was perfection' theme, Hewitt claimed he did not do a lot wrong to go down without winning a set.

"I could have easily been up two sets to love," Hewitt claimed.

"I fought really hard through the first set. I had 6-5, 0-30. In the second set I had 3-0, served for it at 5-4.

"Against quality players, you (have) got to take those chances obviously. But to his credit, he raised his level and played some great points. The start of the tie-break, I didn't do a whole heap wrong. He served big when he needed to to get out of trouble."

Hewitt was admittedly 'frustrated' by his own failure to capitalise on his chances, as he exited his home major for a 17th time without the silverware.

But he did leave with something on Monday night - glowing praise from the man he took a shot at minutes earlier, Tipsarevic.

"I was going to practise on Margaret Court (Arena) and Jo (Jo-Wilfried Tsonga) was practising there. He started laughing at me. He said, 'Who is going to play on centre court', singing like a song. I said, 'No, please,'" said Tipsarevic, recounting when he found out his first-round draw.

"But I think Lleyton Hewitt is as tough as it gets for a first round Australian Open, first grand slam of the year. With all the respect to all the other guys who are potential threats, like (Nikolay) Davydenko or (Gael) Monfils or (Grigor) Dimitrov, I think this is as tough as it gets, knowing that he plays really good tennis here, knowing that he won Kooyong last week... even if that was an exhibition event.

"I cannot tell you how happy that I am, first of all, that I managed to win, and second of all, to win in straight sets."

Tipsarevic will take on Slovakian Lukas Lacko in the second round, with the Serb winning their only previous encounter in a fifth-set marathon in Davis Cup.

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  1. Weatherman02:03pm Wednesday 16th January 2013 ESTReport Abuse

    Leyton Hewitt may not be winning everything, i imagine he isn't there to lose at all. Australia encourages having a go at all costs, so why give the bloke a hard time for having a go? Past his prime, yes, though he can still put up a fight and may win some and lose others. Today it is about earning some kind of income for his family more than being number one and you can't fault a man for doing what he knows best to bring home the bacon for the family.

    2 Replies
  2. machocomacho05:12pm Tuesday 15th January 2013 ESTReport Abuse

    I'm not sure what Hewitt intended, but it came across like he felt he was the favourite in the match and that Tipsarevic had to play out of his skin to beat him. Not the case. Saw the match and the result wasn't in doubt. Hewitt is aging in tennis years and is past his prime and will likely not be considered the favourite to win many more matches by anyone other than the Aussie media.

  3. pauly03504:30pm Tuesday 15th January 2013 ESTReport Abuse

    Now I think would be an ideal time for Hewitt to hang the racquets up. He can no longer get past the first round in a grand slam and he battles like buggery to win Davis Cup matches. Put the feet up and rest with the family mate, I'm sure your kids and the missus would appreciate it.

  4. Sportslover02:15pm Tuesday 15th January 2013 ESTReport Abuse

    Brett Sullivan makes statistics look OK but in fact hides the truth. Yes, Hewitt has been at the top, but he is now so far removed from it and his limitations are being ruthlessly exposed. He really should take stock of where he is going before he loses the appreciation of the Australian public.

    1. machocomacho05:28pm Tuesday 15th January 2013 ESTReport Abuse

      Hewitt has had a good run and has nothing to prove but he and the media need to accept that his best is behind him. Top 100 players who haven't enjoyed the same success as Hewitt really don't have to play exceptionally to beat him - they simply have to exploit the cracks in his game created by age and injuries. I understand that it's hard for any top athlete to retire - I know a few personally. It's their life and all they know and they try to keep it going long after the glitter has faded. Some like to quit on a high, others stick around until they become low ranked and somewhat of a joke. Hope this doesn't happen to Hewitt.

  5. John02:03pm Tuesday 15th January 2013 ESTReport Abuse

    i see nothing wrong with what Hewitt said either. and why should he stop playing just because he's not winning. maybe he likes playing the game. thats what sport's about. i wonder if the same knockers tell their kids to give up if they dont win all the time

    1 Reply
  6. Daggers01:31pm Tuesday 15th January 2013 ESTReport Abuse

    I see nothing derogatory in what Hewitt said. Lighten up people. Some of you are wrapped a little too tight!

  7. Ivor01:21pm Tuesday 15th January 2013 ESTReport Abuse

    hewit lost in a fair game,the other guy played better,take the loss with grace hewit instead of trying to insult and belittle the man.you are a grub hewit

  8. Daggers01:20pm Tuesday 15th January 2013 ESTReport Abuse

    I dont know why all you so-called tennis fans criticise Hewitt all the time. Huh.........what's that? you're not tennis fans? Well that would explain it. Are you the same "fans"who criticise Mark Webber too? I think some people are just embarrassed by high-achieving Aussies & cant handle them losing anything.

    2 Replies
  9. Ivor01:18pm Tuesday 15th January 2013 ESTReport Abuse

    hewit lost in a fair game,the other guy played better,so why dont you take the defeat graciously hewit?istead of trying to insult the guy.you are a grub.

  10. SE12:56pm Tuesday 15th January 2013 ESTReport Abuse

    Leyton. PLEASE retire.

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