Tennis Prose



Hewitt Falls To Berdych But Will Soldier On


Lleyton Hewitt looked like a fading former champion boxer as he desperately tried to overcome the fearsome challenge of the towering Tomas Berdych but there was not enough in his limited arsenal. Berdych prevailed 63 64 63.

It seemed Berdych could raise his game any time he needed to. He saved early break points in the first set and overcome a 03 deficit in the second.

Hewitt, as always, battled and battled with the best that he could muster but it was futile. Berdych is now a career 3-0 vs. Hewitt. “He’s got very easy power. His one-two is exceptional. He has a massive forehand. When I was playing down the end against the breeze today it was really hard to dictate him even if I felt I had him off balance. I always felt he had that extra chance to get back in the point,” Hewitt confided after.

Hewitt, 33, knew Berdych was a troubling assignment, over a decade after his famous US Open triumph on the same court. “It was always going to be a tough match. I felt like during the week I was hitting the ball reasonably well. I was happy how I was moving out on the court. I had some good practices with some quality players (Cilic, Matosevic, Federer). I was ready for the match today but in the end he was just too good.”

When the match ended, Hewitt packed his belongings and exited the court as usual, with a wave and the typical march off, but there was no hint of any sentimental farewell…that this might be the last time he ever plays the US Open or even the grand finale on historic Ashe Stadium. After the match, Hewitt was somewhat vague with the press – he himself is unsure how his magnificent career will conclude.

“I’ll be probably getting on grass as soon as possible, I would say.” (Australia has a tie to stay in World Group the week after the Open.)

“At this stage I will be playing the Asian swing and I’ll take it from there.”

Question: What do you hope will be your future at the US Open looking forward?

Hewitt: “Don’t know. I really don’t know. Just wait and see.”

One gets the sense, Hewitt will continue to soldier on just as long as his body will permit.

And even if the body does fail, one also gets the sense this remarkable champion will somehow carry on the battle, sort of like a Tennis Chucky or Tennis Terminator, this warrior has such a bottomless pit of reserve, his leg or arm could explode off and he would still find a way to win matches and maintain his top hundred ranking.

You just can never underestimate a world champion gladiator like the one and only Lleyton Hewitt.


  • Andrew Miller · August 28, 2014 at 9:23 am

    Meant to be. Maybe Hewitt saving best for Oz.

  • Jack · August 28, 2014 at 8:26 pm

    The way Nole is playing, nobody is going to stop him.

  • Bob Litwin · August 28, 2014 at 10:17 pm

    Enjoying your blogs, Dan. What about Kyrgios? Who was the last player to be as loose as him?

  • Scoop Malinowski · August 29, 2014 at 12:01 am

    Kyrgios is very loose and comfortable. I am beginning to believe that Kyrgios could go all the way to the semis, I can actually see him upsetting Stan or Raonic, to meet Djokovic in the semis. He told me in April in Sarasota that the US Open is his favorite event. He’ a natural for the US Open.

  • Dan Markowitz · August 29, 2014 at 4:12 am

    You’re right, Bob, and good to see you posting here, an honor to meet you at the McGee match. That is the beautiful quality among others that Kyrgios has. He isn’t afraid of the spotlight. In fact, he embraces it. He’s just beaten two very polished pros in Youzhny and Seppi and only dropped one set in doing so. I’ve got a feeling that as good as Robredo is–and how about his two sets to love comeback win today?–Kyrgios is going to take him down in the 3rd round.

    Then it gets very interesting with either Wawrinka or Raonic.

  • Andrew Miller · August 29, 2014 at 5:34 pm

    Kyrgios is also a competitor. Whether it is a challenger first rd or wimbledon vs nadal he wants to win. Pretty sure he would compete just as hard if it were a public court with cracks as a night match at the open. The kid is perfect for night matches at the open. Id buy a ticket.

  • Bryan · August 29, 2014 at 8:57 pm

    Hewitt should continue for as long as he enjoys life on tour and the training. He seems to have accepted his position as a second tier player which a lot of former No 1’s cannot do. So unless his body breaks down there’s no reason to move onto what could be a 50+ year retirement.

  • Scoop Malinowski · August 30, 2014 at 8:17 am

    Bryan, it seems Hewitt will go on for as long as his body permits. He said recently that he still feels he can contend for majors. He really said this. Hey, if he believes that’s all that matters. It doesn’t matter in the least what the peanut gallery believes, if Hewitt believes then it’s possible he can still contend for majors. Like he did last year here. He lost in the 4th round to Youz in five sets, a match he held big leads in. So he was just a set from the QF last year.



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