Crikey readers know we’ve never been fully paid-up members of the
Lleyton Hewitt fan club. Sure, we admire his never-say-die tenacity and
nerves of steel, but the little bugger keeps on throwing bratty tanties
just when you start thinking he’s finally reformed – or that’s pretty
much how it has been up to now.

With the exception of his fourth round match against Taylor Dent, his brain implosions or questionable tactics at
Wimbledon this year, Hewitt has been more restrained and disciplined in
recent years – and only a shadow of the winning ugly image presented itself at the
Australian Open in January.

So the question tonight, in his
much anticipated “Clayton’s final,” is not whether he can win – because he certainly can – but if he
has to lose can it be done with dignity?

Lleyton has to overcome some scary obstacles to create the
upset that a Hewitt win would be. Federer has won 34 straight matches on
grass and hasn’t lost to
Hewitt in their last seven meetings. Hewitt last beat Federer in their
monumental Davis Cup
semi-final clash in 2003, after he recovered from two sets down. And
that’s the memory he will be taking into his game (live on Nine tonight
from 11pm), and hopefully it, along with his great respect for Federer,
will be there to ensure that “nice” Lleyton shows up tonight!

Peter Fray

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Peter Fray
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