US Open 2001
Lleyton Hewitt burst onto the scene in 1997. He had a determined on court persona that was reminiscent of Jimmy Connors. He seemed destined to be a great player from early on in his career. Aged just 15 he entered his first Grand Slam event at the 1997 Australian Open and lost in the opening round to Sergi Bruguera. He soon began to climb the rankings and at Wimbledon 1999 he lost his third round match on the Centre Court to Boris Becker in straight sets to hand Becker his last tour win. In 2000 he had the ideal preparation for Wimbledon by beating Pete Sampras in the final at Queens. However, at Wimbledon he lost in the opening round to Jan-Michael Gambill. At the US Open Hewitt made the semis but lost in straight sets to Sampras. At the 2001 US Open Hewitt outlasted Roddick in five sets in the quarters before thrashing Yevgeny Kafelnikov in the semis and Sampras in the final to win his first Grand Slam title. At Wimbledon 2002 Hewitt was twice a break down in the fifth set against Sjeng Schalken in the quarters but fought back with typical guts and determination to win. In the semis he beat Tim Henman in straight sets before thrashing David Nalbandian in the final. At the US Open Hewitt lost in the semis to Andre Agassi. 2003 was a poor year for Hewitt. He lost to Younes El Aynaoui in the fourth round of the Australian Open, failed once again to make an impact at the French, and at Wimbledon he lost in the first round to a then unknown Croatian called Ivo Karlovic. He lost in the quarters of the US Open to Juan-Carlos Ferrero. Hewitt regained some form by reaching the final of the 2004 US Open, where he lost to Roger Federer in straight sets. At the 2005 Australian Open Hewitt survived an epic quarter final against Nalbandian, before a four set victory over Roddick in the semis. In the final he succumbed disappointingly to Marat Safin in four sets. From then on Hewitt never looked like adding to his two major titles. He maintained a top twenty ranking but at Grand Slams he often looked flat and devoid of inspiration as he lost to players he would have beaten in his heyday. After a decade in the wilderness, Hewitt retired after playing in his 20th Australian Open in 2016, losing in the second round.
© GRAND SLAM TENNIS ARCHIVE
HEAD TO HEAD Win-Loss: A.Agassi 0-1, B.Becker 0-1, S.Bruguera 0-1, A.Costa 1-1, J.Del Potro 2-0, N.Djokovic 1-4, R.Federer 0-8, J.C.Ferrero 0-2, G.Gaudio 1-1, G.Ivanisevic 1-0, Y.Kafelnikov 1-0, C.Moya 1-1, R.Nadal 2-4, A.Roddick 4-2, M.Safin 0-1, P.Sampras 1-1, S.Wawrinka 1-0
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