Hewitt laments ‘nightmare’ Davis Cup scheduling
Originally published on: 04/05/10 12:32
As passionate as they come when called on to represent his country, even Lleyton Hewitt couldn’t hide a grumble at the team format of the men’s game this week.
The scheduling of Australia’s Davis Cup tie with Japan is sandwiched so tightly between warm up events and this month’s French Open – with the traditional ATP Masters 1000 tournament in Madrid to follow – that the Aussie has branded the scheduling as ‘ridiculous’.
“There is no doubt it is a nightmare schedule for all of us,” said the two-time French Open quarter-finalist, ahead of his nation’s Asia-Oceania second-round tie, which begins on Friday.
Hewitt is due to be in Madrid on Monday – the day after the cup-tie concludes – meaning the 29-year-old will have to recover from the epic trip from Brisbane in double-quick time if he is to lay down a marker for Roland Garros.
“It’s ridiculous to be playing this week firstly. The ITF (International Tennis Federation) really have got to have a good look at it,” Hewitt stressed.
“Because if you are expecting to play two Masters series for the ATP, and then come back and play a Davis Cup tie in between that – it takes a lot of effort.”
The two-time Grand Slam champion, who has returned from hip-surgery in time to slide around on his least favourite surface, admitted at this year’s Australian Open that performing well at the Grand Slams have become his main focus.
“I still feel like I’m capable of beating any of the top guys on any given day, especially in the big tournaments,” he said.
Hewitt’s goal is clear, but with a Davis Cup tie to negotiate, added to a 17,000 mile journey to Madrid to gear up for an assault at his third career slam on his least favourite surface, Hewitt’s sky-high determination will have to overcome a colossally high mountain if he is to claim a much-desired third Grand Slam.