Hewitt bids New York farewell in familiar fighting fashion
By Steve Keating
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Lleyton Hewitt waved goodbye to the U.S. Open on Thursday, the tenacious Australian dragged kicking and screaming to the Flushing Meadows exit by countryman Bernard Tomic.
A player who constructed a career around a relentless fighting spirit that became his calling card, Hewitt was never going to leave the U.S. Open without a struggle and went down swinging until the very end, falling 6-3 6-2 3-6 5-7 7-5.
"I left it all out there again," said Hewitt, a two-time grand slam winner. "A great atmosphere, it was nice to be able to turn it into a decent match."
Set to retire after next year's Australian Open, Hewitt may have lost a step and his groundstrokes are not as ferocious as they once were but the 34-year-old showed he has lost none of his combativeness during an enthralling three hour, 27 minute second round slugfest.
Hewitt gave Tomic, and the other young Australian players who have made headlines for all the wrong reasons in recent weeks, a demonstration of what it takes to be a winner, battling back from two sets down to give his fans one final thrill.
"I'm just very competitive. I pride myself on getting the most out of myself," said Hewitt, who is set to take over as his country's Davis Cup captain and already taken on a mentoring role for some of Australia's young players.
"I was able to somehow find a way. That's what I've been renowned for in my career.
"If I can instill a little bit of that especially into the three promising young guys on the way up, you know, with their games and the weapons they have, then that's just another positive for them." Continued...