Lleyton, Lleyton… Lleyton. Come on? As one of Australia’s most polarising sports figures, Lleyton Hewitt is a pretty easy target, even when he’s winning. In a dark day for Australian tennis, with Davis Cup promotion on the line, Hewitt turned in a messy, error riddled performance against world No.127 Cedrik-Marcel Stebe to go down 6-4 6-1 6-4. This confines the Aussie team to the second tier group for the sixth season in a row leaving even the most ardent supporter to question whether its time for the self backing battler to hang up the reverse duckbill and retire.
Unlike the much maligned Bernard Tomic, Hewitt’s commitment and fight has never been in question. That’s why Hewitt’s retirement is such an unnerving prospect because we all know that he’s such a stubborn shit. Many doubt he will accept when it’s his time to retire. His US Open hinted that their might be a little life left in the legs yet but the demands of the Davis Cup proved to great as he looked wounded and lethargic. Where would that leave the team should our greatest Cup servant step down? For all his promise, Tomic does not have the maturity to lead the team and after that the cupboard is pretty bare. Marinko Matosevic and Matthew Ebden both sit above Hewitt in world rankings at 61 and 64, but neither share Hewitt’s experience are match Hewitt when he’s in form. It doesn’t bode well for the immediate future of Australian Davis Cup tennis.
Here are some of the highlights from the infamous Hewitt v Coria Davis Cup match from 2005 when Hewitt personally waged war on the Argentinians.
Picture by Clive Brunskill at Getty Images