Sunday, January 22, 2012

I'll give it a crack, says Hewitt

Updated January 22, 2012 18:49:45

Lleyton Hewitt has vowed to come out swinging when he faces defending champion Novak Djokovic in the fourth round at the Australian Open.

The two-time grand slam winner slipped to 181 in the world rankings but has turned back the clock in Melbourne seeing off big-serving Canadian Milos Raonic to reach the round of 16, after earlier beating injured Andy Roddick.

Hewitt concedes his impressive run in the tournament so far would pale in comparison to a victory over Djokovic but gives himself a chance of victory.

"I'll prepare as well as possible again. I'll do all the right things. He's the number one player in the world for a reason at the moment.

"I'm going to enjoy going out there and having a crack."

The former Wimbledon and US Open champion admitted he had to work hard even to play in Melbourne after undergoing foot surgery last year.

"A couple of months ago I didn't know if I'd be able to play. Yeah, obviously I didn't play much tennis last year," he said late on Saturday.

"I think in terms of how much pain and stuff I played with last year, it's really only my team and people close to me and probably the Davis Cup boys sort of know what I've had to deal with," he added.

"So, it's pleasing to come through like I have the last three matches."

The 30-year-old said he had no sense of disbelief after downing Raonic, the 23rd seed.

"I never write myself off," he said.

"I don't think a lot of people would have given me a lot of hope when the draw came out to be in the fourth round going into the second week," added Hewitt, handed a wildcard to play at the Open.

"I've done everything right so far, laid it all out on the line."

Djokovic has beaten Hewitt in four of their five previous meetings, including at the 2008 Australian Open and 2010 Wimbledon. Hewitt's only win came back in the 2006 US Open.

The top seed has breezed through the tournament with ease winning all his matches in straight sets but admits to admiring Hewitt's run.

"Lleyton has been playing some really good tennis," Djokovic said.

"I think the best that we have seen him play in last two years."


Tags: australian-open, tennis, sport

First posted January 22, 2012 18:49:45

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