Advanced warning: Sport Post. Joesph Cooney, please ignore.
OK, so I know that this post is two days in arrears, but I didn’t want to lose the sentiment by analysing round 2 of the Australian Open – at least without discussing Lleyton Hewitt’s first round match.
Those who are overseas may not realise that the court temp on Tuesday was a whopping 50’C. Many players had to struggle through it, but eventually the games were postponed. This put many live games into the late, late, late evening – around midnight and beyond.
Hewitt was down two sets to one heading into a fourth set. He eventually one both the fourth and fifth sets as his opponent simply couldn’t keep up. I used to despise Hewitt because he seemed too aggressive, too arrogant. The guy who is playing in the Open this year isn’t that guy. No, this was a different bloke, and he played with passion and focus and he pulled out a miraculous victory.
I now understand why he plays with such intensity – it’s all about the psych-up. He is constantly ‘geeing up’ and forcing himself to hit the next level. It paid off, and now I get it. The icing on the cake was how modest or humble he was when interviewed after the match by former pro Jim Courier (who I watched play when I last went to the Open).
This guy is different, and I think he is far more mature and professional. It’s nice to see that progression.