Lawn Tennis
Lleyton Hewitt Faces Tough Australian Open Road
By Anton Lagani, Lawn Tennis Correspondent, Posted: Sunday, January 13, 2008 5:39pm CST USA
Australian Open 2008 - Men's Picks
Photo by Dita Alangkara/AP
Melbourne--( Local favorite Lleyton Hewitt's hopes of a first Australian Open crown came up against a major bump in the road as the men's singles draw is not very favorable to the Australian. After facing several lower ranked players, Hewitt should meet 15th seed Marcos Baghdatis of Cyprus, runnerup at the 2006 Australian Open, in the third round. Baghdatis plays a fighting game similar to Hewitt's so I think this match is winnable for Hewitt especially at Melbourne.

Australian Open 2008 - Men's Picks

Fourth Round [1] Roger Federer vs. [13] Tomas Berdych [12] James Blake vs. [7] Fernando Gonzalez [3] Novak Djokovic vs. [19] Lleyton Hewitt [10] David Nalbandian vs. [5] David Ferrer Feliciano Lopez vs. [9] Andy Murray [14] Mikhail Youzhny vs. [4] Nikolay Daveydenko [6] Andy Roddick vs. Mardy Fish [23] Paul-Henri Matthieu vs. [2] Rafael Nadal Quarterfinals [1] Roger Federer vs. [12] James Blake [3] Novak Djokovic vs. [10] David Nalbandian [9] Andy Murray vs. [14] Mikhail Youzhny [6] Andy Roddick vs. [2] Rafael Nadal Semifinals [1] Roger Federer vs. [3] Novak Djokovic [14] Mikhail Youzhny vs. [6] Andy Roddick Final [1] Roger Federer vs. [6] Andy Roddick Winner [1] Roger Federer

In the fourth round Hewitt could meet the third seeded Novak Djokovic of Serbia. Djokovic, only 20 years old, is already an all court player and 2007 US Open finalist. Head to head the two players are tied 1-1 with Djokovic winning their last meeting at Wimbledon last year 7-6(12-10), 7-6(7-2), 4-6, 7-6(7-5). Hewitt's defense will not be enough to stop Djokovic, but it could be a five set thriller.

In other men's play world number one Roger Federer of Switzerland is still executing better than the other ATP Tour players. He hits all the tough shots and makes them look easy. American James Blake will test Federer in the quarterfinals. But in the final Federer will once again defeat Andy Roddick of the USA in a rematch of last year's US Open final.

This could be a great rivalry: Federer versus Roddick. But first Roddick would need to post more wins. As it stands now Federer leads Roddick head to head 15-1, winning the last 11 meetings which has to be disheartening for Roddick.

Copyright Lawn Tennis 1997-2008 | Home