Lawn Tennis
Lleyton Hewitt Loses, Sounds Off On Sydney Umpires
By Anton Lagani, Lawn Tennis Correspondent, Posted: Wednesday, January 9, 2008 7:12am CST USA
Lleyton Hewitt Loses, Sounds Off On Sydney Umpires
Photo by Greg Wood/AFP/Getty Images
Sydney--( Local favorite and Australian Lleyton Hewitt was upset Wednesday in the second round of the Medibank International by his fellow countryman Chris Guccione 7-6(7-4), 7-6(7-2) and wasted little time to hit out at the tennis match's umpires, whom he felt contributed to his loss with a lack of correct calls and overrules.

Hewitt, coming off a disappointing quarterfinal showing last week in Adelaide, this week earlier in his first round match also questioned several line calls before winning in straight sets.

"I feel like the (Australian) cricketers," Hewitt said. "What's going on with all the refs these days? Useless!"

Throughout the match Hewitt never faced a breakpoint but in the second set his anger was apparent when he argued with the chair umpire after a call was made against him after oftentimes earlier during the course of the match the umpire refused to overrule at all.

"I think central umpires have probably gone into their shell more since Hawk-Eye has come in, which, okay, that's fine in major tournaments," he said.

"But at the smaller tournaments, where you don't have Hawk-Eye, you have to stand up and make decisions. It's obviously tough for them because one week they've got Hawk-Eye and the next week they don't."

In 2001 at the age of twenty, Hewitt became the youngest male ever to be ranked number one on the ATP Tour. That same year he would win the 2001 US Open and in 2002, the Wimbledon men's singles title. In 2005 Hewitt posted his best ever Australian Open result by reaching the final before losing to Marat Safin of Russia 1-6, 6-3, 6-4, 6-4.

More recently Hewitt's world ranking has dropped to a current rank of twenty one, although he remains still Australia's finest hope for victory at next week's Australian Open.

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