Hopes for Hewitt from legend Laver

January 28th, 2009 - 1:10 pm ICT by IANS  

Melbourne, Jan 28 (DPA) Legendary tennis player Rod Laver worries that Lleyton Hewitt’s hip surgery may have robbed the former number one of some of his famed speed around the court. “He’s lost a step or two, mostly because he’s had the hip injury,” said the last man to win the calendar Grand Slam in 1969. “There’s also the fact that you’ve had a career, won a Wimbledon and the US Open. Now all of a sudden everyone is saying, ‘Hey, you’re still a young man, you’re gonna win an Australian’, or whatever it might be.

“There’s a lot of pressure on Lleyton to do that. That’s something he’s got to get over. He’s got to get repaired, get some strength in it and then go again.”

Laver, visiting the Australian Open, regrets that Hewitt has not been able to truly inspire the generation behind him, with the 27-year-old now fighting to save his own career with a ranking that fell out of the Top 100 with a first-round defeat.

But even after his surgery, Laver feels Hewitt can resurrect his game.

“You need practice to get yourself into a groove to get more weight on his shots. When he does that, I think he could do it,” Laver said. “But it’s up to whether his hip and the rest of his body can take the beating to get up the top again.”

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