Australian Lleyton Hewitt believes he is a better tennis player than when he was world No. 1, but Roger Federer stands in the way.
The former US and Wimbledon champion, who will contest the Adelaide International tournament starting in Adelaide tomorrow, said he was committed as ever to returning to his halcyon days.
"The game keeps getting better and better, there is no doubt about that," Hewitt told reporters yesterday.
"And [world No. 1] Federer has now taken it to another level. I think I'm a better player now than I probably was when I was No. 1 or No. 2 in the world a couple of years ago," he said.
"But you have got to produce that week in, week out, and obviously with a few niggling injuries that is pretty hard to do," he said.
Hewitt said fatherhood had not mellowed his desire to live his dream of winning the Australian Open.
He said he had overcome a knee injury which curtailed his success last year.
Hewitt knows for him to return to the top echelon again he will have to get past Federer.
"You have got to get to the semis and finals pretty much to have a crack at him," Hewitt said of the top-ranked Swiss.
"I have got to try and take care of obviously the lower-ranked guys first to get an opportunity at Federer. You don't want to be too worried about him," he said.
"Nine times out of 10 he's going to be there waiting for you if you do make the final of the slam. But with that in mind, you don't want to get preoccupied with how to beat Federer when there are a lot of good tennis players out there ... and you have got to beat a few of them to get a crack at Roger," he said.
Hewitt, currently ranked 20, is working hard on his fitness leading into next year.
"I'm pretty confident I have done enough work to be physically one of the best guys out there," he said. "I feel like I'm playing as well as a lot of guys in the top 10, if not better than half of them.
Kamaru Usman put on a Fight Island masterclass yesterday to retain his UFC welterweight world title by grinding down a brave Jorge Masvidal in Abu Dhabi. “I’m at the top of the mountain and everyone’s looking at me,” said the 33-year-old Usman after scoring a unanimous points decision 50-45, 50-45 and 49-46 on the three judges’ cards. The Nigerian-American Usman (17-1) looked the fresher fighter, with Masvidal (35-14) having taken the UFC251 headline bout at just six days’ notice when Brazil’s Gilbert Burns (19-3) tested positive for COVID-19 and was unable to travel. The Las Vegas-based UFC pulled off a power-packed schedule with
MONKEYS ALSO WIN: The Rakuten Monkeys kept the Brothers from the first-half title as they dominated the Uni-President Lions, scoring four in the fourth The CTBC Brothers still need another win to clinch the first-half CPBL title, despite thrashing the hapless Fubon Guardians 17-0 yesterday, after the Rakuten Monkeys beat the Uni-President Lions 9-2. Fans of CTBC Brothers were hoping to celebrate the first-half title, with a crowd of more than 10,000 packed into the Taichung Intercontinental Stadium for their home game against the Guardians. The figure was an attendance record for this year, when baseball and most other major sports events worldwide have been played in empty venues due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Entering the game, CTBC had pushed their magic number down to 2, meaning
Thailand international Pitsamai Sornsai, a new arrival for Inter Taoyuan, is to lead her team against Taipei Bravo tomorrow in the 10th round of the Taiwan Mulan Football League. Sornsai, who is nicknamed Pui, has attracted interest from media and fans as the first foreigner signed to play in Taiwan’s women’s league. Inter are among six teams battling for the title this year. The addition of Sornsai is a boost for the international profile of women’s soccer in Taiwan and elevates the competition. The 31-year-old brings a wealth of experience, including from the Asian Football Confederation’s Women’s Championship, the Southeast Asian Games and
Preparing to complete a ninth Serie A campaign without winning the scudetto, AC Milan decided that returning to the pinnacle of club soccer required a new approach. Roc Nation, the entertainment agency of US rapper Jay-Z is at the center of it, linking up with Milan to scour the world for sponsors, and use concerts and other high-profile events to attract new fans. And who better to ask about how to end a title drought than the team who just won their league for the first time in 30 years? “We have been talking to Liverpool, because they’ve been through the same path