Federer quick to defend Hewitt

Roger Federer has leapt to the defence of Lleyton Hewitt following suggestions the Australian has become a fading force in men's tennis.

Asked if he welcomed the emergence of an Australian "for a change" in the form of Bernard Tomic, the 16-time major champion was instantly riled.

"You talk like Lleyton isn't around any more. Be careful," Federer said.

Federer says he had seen only a few points played by Tomic after the Gold Coast teenager advanced to a quarter-final against Novak Djokovic at Wimbledon.

On the topic of Australian players, Federer insisted Hewitt is "still around".

"For me, he still remains a great champion, always will be," Federer said of the 2002 Wimbledon winner.

Beaten in the second round at the All England Club, Hewitt's year has been hampered by an injured foot on the back of a succession of injuries in recent years.

"I'm sure he's never going to say what was actually the problem with him," Federer said.
"But he can really battle through tough moments. That's why I admire him as a player and his work ethic."

Date: 28.06.2011, Source: ABC AU


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