Federer - Hewitt set for Davis Cup clash

One of tennis’ most enduring rivalries of the past decade will reignite in a week’s time in Sydney, where Roger Federer and Lleyton Hewitt are due to square off in Davis Cup action. Australia plays host to Switzerland in the Davis Cup World Group play-off tie, to be held on grass at Royal Sydney Golf Club from 16-18 September.

Federer takes in a commanding 17-8 career lead over Hewitt, but it was the Australian who won the pair’s last meeting, in the grass-court final at Halle in 2010. The two contested a memorable Davis Cup clash in the 2003 World Group play-offs in Melbourne, when Hewitt rallied from two sets down to defeat Federer in five sets. However, he would go on to lose his next 15 matches against the Swiss.

The two have had quite different lead-ins to the tie. While Federer is preparing to contest the US Open quarter-finals in New York, Hewitt was forced to miss the final Grand Slam of the year due to the foot injury that has sidelined him for much of the season and seen him slip to World No. 188.

“It's a very unlucky draw for us,” said Federer who is set for a fast turnaround to get to Sydney if he is to reach the final at Flushing Meadows. “Sure, Australia is one of those great nations and I enjoy watching them play Davis Cup.  So that's obviously what's very intriguing playing against them.

“But for us it was tough now to sort of pack our bags, pay a lot of money for flights and hotels. So the Federation is not happy.  At least the minimum we can do is try to win that tie and get back in the World Group. We'll see how it goes. I hope I can get there and play against the Aussies.”

Australian Davis Cup captain Patrick Rafter confirmed that Hewitt is on course to be fit for the tie. “Lleyton missed the US Open and has arrived in Sydney nice and early to get the best possible preparation," Rafter said. "He is a fighter and I am confident he will get his body right for the tie. We want to get them on the grass, in front of our home crowd and fight like hell to win this tie.”

Federer is supported in the Swiss squad by Stanislas Wawrinka, while No. 1 Australian and Wimbledon quarter-finalist Bernard Tomic also features for the home side.

Date: 08.09.2011, Source: ATP


Post a Comment