Federer is a 'Superman' says Hewitt

Lleyton Hewitt is preparing to produce another lion-hearted performance to inspire Australia to victory in this weekend's Davis Cup tie against a Swiss team led by the player he regards as "Superman" -- Roger Federer.

The prospective clash between Hewitt and Federer will stir memories of their last Davis Cup duel in Australia, an epic semi-final match in Melbourne in 2003 where Hewitt came from two sets down to win and propel Australia into the final.

Both countries have fallen from those heady heights and are scrambling for scraps, a return to the world group, after falling out of the top tier of the competition.

On paper, it should be Switzerland's weekend, with two players ranked in the top 20 in No 3 Federer and No 19 Stanislas Wawrinka, compared with Australia's two singles players ranked No 59 (teenager Bernard Tomic) and No 199 (Hewitt after an injury-marred year).

But circumstances, and the Australian team's decision to put the tie on grass, are conspiring to put the two teams on even ground. Federer will arrive in Sydney only this morning, giving him just two days to prepare after playing a five-set thriller in the US Open semi-final with eventual winner Novak Djokovic.

That alone won't give Australia an advantage, according to Hewitt.

"For a freak like Roger it doesn't matter," he said. "I haven't seen a lot that Roger isn't able to do, he's as close to Superman as they come."

But Wawrinka, the man the Australian team has targeted as the weak link on grass for Switzerland, announced yesterday that he was recovering from a leg injury and was not certain to play.

Meanwhile, Hewitt declared that the foot injury that ruled him out of both the French and US Open this year was not bothering him on the grass at the Royal Sydney Golf Club.

He expects it to stand up to the rigours of two singles matches, and doubles if required.

"I've done everything right and so far it's been pretty good," he said.

"It was disappointing to miss basically the whole hardcourt season and the whole claycourt season this year, but I feel like I have committed myself pretty well to Davis Cup and done all the right things, and hopefully it pays off for our country."

Hewitt said he would take confidence from his form at Wimbledon, where he returned from foot surgery to push world No 5 Robin Soderling to five sets in the second round.

"If I can play with that kind of form and intensity over three days, then I really think I can give both guys a run for their money," he said.

"I will have to play a lot better than my ranking. Roger is the main guy in the tie and he's the guy with the most form and best form coming in."

Date: 14.09.2011, Source: The Australian


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