After the thorough drumming by Gilles Simon in the second round of the 2009 edition of the Miami Masters, Lleyton Hewitt's fans would be wondering what exactly went wrong in him?
There he was at the pinnacle of success and then BOOM! Everything starts spiralling downwards. Once at the top, he finds himself shunted backwards and backwards by players whom he would have just swatted aside.
Recovering from a debilitating hip injury that marred most of his 2008 professional life, he and his fans hoped that he would have more to celebrate this year than last year. Hoisting hopes, he did well playing in the Hopman Cup partnering Casey Dellacqua but not to that level as he previously was.
Still, eyes didn't dim with anguish as the season had still begun and injuries do tend to make players sore; and the main event Down Under was still to come.
The slam of the Asia/Pacific was the test of how well he had regrouped and revived; but call it fate or call it just plain luck: Hewitt was singled opposite an opponent with whom he had, had few success in the past, Fernando Gonzalez.
Gonzalez was as determined as Hewitt and perhaps even a shade more as he won the first round conquest in five sets. He might have won, but Hewitt went down like a valiant fighter till the end and cemented his reputation as a gutsy player: with or without injuries.
Though, these might just appear as mere condolences to the stark fact that Hewitt was still not on back on winning zones and almost three months past the Oz Open, things certainly don't look brighter for Hewitt. On the contrary they look bleak, very bleak.
To his fans it might be inexplicably hurting. When Federer's fans still can't tolerate the news that he has slipped from being the World No. 1 to being just one stop down as the World No. 2; it sounds very meagre when thinking from Hewitt's perspective.
I am not rubbing it in, I am not sarcastic; I am just plain trying to put myself in the shoes of another fan and at the same time praying that this doesn't happen with my favourite.
I do not wish to be harsh nor do I wish to be judgemental; but the way it is going for Hewitt, unless he does something about it 2009 will not even offer the opportunities that 2008 held out before him.
He really does need to get up from the Zombie sleep and get back ship shape to the old Lleyton Hewitt mode and the sooner he does that, the better it will serve to his career!
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