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French Open '09: Nadal Versus Hewitt In The Third Round

PARIS - MAY 27:  Rafael Nadal of Spain acknowledges the crowd after claiming victory in his Men's Singles Second Round match against Teimuraz Gabashvili of Russia on day four of the French Open at Roland Garros on May 27, 2009 in Paris, France.  (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
RockCorrespondent IMay 28, 2009

For the ones who had nothing to do but just tuned into this site, Rafael Nadal is taking on Lleyton Hewitt in the third round of the French Open 2009. If there is one player who peaks into top form as the tournament progresses, then Nadal should be one of those contenders who should top that list.

Both are equally competitive as players, perhaps Nadal a notch higher considering his visible emotions on the court.

Nadal so far had Daniel and Gabashvili in his victims list who are not your day-to-day tomato cans. Both the players threw what they could throw at Nadal, but the man in dark pink was better by more than a tad.

Hewitt, unlike in this years Australian Open where he lost a 5 setter to Fernando Gonzalez in the first round, showed why he is called a gritty player after scraping through the 5 setter where he lost the first two sets in a tie breaker to Karlovic in his opening match. He had a relatively easy straight set win over Golubev in the second round.

Hewitt made considerable progress this year after he sustained a hip injury at Olympics 2008. He won his first title on clay in more than a decade at Men's Clay Court Championships in Houston this year.

Followed were the Master's series and he could not get past Safin in the first round and admitted that he ran out of the gas in the second set. This just goes to show that a player would be drawing tough opponents in the tournaments he contests after an injury break or rehabilitation.

The motivation to sustain in the circuit after the break should be much higher than what a player had during his initial years as a young professional player. Hewitt's got motivation and a half. A fierce competitor utilising his abilities to the highest possible level.

But he is running into a colourful machismo man in the third round who plays the game with an intensity that Hewitt would be proud of. Hewitt must have ran out of his limited reserves of gas at this age against Karlovic. He refuelled it and preserved it well in the second round.

Under hypothetical conditions, if his third round match gets to a decider then Nadal will not be shy of reminding Hewitt his age. A statistic that Hewitt would quickly like to forget was when he was defeated 6-1, 6-2 in last years Olympics by Nadal.

If Nadal dispatches Hewitt to the cleaners again, the shouts of 'Vamos' can just get bigger sending the waves to as far as a certain Swiss lurking at the bottom in the other half of the draw.

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