[CR2] Roger Federer (SUI) vs. [CR66] Steve Darcis (BEL)
[CR355] Lleyton Hewitt (AUS) vs. [CR24] Bernard Tomic (AUS)
Two matches that showcased two opposing careers from two players that were once ranked number one. They both turned professional in 1998. Injuries have wreaked havoc with Lleyton’s career, while Federer has only suffered from the occasional minor injury. Federer has won 87 singles titles in comparison to 30 singles titles won by Hewitt. Federer was ranked number one for a total of 302 weeks, so far, while Hewitt was ranked number one for a total of 80 weeks. Each player in their own way has demonstrated their resilience and perseverance in a profession that demands both mental and physical fortitude. Every player should be appreciated for what they have accomplished and given to the game; however, you can only marvel at Federer’s ability to keep performing at such a high level, with no apparent end in sight. Federer defeated his opponent tonight, 6-1, 6-2, 6-1.
Yet, Hewitt reminded us that despite the heart’s desire, there will come a time when the body can no longer perform at the level you demand; a level capable of producing consistently brilliant tennis. Despite showing us remnants of vintage Hewitt, demonstrating his resolve to succeed in the face of adversity when he fought back from a two set deficit to almost turn the match around in his favor, he just could not get over that final hurdle: the determination of his opponent on the other side of the net. What a way to remind us of the fighter he has always been on court and in life. He bounced back from so many surgeries and the fact that he came back after the last hip surgery is a testament of his character and love of the sport. So while he may have lost this match to Tomic, 3-6, 2-6, 6-3, 7-5, 5-7, he won a place in the heart of many of his fans.