That's it, Lleyton Hewitt bid farewell to Flushing Meadows after losing against his compatriot Bernard Tomic in the second round of the US Open. An epic defeat during which the winner of the 2001 edition didn’t forget to remind the New York public why they loved him so much. The Australian was losing two sets to zero to eventually pass a point away from another victory at 34. At the end of the match, Hewitt had tears in his eyes. And so did you. You know that you’re a fan of Lleyton Hewitt when...
...You've always dreamed to go to Adelaide. Where it all began.
...In life, you always give everything, in the good and bad days.
...For you, there are no small victories or small celebrations. At each accomplishment, you turn to your "public", clinch your fist and scream as loud as you can: «COME ON!»
…Your favourite TV series? Heartbreak High of course.
…You like to pretend you’re a true Aussie.
...Your mates think that you're a warrior who drives a hard bargain. Others are convinced that you're just an asshole who doesn't respect anything.
...Your reaction when your opponent makes a double fault? "COME ON!"
...You lob everything that moves.
...You are very disappointed by the level of baseliners today. Berdych doesn’t move well enough, Murray lacks charisma and you think that Djokovic is a bit languid. Languid? Yes. Languid.
…Your reaction when your opponent gets injured? “COME ON!”
...Your reaction when you manage to get the last parking spot before the scumbag who tried to steal it at the last moment? “COME ON!”
...Yes, you tend to see adversity everywhere.
...You are patriotic.
...If someone asks you to choose between your hip and your country, you choose your country. As Lleyton at the 2009 Olympics when he insisted on playing the tournament in singles and doubles to then be out the rest of the season.
...You hate Argentina. Or rather, Argentina hates you.
...Even for them, there is too much grinta in you.
...For you, Juan Ignacio Chela was, is and will always remain a llama.
...You're precocious. US Open final against Pete Sampras at age 20? Victory in three sets.
... For you, it’s clear that: return>service
... You love life because life loved Lleyton. « When I was little, my dream was to become World Number 1 for at least a day. The others, they all wanted to win at least one Grand Slam, but I dreamed of winning the Davis Cup by BNP Paribas at least once. And at the end of the day, all these dreams became true when I was 21.»
...You've made a pilgrimage to Tokyo to pay tribute to the engineers who create these beauties that are the Yonex racquets.
...When a linesman signals two foot faults in the same set, your first instinct is to look if, by any chance, he’s not of the same skin colour than your opponent, and share your observations to the umpire. Just for information…
... But you’re not racist, because you too "come from a multicultural country."
... Between tennis players and actresses, you choose actresses.
... Before, you were laughing when people were telling you that grass was a surface made for great servers. Eight titles on grass, mate. Wimbledon 2002 and Tim Henman, rings a bell?
...Then in 2003, you discovered Ivo Karlovic. At Wimbledon in the first round. Since then, grass disgusts you.
...You repeat every morning to your son that, no matter if you're world number 1 or world 279th, you have to fight as if it was war.
...You love marathons. Especially those that start at 11pm and end at 4:30 am. At the Australian Open. Against Marcos Baghdatis.
…You've been thinking for a while that the Nadal hype showed a severe lack of tennis culture. The tank top, that's not him. Precocity, not him either. Lust for victory, either. What did he bring actually?
… Has Nadal ever done that?
...You love to listen to Federer when he says that Hewitt "has greatly contributed to make me work even harder to become the great I've become." You know perfectly well that one day in 2003, Hewitt was leading 7-2 in their direct confrontations.
...You love to see Hewitt as the last barrier between old school tennis and Roger Federer. World number one for two years. Before the tsunami...
...You'd rather forget that between 2004 and 2005, your hero has lost seven consecutive matches in Grand Slams against the Swiss.
...You’ve read two lines of Open, Andre Agassi's autobiography: "Hewitt is one of the best strategists in the history of tennis." Not bad this book.
...You always wear your cap backwards. Even at work, even in meetings. Especially in meetings. « COME ON! »