Newspaper article Tweed Daily News (Tweed Heads, Australia)

Defiant Hewitt to Take on Rafa

Newspaper article Tweed Daily News (Tweed Heads, Australia)

Defiant Hewitt to Take on Rafa

Article excerpt

LLEYTON Hewitt served up a contender for tennis understatement of the year after booking a French Open showdown with Rafael Nadal, but he will need to conjure up the performance of his life to keep his title hopes alive.

A typically defiant Hewitt declared Nadal is "probably the slight favourite" to win their marquee third-round encounter after casting aside little-known Kazakhstani Andrey Golubev 6-4 6-3 6-1 to reach the last 32 in Paris for the ninth time in as many visits.

In reality, Hewitt faces the sternest test of his career, with bookmakers installing the astonishing Nadal a 100-1 on favourite to extend his record run at Roland Garros to 30 wins and zero defeats.

Few players, though, revel against the odds like Hewitt, who refuses to believe he cannot conquer Spain's claycourt colossus today.

"This is why I'm still playing the game - to put myself in positions like this, to have a crack at the big guys in the biggest tournaments," Hewitt said. …

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