Hewitt’s come a long way since his early days

Lleyton Hewitt heads on to Rod Laver Arena tonight (7pm) against David Ferrer with most of Australia behind him, if not all. It shows how time changes everything.

Compare Hewitt’s current standing with Nick Kyrgios. It does not seem that long ago that Hewitt was treading the same ground.

Krygios is highly strung, like Hewitt was. He is immature, like Hewitt was. Recently Pat Cash described Kyrgios on Triple M as “different”, which was as polite as Cash could put it.

Already he has been fined $US3000 at this Australian Open for swearing, a minor sin but one that adds to a growing list of small crimes that turn many tennis fans off him.

Nobody plays it like Lew Hoad anymore.

Yet the only real difference between Krygios and Hewitt is time.

Hewitt, one loss away from retirement, has had time to mature and in turn we have had time to understand and discover him. It allowed us to discover his other qualities like his tenacity and passion and a will that was second to nobody.

In doing so we learned to appreciate him. And tonight we cheer him.

Photo by Neale Cousland – Shutterstock.com