Michael Russell denies that he was the author of negative statements about Lleyton Hewitt on his own Facebook page. The veteran American said his publicist posted the statements, which called Hewitt a “d-------g and a racist” and also criticized the Australian making excuses after his loss to Nicolas Mahut in the Newport final.
Russell lost to Mahut in the semifinals and had complained about the condition of a side court that he and the Frenchman played on. It had rained heavily during the weekend in Newport, and both the semifinals and final were played on Sunday.
Russell apologized and explained what happened in a series of tweets afterward:
“To be 100% clear about recent statements on my Facebook page regarding Lleyton Hewitt, unfortunately, my publicist posted those statements without my knowledge or approval. However, I realize it is my responsibility to monitor each and every statement before being posted on my Facebook page, and I hope Lleyton, my fans, and the tennis community will accept my apologies for any misunderstandings caused by my failure to do so. From here on out, I will monitor my page very carefully, making sure all statements made on it are mine. –Best, Michael”