Federer credits 2003 loss to Hewitt for future success

by: Matt Cronin | January 04, 2014

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Roger Federer, who will play Lleyton Hewitt in the final of the Brisbane International, talks about how he turned around his rivalry with the Australian. After Hewitt came from two sets down to defeat the Swiss at the 2003 Davis Cup semifinals in Australia, Federer won 16 of their next 17 matches. Hewitt held a 7-2 edge in their rivalry up to that point.

“I think it really proved to me that I could play great tennis not just for a set, two sets, but three sets or maybe even longer against the toughest guys out there,” Federer said about the Davis Cup loss. “Lleyton at that point was probably the toughest to beat in the best-of-five set match also physically and mentally. And for me to be able to not just do it tennis-wise but physically and mentally gave me the big belief that I could hang with the best, and especially with him. Then I went on a run like I did.

"I never thought that was going to happen, because he has the game to cause me a lot of problems. I just think the confidence I had and the amount of the variation I could bring to the court was just difficult for Lleyton. But I always felt like it was just not only my racquet. The moment I dip my level he was going to be there and take it.”

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