Give Tomic benefit of the doubt: Hewitt
Lleyton Hewitt believes critics should give Bernard Tomic the benefit of the doubt before accusing him of not trying.
Tomic has come under extreme heat since tennis great John McEnroe claimed the teenager seemed to give up during his 6-3 6-4 6-0 second-round US Open capitulation against Andy Roddick.
But Hewitt agreed with Tomic that sometimes the youngster’s unusual style created the impression he’s not always giving 100 per cent effort on court.
The tour veteran recalled Tomic’s comeback win from two sets down against Fernando Verdasco at the Australian Open, when the 19-year-old was claimed to have been foxing, as an example.
“He’s a unique player,” Hewitt said after his own Flushing Meadows campaign came to an end with a gallant four-set third-round loss to David Ferrer on Sunday.
“His ball-striking is unique. Some of his shot selection is unique.
“There has been matches, probably more so at the Aussie Open, that he’s been able to turn matches around because of that.
“The Verdasco match, for example, looked like he was struggling there for a while and he was able to turn that around.
“And even against Dolgopolov in the Aussie Open as well. That’s him and his personality a little bit as well.”
Hewitt admitted he didn’t see the Roddick rout, saying he was “stuck in New York traffic” during the 87-minute encounter.
“I have heard and seen some of the stuff about it. Obviously I would have thought it would have gone a little bit better against Andy,” he said.
But the former world No.1 said he had formed a bond with his one-time sparring partner and was always happy to lend an ear to Tomic.
“I’ve got along well with Bernie for the last couple of years now,” Hewitt said.
“We have practiced quite a bit together, nearly at most tournaments we have played last couple years, or last year and a half or so.
“We were the only two guys in the Olympics on the men’s side, so we spent a lot of time together there as well.
“In terms of all that, I think he does listen to me quite a bit. Even when he’s spoken about things, whether he was playing Roddick or his game a little bit during the Olympics when he was down on confidence a little bit.
“So that’s what I’m there for. Been around for a long time now.
“He had a disappointing loss here in the second round last year to (Marin) Cilic and then he came out and played pretty well in the Davis Cup against Roger (Federer) and Stan (Wawrinka).
“Hopefully he can get it together.”© AAP 2013