Hurt Hewitt has eye of the Tiger for Federer clash

LLEYTON HEWITT will take inspiration from Tiger Woods as he attempts to end Roger Federer’s 62-match unbeaten run on grass at Wimbledon today.

Hewitt is struggling with a hip injury which he admits would have ruled him out of any other tournament, hardly ideal preparation to take on the defending champion and five-time winner.

But the Australian, winner at the All England Club in 2002, is hoping he can match Woods’ remarkable US Open success at Torrey Pines by pulling off a shock victory against the world number one in the fourth round.

“I love watching Tiger play, he’s one of my favourite sportsmen,” said the 27-year-old from Adelaide. “What he did was incredible. I don’t really know if anyone else would have been able to do it. Not only to play four rounds but then go out and play a fifth day.

“I think no-one else on this planet could have got through with the win.”

Woods was very cagey about the extent of his injury during the event and Hewitt is also keen not to talk up his problem.

“I don’t complain about injuries, I think that comes from a (Australian Rules) football background,” added the former world number one.

“You don’t show when you’re hurt. It’s the same out on the court. Very rarely do I give away signs if I’m hurting. It’s signs of weakness. I try to play the cards close to my chest.”

Federer has a 13-7 win-loss record against Hewitt, including the last 11 in a row and two victories at Wimbledon — the 2004 quarter-finals and the 2005 semi-final.

But Hewitt does have one potential advantage — he is now coached by the legendary Tony Roche, who also coached Federer for two-and-a-half years until they split in May 2007.

“Rochey’s obviously going to know a lot,” Hewitt added. “But you’ve still got to go out there and execute it.

“It can only help but it’s not the absolute key to success. You’ve still got to go out there and do it.”

Monday will see all of the fourth-round matches played, weather permitting. Second seed Rafael Nadal is involved in an intriguing clash with Russian Mikhail Youzhny.

The pair met at the same stage last year and Youzhny led by two sets to love before Nadal stormed back.

Youzhny amazingly won their last meeting 6-0 6-1 in Chennai earlier this year but has needed five sets to win each of his last two matches here and could pay the price for those exertions.

Russian, Marat Safin faces Switzerland’s 13th seed Stanislas Wawrinka while Janko Tipsarevic takes on Rainer Schuettler, and Marcos Baghdatis plays Spain’s Feliciano Lopez.

Mario Ancic takes on Spain’s Fernando Verdasco and Marin Cilic is up against France’s Arnaud Clement.

In the women’s competition Venus Williams continues her quest for a fifth Wimbledon title against Alisa Kleybanova today insisting she always believed in the possibility of setting up a third Wimbledon final against sister Serena.

Defending champion Venus, a lowly seventh due to her relative inactivity this year, was convinced from the start that the pair had what it took to make final Saturday another family affair.

She said: “The chances were wonderful from the beginning, from round one. That’s how we see it.

“The more we progress, the closer it gets. But, personally, I’m really focused on my next round.”

Serena faces fellow American Bethanie Mattek.

Jelena Jankovic is the highest ranked player left and faces a battle to be fully fit for her last-16 clash with Thai veteran Tamarine Tanasugarn.

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