Roger Federer And Lleyton Hewitt Play Tennis At The Sydney Harbor [Video]
by Tom Gainey | January 12th, 2015, 9:41 am
  • 51 Comments

Former No. 1s Roger Federer and Lleyton Hewitt kicked off the Australian Open festivities with a Fast4 promo hit at the historic Sydney Harbor.

The Fast4 format makes tennis quicker by playing no-ad, no lets and a tiebreaker at 3-all.

Federer beat Hewitt 4-3 (5-3), 2-4, 3-4 (3-5), 4-0, 4-2 in 90 minutes.

“Clearly it’s an idea to cut it down because you can go into the match knowing the maximum length is going to be an hour and 45 minutes, it seems like,” Federer said. “That mentally is just good to know. You don’t have to pack seven shirts, you only have to string a certain amount of racquets … it’s a more controlled environment. That could possibly keep guys in the game a little bit longer. I still believe in the future we’ll see plenty of five set matches because at the end of the day, you have to be able to back that up time and time again to play at the top level.”

The Sydney Harbor promo:

The match:


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51 Comments for Roger Federer And Lleyton Hewitt Play Tennis At The Sydney Harbor [Video]

Ben Pronin Says:

So Federer wins 4-2 in the fifth…


skeezer Says:

Packed house well attended event. Format is interesting…don’t know about Tennis on a boat though lol.”.


Humble Rafa Says:

Totally unsuited for my style of play. It is for players who stand in one place and play. Not for hustlers.


Okiegal Says:

That was a cute video. My first thoughts about playing on a boat I thought a huge cruise ship……wow, was I fooled! They were having fun. I’ve always loved Rusty and his enthusiasm for tennis game. I feel sad for him that he’s had injuries to stymie him at times…..Good luck to him Federer for a great AO!!


Wog Boy Says:

Nice advertising for Sydney, even on raining day Sydney and Sydney harbour looked stunning.
That boat tennis playing looked little bit stupid, I was just waiting for Roger to say “My name is Roger, Roger Federer” and to pull the gun:)
I think this is the first time he is back to the crime scene, the place he met the love of his life in 2000.

Skeezer, no bad feelings, but there is such a lack of events in Sydney (of that kind) that for the city of 4,5 million people it wasn’t problem to sell 10.000 tickets ($120-$320), at the end of the day it is school holiday, local son Hewitt and the Goat are playing in the heart of the city, beautiful place called Darling Harbour. Have look:

http://youtu.be/46sjcX4iEUQ


Okiegal Says:

@Wog…..it was beautiful, thanx for sharing what things are like “down” under!! When I saw the movie “Australia”, I became very intrigued by it. If I could ever get the nerve to get on a plane, that’s the first place I would go. Of course the trip would be worked around the AO and possibly a Rafa match! But to be perfectly honest, getting to see any of the top 20 or 30 would be OK by me.


Wog Boy Says:

Okie, my pleasure. It is a beautiful country, blessed with so many things, I have seen a bit of world so I can compare, Isettled here and never regreted. I miss my old country, I always will, but Australia was good step mother (foster mother) to me and respect that.


Okiegal Says:

@Wog……Fill me in……your old country?? If you have already told the forum, I apologize….I missed it.

Your Mother didn’t raise no dummy…..going to the outer court matches to get up close and personal with hotness……you sly devil you!! Lol


Wog Boy Says:

Okie, sorry for not answering earlier, I was in a hurry to make it for Delpo’s match on time, I am now in Ken Rosewall arena, Delpo is about to start his match, he has same military style outfit as Kokkinakis, looks fit and lean, strangely very few people turned up to watch it.
Yes, I am from Belgrade (Serbia), two blocks away from where that Frenchie Courbon use to live and two bus stops from where Nole lived, thiugh he wasn’t born when I left the country.


jane Says:

oh wow wog boy – enjoy the match!


Wog Boy Says:

jane, I an enjoying and Delpo is playing well so far and hitting the ball freely.


jane Says:

i’m not watching but i see he won set 1 fairly easily.


Wog Boy Says:

Second set is even, Stakhovsky is really good volleyer, soft touch. We have TB.


Wog Boy Says:

What a mighty scream came out of Delpo’s lungs after last point, very very emotional, I think he let few tears out too.


Wog Boy Says:

Keys just retired with right shoulder injury against Pironkova, they were hitting the ball really hard.


roy Says:

it’s ridiculous and plays to the flaws of the system rather than fixing them.

if you only go to 4 it means there is very little time to catch up a break and that gives even bigger advantage to those serving first, which is already a problem.

serve first and break their first game and hold and you’re already up 3-0 and one service game from the set.

both hold to 2-2, and now the second server is already under huge pressure (the 4-4/5-5 moment) as a break here will have the first server serving for set.

this system is more likely to decide a set on one break which is a negative thing.

it also means 1D big servers have a massive advantage now as it is even easier for them to reach tie-breaks.

and in general you can expect far more tiebreak matches as people don’t have as much time to find breaks.

futhermore it looks like they also cut down the tiebreak length. tiebreaks are already too much of a dice roll because a few points early on can often decide them due to the lack of time/space for variables to even out with best of 7. They should be super tiebreaks NOW.

but if you make it best of 5 it makes it even more random.


skeezer Says:

They should be applauded for at least trying to become part of the solution, rather than part of the 4 hour or longer problem. The majority fans on earth are not going to sit and watch a match or any sport that lasts that long. Don’t know what the exact answer imo yet, but do agree the super TB should be included, not a regular 7 pointerTB.
Of curse this would all be moot if they sped up the court surfaces….


elina Says:

What percentage of best of five matches run past four hours???

Less than 2% maybe.

NFL games run over three hours on average and that is the most popular sport in North America!

That said, I like many of the IPTL rule changes to speed up the game more than Fast4 rules.


skeezer Says:

eliina,
for your viewing pleasure;
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Longest_tennis_match_records
I am not in favor of most of the IPTL rules, especially a timer on play. I do like the shot clock in between points however. But implementing a timer on play will get abused imo.
Our Tennis format and tournament format is overall fine, no radical changes need to be made, just some weeks here and there.
Speed up the courts.


elina Says:

Yes I am aware of the longest matches but this is a very small percentage when compared to the 10,000 slam matches played per decade by men and women. These records span a 70 year period. That’s 70,000 matches.

The only timer on play (other than the shot clock) is in the tiebreak I believe. That one is certainly a bit more radical agreed but, on the positive, it is more entertaining IMO and adds more excitement. In terms of abuse, I don’t see it as any different than in the NFL teams taking knees to run out the clock.

However, I do like the concept of a shot clock (implemented correctly), tiebreaks at 5-all, no lets, no ad tennis. Overall it was refreshing to see. As I said, overall, I prefer the IPTL rules to Fast4. For me, a 4-game set with a TB at 3-all would be ridiculous. If ever adopted in tournament play, the ATP/ITF should just decide to unite and call themselves the ADHD Tour.

As far as court speed goes, variance is key. I’ve heard Melbourne is playing quite fast this year.


skeezer Says:

You need to look deeper into your percentages, (ex; were they finals, popular GS matches? ). Agree on the courts their should be variance. However, it got so ridiculous a fews back that some HC were slower than Clay. If the AO is a faster surface than last year I applaud them for that.
I don’t like this format to replace the regular format that exisits either, it would seem it would be best used in exhos or fun team type play. But like mentioned earlier applaud them for trying to make the game more palatable for the masses.


Okiegal Says:

Why do the crowds always seem to want more tennis? They will turn on their favorite in a heartbeat and cheer for the one losing to see another 2 sets….
just saying. I agree with the shot clock. I dont know if Elina has her percentage right or not, but I agree that it would low. Last night I watched the 2012 AO between Rafa and Novak and the start of the 4th set the crowd was solid for Rafa. At that point the match was very very long……..but the crowd wanted more…..probably because the tickets are so expensive and they wanted their money’s worth…
maybe or they just love tennis??


elina Says:

I don’t believe that I do need to look deeper.

I doubt it is worth the effort. Those stats are not readlily available.

Besides, why would those matches be significantly longer on average (other than the relatively small percentage of Top 16/32 vs qualifiers). I don’t think that there would be a big difference. Only Nadal and Djokovic have traditionally been slow and even that has changed since 2012.

So we are to change all of the surface speeds for two players? That would be knee-jerk mentality in my opinion.

As you say skeezer, some tweaks perhaps but nothing more. There are certainly not a significant number of matches exceeding four hours.

Okiegal, agree with you, the five set high profile matches are the epics. For me, the AO 12 was too long but that is by far was the needle in the haystack!


Patson Says:

@Okiegal

The crowd can be super fickle. In fact, I remember a match between Isner and Monfils in the Armstrong arena at the US open 2013 where the crowd wanted Monfils to win the 4th set so that the match goes to the 5th set! So here we had American crowd cheering for a French against an American. Being a non-American, I have to admit thought, I LOVED it :-). Sadly, Monfils lost and Isner would’ve definitely been pissed.

http://www.tennis.com/pro-game/2013/08/broadway-gael/48959/#.VLVb5SvF_UI


Okiegal Says:

@Elina……it’s not worth the effort for the research. You are so right, Rafa and Novak stretch the time as much as the officials allow, they are definitely the worst……but I really think they both are doing better.

@Patson…..the game of tennis is fickle just like the fans! Rafa wins a first set against Berrer
6-1, I think it was, then loses the next two. Berrer probably came out a bit nervous but settled in and got the win……go figure?? But this is why I love
tennis…..it’s so unpredictable!

Pardon, I well remember the Isner/Monfils match you’re referring to……and John was not happy…..shame on the American crowd for being jerks……but as I stated above, the order of the day is more sets of tennis for the hungry crowds!!


Wog Boy Says:

“The majority fans on earth are not going to sit and watch a match or any sport that lasts that long.”

skeezer, not cricket fans, do you know that cricket match can go for four and five days and not to be finished and fans are loving it. Cricket is #1 sport here and idea for this new tennis FAST4 format came from twenty20 cricket format:

http://m.smh.com.au/sport/tennis/ten-things-you-need-to-know-about-fast4-tennis-20150112-12k50r.html


Okiegal Says:

I went to a girl’s basketball tournament that our town has every year on the Christmas break. It started at 3 and was over about 9. That is 6 hrs of sitting time at a sports function. Why do I do
that?? I love basketball! Same reason I set the alarm to watch what’s going on in the land of Oz…I love tennis! The two players that play slow are doing better, in my estimation. It’s in the official’s hands ands I’ve often wondered if they get paid by the hour!!….lol

All in all I just don’t think that many fans have a problem with it, if they did they would leave…..just saying.


jane Says:

the interesting thing is that – apparently – the nole/rafa marathon AO final is one of the most (or the most?)watched tennis matches in history. from wiki: “…according to Tennis Channel and the Australian Open TV networks, this was one of the most-watched finals, despite ending late into the night locally.” i know i’ve always enjoyed the drama and momentum shifts of longer matches. to me, they make tennis both unique and very exciting. i know i am old-school, but i like the present format for the most part, although i agree with some things, like playing lets for example.


skeezer Says:

^You folks spend that much time watching a Sport? Ok.
Not me, Life is short, there is to many other things I’d rather be doing. I do love to watch Tennis like every other Tennis fan, but I am not spending my entire day or half of a day watching it.
———
@OK,
“All in all I just don’t think that many fans have a problem with it,”
I think there is, why would they be doing this….talking about shot clocks, No Let rule, etc.I think the ATP is concerned, and they should be. If there is a way to bring more fans/watchers to the game, they should be thinking about it and it looks like they are. Will they change anything? I’d be shocked if they do and don’t expect it. But again I applaud them for looking into it.
@Wog boy,
Thanks for that and that was exactly what I thought they were attempting here. Kudos for them in trying to bring more fans in. From your link;

“In the same way Twenty20 cricket has revolutionised how cricket is played, FAST4 Tennis is a speedier form of the traditional game, intended to encourage audiences around the world to get back into tennis.”


skeezer Says:

jane,
Was those ratings the Tennis TV channels gave specific, as to did the viewers watch the entirety of the match from beginning to end? Or off and on? Or just the last hour or 2? Just curious….


jane Says:

not sure skeezer; don’t think the wiki page specified.

when i am watching a long match, i often do other things, like fold laundry, cook, exercise, or whatever, so i don’t get too bored. i will sit still for the exciting parts – breaks, ends of sets, etc – but other than that, i am usually doing something else and multi-tasking. but the epic 5 setters really are riveting to me.


Okiegal Says:

@Skeezer, I do other things too. But sports is number one on my list. There is some kind of sport function on continually…..thank goodness….since I’m laid up with a twisted knee ATM…..sigh….
I’m like Jane, I love those riveting five setters too.

“FAST 4 tennis is a speedier form of the traditional game, intended to encourage audiences around the world to get back into tennis”…..Skeezer, people aren’t watching tennis because they don’t like the sport. I don’t think it’s because of long matches. All of my friends thinks it’s boring. To each his own….. but a new format isn’t going to bring in new audiences, imo. The people that get messed up most by long matches are the television folks.
I agree with the shot clock….but that wouldn’t be needed if the umpires did their job.

I don’t see what the big fuss is all about, as Jane said there’s not that many matches that last that long…..but there again when there is that possibility, the crowd is going wild for more….there’s no denying that.
I like the format as it is and the tiebreaker is awesome and exciting. Wimby needs to adopt the tiebreak in the fifth….Oh, and by the way, I watched that drama unfold for three days. Wasn’t so much that it was a great match but was interesting to see who would fold first…..also tennis history and a new record was established!!


Margot Says:

Like jane I’m usually paying far more attention at 5-5 than 1-1. And, although I’ll look hard at the start of a match to see what kind of form players are in, so frequently players play themselves into form, that’s quite often not an indicator of how the match will pan out.
Anyone else heard, and can affirm or deny, that Uncle Toni will not be at the AO?
@Wog Boy
Lucky you. Hope you have a gr8 time at AO.


Okiegal Says:

@Margot…..What did you hear that prompted this question about Uncle T?? I have some other gossipy
Rafa sites I can go to and try to find out. You apparently heard something. If true, that’s interesting……


Wog Boy Says:

@Margot, thanks, I’ll do my best:)


Margot Says:

@OK
Can’t remember. Wouldn’t worry, probably just a gossipy internety thing. Unfounded rumours just spread like a forest fire, don’t they.
@Wog Boy
Give Andy a hug from me :)


Wog Boy Says:

@Margot,
Will do it.


Okiegal Says:

@Margot…..Watched the Fast 4 match with Rafa and
Nando and saw Uncle Tony in a shot of the crowd…so that settles that…..


Giles Says:

@Okie. Toni met Rafa in Doha and they travelled together to Melbourne. You shouldn’t listen to gossip. If you want news on Rafa go to the Nadal News site.


Okiegal Says:

@Giles…..that’s exactly what I did, that’s where I watched the match. I go to that site all time and also Rafaholics site. I don’t read every item but a few. I’m always attuned to gossip, especially if it concerns Rafa…..lol


Skeezer Says:

Ok,
If you are looking for true Rafa gossip, you can trust and only listen to Giles, the knower of all things Rafa master. Scouring in real time all social media sites in multiple languages, no? ;)


Okiegal Says:

@Skeezer…..I hear you!!!! Lol. I’m inept when it comes to multiple languages….I only do Americanese…..but my eyesight is still 20 20!! Tee hee!


kjb Says:

Well the draw is out. Looks pretty good. Andy in Feds quarter. Nadal in Feds half. Stan probably has the most favorable quarter IMO. Should be fun!


kjb Says:

Oh and DelPo plays Jerzy in the 1st round, I hope Delpo comes through.


Wog Boy Says:

Is Sean on a holiday, we need new thread Sean.


skeezer Says:

As usual, Rafa gets the most favorable draw. He doesn’t have to play a qualifier in the first Rd ( HaHa ), and on the opposite side of his qtr is the unscary Birdman, who lays down everytime he plays Rafa. Who else?
Gotta say, if Nole is playing like he can, his draw is awesome also, really only having to face Raonic in his Qtr ( if Milos gets that far ). Fed? Iron sharpens Iron….Karvolic and Grigor in his quarter, tough.


Wog Boy Says:

Nole has Isner first then Raonic (big servers)…Nishikori or Stanimal not really easy draw? He MUST stay focused!


Daniel Says:

Kei will be pumped up for this AO. He played his best in HC and will basically have a repeat of US Open draw. Wawa quarters than Djoko semis. Some very nice matches ahead, rematches of what happen last year in AO and USO.


Wog Boy Says:

^^ I forgot Delpo, but after watching him yesterday against Kukushkin I don’t think he is fit and ready for the best of five, he struglled big time in the second set, physically.


Okiegal Says:

Fed will make mincemeat out of the good Dr and he will school his “son” like nobody’s business…..a good easy draw imo…..just wait and see!!

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