Hewitt’s Temper Causes Coach to Quit
by Lynn Berenbaum | January 5th, 2007, 12:52 pm

The 2007 season kick off has not been good for Lleyton Hewitt. Longtime coach Roger Rasheed tendered his resignation, and Hewitt has subsequently withdrawn from Sydney citing a calf injury.

It’s been known for some time that Rasheed was distressed by Hewitt’s temper. This came to a head on Thursday night when Hewitt hurled verbal assaults and glared directly at Rasheed during the Aussie’s upset by Igor Kunitsyn at Adelaide.

Apparently Rasheed and Hewitt then got into an argument about Hewitt’s on-court activities in the locker room after the match. Rasheed is said to have then talked to several trusted friends before driving to Hewitt’s home and tendered his resignation.

Rasheed would not confirm to reporters last night that his resignation had been prompted by verbal abuse from Hewitt. It is, however, fairly widely known that it has been a problem with the two in the past and that Rasheed has raised the matter with Hewitt in the off-season, stressing that he needed to cool his temper and stay focused during matches.

According to the Sydney Morning Herald, Rasheed released a statement through his sister Hitaf, saying that he had given Hewitt written notice yesterday of his decision to terminate his contract. Hewitt was said to have been completely stunned by Rasheed’s decision to quit, though it seems that little effort was made to convince him to stay on.

Rasheed’s resignation follows several recent major shake ups in the Hewitt camp. Hewitt dropped management company Octagon after eight years, before hiring and then subsequently firing Rob Aivatoglou. He is now managed by another former Octagon staffer, Justin Cohen.

Aivatoglou had previously worked as Hewitt’s Australian manager through Octagon, and developed a close relationship with Lleyton, before leaving to join Cricket Australia as Commercial Affairs Manager. He later rejoined the Hewitt’s and established Lleyton Hewitt Marketing and the company’s new headquarters in South Yarra.

Hewitt and golfer Greg Norman have also developed a close friendship in recent years, and Hewitt’s business is based on the model of Norman’s Great White Shark Enterprises, which earns a paltry $200 million a year in revenue. The company’s event marketing and sports management deals will be his central focus after Hewitt’s retirement from tennis, and has recently been used to secure a few deals for his wife.

Hewitt’s father Glynn, for a long time the central controlling influence in Lleyton’s affairs and a director of Lleyton Hewitt Marketing, temporarily took on management duties for his son after the axing of Aivatoglou. Justin Cohen was then poached from Octagon to take on the management for both Hewitt and wife Bec Cartwright in early November, though whispers are that Hewitt Sr. still runs the show.

For the time being, Rasheed’s resignation leaves Hewitt without a coach for the Australian Open. Rumors are swirling that Australian Davis Cup legend Wally Masur, head coach of the National High Performance Academy in Sydney, will join Team Hewitt.

Under Rasheed, Hewitt reached two grand slam finals and won six ATP titles.

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14 Comments for Hewitt’s Temper Causes Coach to Quit

ro'ee Says:

Masur is a nice guy and proficient player, but “DC legend”? If that’s the case, are Laver, Rosewall, Hoad et al. “deities”?

Craig Hickman Says:

Lleyton may as well start that sports management company he’s invested in.

All that grinding has caused his body to break down, and the temper tantrums are just infantile.

The tour has passed him by.

Robert Says:

It seems all is not well with Hewitt. The constant change of management would indicate he is a problem client or Dad just gets in the way too much.

It is about time Hewitt’s father was just that and took a step back from his sons life. I also don’t know if Hewitt is ready for the Norman like business enterprises. Maybe he should concentrate on tennis for a while.

FloridaMan Says:

I agree. The tour has passed Lleyton by. Plain and simple. Yes, he’s gotten more aggressive and stronger, however, his baseline game is such that he still gives too many chances for players attack him. He’s no better than his fellow players ranked between 10 and 30 in that regard. This is not the kind of thing that will get him back to the top.

Nancy J Says:

“Hewitt and golfer Greg Norman have also developed a close friendship in recent years, and Hewitt’s business is based on the model of Norman’s Great White Shark Enterprises”

Well, I just vomited!

rc Says:

yes well
nothing new

read my blog about qatar open


tung-yi Says:

Hewitt, this boy-man should devote some effort developing basic human decency.

JCF Says:

$200 million is considered ‘paltry’?

K-Man Says:

If the story regarding Hewitt’s post-match verbal abuse of his own coach can be substantiated, it would add more weight behind the words of many Lleyton Hewitt haters.

Nevertheless, it was obvious during his success on the ATP tour that it would be short-lived (unlike that of players such as Sampras, Federer, Agassi, Lendl, McEnroe & Borg).

He was at the top of men’s tennis when Sampras and Agassi were no longer in their prime or soon to retire. Federer was still fine-tuning his game and Nadal was a newbie.

I just hope that the Australian media do not over-hype his chances at the 2007 Australian Open and then make excuses for his early exit because of lack of matchplay, fitness or injury.

JCF Says:

K-man, the guy has been dumped by all of his coaches. Rasheed dumped him on the eve of the Australian open. His last coach, Stoletenbergdumped him a week before Wimbledon. He lost in the first round to a guy ranked over 200, and he was the #1 seed, and defending champion. That was the first time ever, a defending champion and #1 seed was beaten in the first round. He was world #1 at the time, and by the end of that year dropped to 16-ish.

After one or two breakups you can blame the coach, but after 5 or 6, maybe it’s time to think about who the problem is really… Them, or you?

The Australian media will continue to hype him. They do every time the AO is on. He’s the kind of guy who can pull out a big performance on any given match… he doesn’t always, or even often, but he can, even when you don’t expect him to. That’s why they hype him. You can never write him off.

That said, I don’t think he’ll win the open. He can pull off some big upsets against tougher opponents from the brink when he looks like he’s down, but he isn’t likely to win 7 of those matches the way things are going for him.

Tom More Says:

So the Hewitts go for broke again, claiming they are hard done by? Ever heard the comment that history often repeats? A look into history of Hewitt senior may reveal that this man may be (proudly) litigious. As for the now former manager, he should count his lucky stars that he no longer represents the most unpopular Australian. Who on earth would want to associate themselves with the Hewtitts when they do nothing but cry foul at every pass? No wonder marketing professionals do not want to touch him, he is pure poison.

JCF Says:

By the way, his best mate, and a guy he lived with sued him just over a year ago. They were best friends. That pretty much says it all.

Don’t forget, Kim dumped him too. I wonder if the whole world is out to get him like he believes it is, or if it’s him against the world.

jay madorsky Says:

hewitt is a total putz.

shan Says:

he was not his best mate – his real best mate was best man at this wedding –

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