Hewitt on track despite loss - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Hewitt on track despite loss

By Darren Walton 14/11/2002 05:30:23 AM Comments (0)

Lleyton Hewitt could be crowned as the 2002 ATP Champions Race winner, and be out of the running to defend his Masters Cup title.

A myriad of scenarios exist about the make-up of this weekend's semi-finals at the season-ending championship following a dramatic series of results on Wednesday night where all three favourites lost.

Most important to Hewitt, who fell 6-4 7-5 in a thriller against Carlos Moya, was that Andre Agassi must string together four wins in a row and hope the Wimbledon champion fails to advance past the group stages in order to snatch the year-end No.1 ranking.

Agassi, Hewitt's only rival for the top spot, capitulated 7-5 6-1 at the hands of seventh-seeded Czech Jiri Novak and will need to produce a major form reversal to deny Hewitt a second Champions Race glory for the second successive year.

But in a bizarre twist, Agassi is in control of his race to be No.1 where Hewitt is not.

Agassi is 108 points in arrears of Hewitt and knows an unbeaten run from now to the final is good enough to peg back Hewitt, whose destiny on the other hand has been taken away from him.

Even if Hewitt dismisses Marat Safin in straight sets in the third match at The New Shanghai International Expo Centre to improve his win-loss record to 2-1 this week, he will go to bed sweating on the result of Thursday's all-Spanish affair between certain semi-finalist Moya and his Davis Cup teammate Albert Costa.

If Costa (1-1) beats his countryman in straight sets, he will join Moya (2-0) as the two players from the Red Group to advance to the semi-finals.

While Hewitt, Costa and Moya would all have won two matches, the Australian would miss out on a countback of percentages of sets won during the round-robin stages of the eight-man event.

Hewitt will have his work cut-out accounting for Safin, who demolished the world No.1 in last week's final of the Paris Masters.

"I'm not going out there to get revenge on Marat for what he did in Paris," Hewitt said.

"He was too good for me there.

"Going into a match like that, obviously the No.1 ranking comes into your mind, not so much the tournament.

"Mathematically, I'm still a chance of winning and all I care about is No.1."

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