Hewitt in nightmare French draw - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Hewitt in nightmare French draw

By Paul Mulvey 24/05/2003 06:16:33 AM Comments (0)

Top seed Lleyton Hewitt will have to fight all the way for his first French Open title after being handed a nightmare draw - with the prospect of facing any one of seven top line clay court specialists by the semis.

If Hewitt gets past a potential clash with three time winner Gustavo Kuerten or 21st seed Gaston Gaudio in the fourth round, he faces a possible quarter final against either defending champion Albert Costa (9th seed) from Spain or Gaudio's fellow Argentinians David Nalbandian (8) and Agustin Calleri (18).

Third seed and last year's finalist Juan Carlos Ferrero or young 19th seeded Chilean Fernando Gonzalez, who beat Hewitt in Hamburg last week, could then provide even stiffer resistance in the semi.

After an opening match against American Brian Vahaly, even reaching as far as the fourth round will be tough for the 22-year-old South Australian who has never gone beyond the quarter finals at Roland Garros.

Big serving Briton Greg Rusedski looms in the second round and yet another clay courter, Spaniard Tommy Robredo, in the third.

Second seed Andre Agassi, on the other hand, received a far friendlier draw with his first major worry coming from a potential quarter final against last week's Hamburg Masters winner and seventh seed Guillermo Coria from Argentina.

Fourth seeds Carlos Moya and No.5 Roger Federer then await for a possible semi.

Hewitt's Davis Cup team mate Wayne Arthurs was drawn in Hewitt's half and has a first round clash with Czech Radek Stepanek while Mark Philippoussis will face an as yet undecided qualifier.

The only other Australian male in the draw, wildcard Scott Draper, has a tough first round match against 12th seeded Dutchman Sjeng Schalken.

In the women's draw, the Williams sisters remained on track for their fifth grand slam final meeting in a row after top seeded Serena and No.3 Venus were drawn in opposite sides.

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