Tuesday 21 November 2017

Video: Lleyton Hewitt calls umpire a 'freaking idiot' during Australian Open farewell match

Lleyton Hewitt
Lleyton Hewitt

Simon Rice

Lleyton Hewitt showed that despite playing in his 20th and final Australian Open, none of the fire and passion that have been a trait of his brilliant career has ebbed.

The former world number one was on his way to a straight sets defeat against Spain's David Ferrer, and an exit for the last time from his home tournament, when he entered into a heated exchange with the umpire.

The two-time grand slam winner was called for a foot fault in the third and final set, which led Hewitt to direct an expletive in the direction of the line judge who called it.

He was warned by chair umpire Pascal Maria, to which Hewitt responded. The clearly agitated Australian said the line judge was "a moron" and then called Maria a "freaking idiot" before telling him "that's why everyone in the locker room thinks you're so full of yourself".

The fiery moment failed to turn the tide of the match, with Hewitt losing the third round contest 6-2 6-4 6-4.

"I left nothing in the locker room. My whole career I've given 100 per cent," the watery-eyed 34-year-old said on court after video tributes from the likes of Roger Federer and Rafa Nadal were played on the Rod Laver Arena screens.

"I love coming out here and competing. I've been so fortunate to have that opportunity 20 years in a row."

Hewitt remains in the mens' doubles tournament.

Independent News Service

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