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Nadal praises Hewitt's fighting spirit at Aussie Open



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Saturday January 21, 2012
Kvitova to lead Czechs in Fed Cup
Australian Open Saturday Tennis Results
Djokovic, Murray, Serena cruise into fourth round in Melbourne
Hewitt sets up Djokovic showdown
Serena Williams races into fourth round
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Fresh Djokovic fires out a warning
Djokovic mauls Mahut to reach last 16
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Zvonareva falls to Makarova
Li faces horror draw against 'mirror' Clijsters
Error-prone Sharapova forced to battle through
Tsonga has a blast to reach last 16
Kvitova into fourth round as Kirilenko retires
Angry Nalbandian fights Australian Open sanction
Friday January 20, 2012
Li through as Medina Garrigues retires
Tomic sets up Federer clash
Del Potro ousts Taiwan's Lu
Isner slams worst-ever US performance
Clijsters reaches Australian Open fourth round
Australian Open Friday Tennis Results
Federer, Nadal Advance Friday at Australian Open

January 22, 2012


AFP / William West
2012 AFP -
Rafael Nadal has lavished praise on the never-say-die fighting qualities of Australian warhorse Lleyton Hewitt, saying he is respected and admired throughout the sport.

The 30-year-old Hewitt has defied a spate of injuries and a free-falling world ranking to reach the fourth round of the Australian Open and a showdown with defending champion Novak Djokovic.

The two-time grand slam champion, who has slipped to 181 in the rankings, typified his fighting qualities with a resilient four-set win over big-serving Canadian Milos Raonic on Saturday to progress to the round of 16.

Nadal said he was emotional watching Hewitt, a former world number one, giving his all to get past Raonic, at 21, nine years his junior.

"I admire him a lot. I think he deserves the respect and admiration of all the people who love this sport" after so many operations, he said.

"I watched the match at my hotel and even though I have a good relationship with Raonic, his coach is from Spain... I really got emotional when Lleyton finished," Nadal added.

"He fell to the floor, he was really showing his emotions, so it's something fantastic at this stage after having a fantastic career to keep having this motivation."

"I wish him all the best for the rest of the season," Nadal said. "I hope his problems will be fine. He's one of the more charismatic players on tour.

"I always have admired him, his spirit of competition. Today he is an example to follow for a lot of people."


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