Originally created 07/09/02

Hewitt satisfied; wonders if fans want more all-Williams finals



WIMBLEDON, England -- At 21, Lleyton Hewitt's pretty much accomplished all he set out to do. He says he would feel fulfilled as a tennis player even if his new Wimbledon title were his last - at any tournament.

"Sure, I can still improve and hopefully win more Slams," Hewitt said Monday, "but if I was never to win another tournament, it wouldn't be the end of the world."

The Australian solidified his status as the top player in the game right now with an impressive run to the championship at the All England Club, adding to his breakthrough victory at last year's U.S. Open.

Six of his seven matches finished in straight sets, and his 6-1, 6-3, 6-2 victory over David Nalbandian on Sunday was the most lopsided Wimbledon final since 1984, when Jimmy Connors won just four games against John McEnroe.

"At the start of your career, you'd like to win one Grand Slam, get to No. 1 and win the Davis Cup. That's sort of your three dreams," Hewitt said. "Now I've won two Slams, I've won Wimbledon, which is possibly the biggest tournament there is. I've won a Davis Cup title in my first year. I got to No. 1 last year."

He didn't get much sleep Sunday night, attending the Champions Dinner before returning to the house he rented for the two weeks and celebrating until 4 a.m.

"You hear so much about the Wimbledon dinner. It's so much a tradition of being Wimbledon champion," Hewitt said. "In '99, I lost in the semis of boys' doubles and we were upset because we didn't get to go to the dinner. As it turns out, I'm grateful we didn't because it makes it more special winning the men's title for the first time."

Now he takes his grinding baseline style from grass to hard courts. His next tournament is July 22-28 in Los Angeles, and he won't return home to Australia until after defending his title at the Aug. 26-Sept. 8 U.S. Open.

Hewitt will always have Wimbledon, though, which clearly means a lot to him.

"I can come back here, hopefully, when I'm 65 years old," the newest member of the All England Club said, "and sit in the members' seats and watch."

He wonders whether fans will want to watch Serena and Venus Williams play each other in final after final. Serena beat her older sister 7-6 (4), 6-3 Saturday to win her first Wimbledon title.

"They're dominating, all right. Three out of the last four Slams, they've played in the finals. They're No. 1 and 2 in the world. And winning doubles, as well. It's an incredible effort, an incredible story," Hewitt said. "But people may get sick of seeing the two of them playing in every Grand Slam final all the time."