U.S. NATIONAL INDOOR TENNIS CHAMPIONSHIPS 2013
C'mon! Lleyton Opens Up On Clothing Line
by Matt Fitzgerald|
Chances are, if you’ve watched Lleyton Hewitt play before, you’ve heard the Australian get himself going by shouting ‘C’mon!’ with a fist pump. It’s a trademark that goes hand-in-hand with his style of play and self belief, which still resonates today.
Hewitt battled back from two match points down to overcome Yen-Hsun Lu in three sets in his opener at the U.S. National Indoor Tennis Championships in Memphis on Wednesday. ATPWorldTour.com sat down with the former World No. 1 to discuss his new clothing line, what would happen if he and wife, Bec, reversed careers and more…
Can you recall the last time you clawed back from such a deficit to win a match like you did today?
It’s hard to say. In the second round two years ago in Memphis, I was down two match points in the second set and ended up coming back. It doesn’t happen every day. I’ve also had some time out with injuries as well, so I haven’t had as many opportunities, but it’s always nice to come back and win those.
Your fighting spirit has always been a trademark and you showed that again today. Appropriately, you recently launched your own clothing line, based on your signature on-court reaction, ‘C’mon!’. Walk us through the process of having the concept to actually getting the tennis apparel produced and launched in January?
Something I grew up with was a ‘never say die’ attitude. I can’t tell you how many times in matches to get that extra ball back or to try and hang in there, believing in myself. It’s not something I just do in tennis. I want to get the best out of myself in life in general. Me saying ‘C’mon’ on the court is a trademark and everyone knows me for that. People in Australia align me with that word, so it was good to go in partnership with Tennis Australia and come out with a clothing line during the Australian summer. The biggest thing is to give kids an opportunity to wear tennis clothes that are affordable.
How much involvement do you have with the brand? Do you have an influence on the design and when collections are released?
At the end of the day, it all stops with me and through my management. I’m pretty hands on, so I wouldn’t put my name on it otherwise.
As the years go by, when you’re not able to travel with wife Bec and your three children, does it become more difficult to be on the road, or is it more manageable, knowing what you’re doing ultimately provides for a greater future for your family?
It’s definitely harder, there’s no doubt about it. I had them in San Jose last week but they are not here this week. It’s always tough during the weeks when they’re not around. But I’m still competitive enough to be out here playing. You’re not going to keep playing forever either. I love having them around. It makes life a lot easier for me.
What are the kids up to these days?
Mia and Ava are both more so like Bec, which is a good thing. Cruz is like me. He doesn’t leave my side too often. He’s my little buddy.
What is something tennis fans would be surprised to know about you?
I’m not sure. They probably know everything these days. I’ve done so many press conferences and interviews. Everyone knows my involvement with other sports in Australia that I enjoy. It’s not just AFL that I love. I like different kinds of Australian sports and I’m fortunate to hang out with other professional athletes, which is great for me.
Hypothetically, if you and Bec were to reverse careers, who would be more likely to succeed… an on-screen Lleyton or a tennis-playing Bec? And why?
Ha! (laughter). I’ve done one little stint on ‘Home and Away’ years ago, so it might be my advantage. She’s only played at a couple of tennis charity days. She’s not the best tennis player going around. But they’re both tough, that’s for sure.