Lleyton Hewitt had seen his ranking dip from No 1 to No 233. The Australian, though, has fought back to 41st in the table. Andrew Cowie / AFP
Lleyton Hewitt had seen his ranking dip from No 1 to No 233. The Australian, though, has fought back to 41st in the table. Andrew Cowie / AFP

Lleyton Hewitt proving to be a real-life Rocky Balboa



“Australianism”, wrote John Arlott, the revered cricket commentator, “means single-minded determination to win – to win within the laws but, if necessary, to the last limit within them. It means where the ‘impossible’ is within the realm of what the human body can do.”

Looking at Lleyton Hewitt, you have to agree – he may even be one of the greatest specimens of Australianism.

The man is 33 and his battered body has been through 18 seasons of tennis, but he refuses to quit.

He has had five major surgeries over the past six years – on both hips and the chronically arthritic and badly misshapen big toe on his left foot that required a metal plate to lock it into position. But he chooses to continue.

A former world No 1, Hewitt had watched his ranking plummet to No 233, but he has battled back to No 41. A two-time grand slam title winner, the Australian has reached beyond the fourth round at the majors just once in his past 28 appearances – a quarter-final at the 2009 Wimbledon – but he still dares to dream.

Most of his contemporaries have long left the scene and he is a father of three now, but Hewitt goes on. He keeps fighting, and winning.

After failing to win a title in three years, Hewitt won his second final of 2014 on Sunday, beating Ivo Karlovic in Newport before coming back to win the doubles. In January, he defeated Roger Federer for the Brisbane title.

“We’ve had some tough times with surgeries the last few years, but it’s nice to know that all that hard work has paid off,” Hewitt said after the Newport win. “I’d like to think if things go my way I can still contend for a slam [title].”

Pat Cash, a former Wimbledon champion, is one of those who believes in his chances. “He’s still very, very competitive,” Cash said at Wimbledon.

The Australian said that Hewitt and Rafael Nadal “are two of the greatest competitors I have ever seen in my life”.

A huge fan of the Rocky movies, Hewitt indeed has been one of the fiercest competitors tennis has seen.

“It’s a movie, but for me I love that fighting spirit, that never-say-die attitude and I think it comes across in the way I play the game,” Hewitt said a few years ago as he talked about his love for the Sylvester Stallone movie series.

“I’m not the sort that gives up very easily. Every time I go out on court, I’m prepared to go to the limit and to put in 150 per cent effort.”

Australianism in a nutshell. As the character Rocky Balboa said: “It ain’t about how hard you hit, it is about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward. That’s how winning is done.”

arizvi@thenational.ae

Follow our sports coverage on Twitter @SprtNationalUAE

Museum of the Future in numbers
  • 78 metres is the height of the museum
  • 30,000 square metres is its total area
  • 17,000 square metres is the length of the stainless steel facade
  • 14 kilometres is the length of LED lights used on the facade
  • 1,024 individual pieces make up the exterior 
  • 7 floors in all, with one for administrative offices
  • 2,400 diagonally intersecting steel members frame the torus shape
  • 100 species of trees and plants dot the gardens
  • Dh145 is the price of a ticket
COMPANY PROFILE

Name: Xpanceo

Started: 2018

Founders: Roman Axelrod, Valentyn Volkov

Based: Dubai, UAE

Industry: Smart contact lenses, augmented/virtual reality

Funding: $40 million

Investor: Opportunity Venture (Asia)

If you go

The flights
Emirates and Etihad fly direct to Nairobi, with fares starting from Dh1,695. The resort can be reached from Nairobi via a 35-minute flight from Wilson Airport or Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, or by road, which takes at least three hours.

The rooms
Rooms at Fairmont Mount Kenya range from Dh1,870 per night for a deluxe room to Dh11,000 per night for the William Holden Cottage.

EMIRATES'S REVISED A350 DEPLOYMENT SCHEDULE

Edinburgh: November 4 (unchanged)

Bahrain: November 15 (from September 15); second daily service from January 1

Kuwait: November 15 (from September 16)

Mumbai: January 1 (from October 27)

Ahmedabad: January 1 (from October 27)

Colombo: January 2 (from January 1)

Muscat: March 1 (from December 1)

Lyon: March 1 (from December 1)

Bologna: March 1 (from December 1)

Source: Emirates

Company profile

Date started: May 2022
Founder: Husam Aboul Hosn
Based: DIFC
Sector: FinTech — Innovation Hub
Employees: eight
Stage: pre-seed
Investors: pre-seed funding raised from family and friends earlier this year

Bob Marley: One Love

Director: Reinaldo Marcus Green

Starring: Kingsley Ben-Adir, Lashana Lynch, James Norton

Rating: 2/5

The five types of long-term residential visas

Obed Suhail of ServiceMarket, an online home services marketplace, outlines the five types of long-term residential visas:

Investors:

A 10-year residency visa can be obtained by investors who invest Dh10 million, out of which 60 per cent should not be in real estate. It can be a public investment through a deposit or in a business. Those who invest Dh5 million or more in property are eligible for a five-year residency visa. The invested amount should be completely owned by the investors, not loaned, and retained for at least three years.

Entrepreneurs:

A five-year multiple entry visa is available to entrepreneurs with a previous project worth Dh0.5m or those with the approval of an accredited business incubator in the UAE.  

Specialists

Expats with specialised talents, including doctors, specialists, scientists, inventors, and creative individuals working in the field of culture and art are eligible for a 10-year visa, given that they have a valid employment contract in one of these fields in the country.

Outstanding students:

A five-year visa will be granted to outstanding students who have a grade of 95 per cent or higher in a secondary school, or those who graduate with a GPA of 3.75 from a university. 

Retirees:

Expats who are at least 55 years old can obtain a five-year retirement visa if they invest Dh2m in property, have savings of Dh1m or more, or have a monthly income of at least Dh20,000.

Company Profile

Name: Direct Debit System
Started: Sept 2017
Based: UAE with a subsidiary in the UK
Industry: FinTech
Funding: Undisclosed
Investors: Elaine Jones
Number of employees: 8

Kill

Director: Nikhil Nagesh Bhat

Starring: Lakshya, Tanya Maniktala, Ashish Vidyarthi, Harsh Chhaya, Raghav Juyal

Rating: 4.5/5

UAE currency: the story behind the money in your pockets
Company profile

Company name: Fasset
Started: 2019
Founders: Mohammad Raafi Hossain, Daniel Ahmed
Based: Dubai
Sector: FinTech
Initial investment: $2.45 million
Current number of staff: 86
Investment stage: Pre-series B
Investors: Investcorp, Liberty City Ventures, Fatima Gobi Ventures, Primal Capital, Wealthwell Ventures, FHS Capital, VN2 Capital, local family offices

MATCH STATS

Wolves 0

Aston Villa 1 (El Ghazi 90+4' pen)

Red cards: Joao Moutinho (Wolves); Douglas Luiz (Aston Villa)

Man of the match: Emi Martinez (Aston Villa)

At Eternity’s Gate

Director: Julian Schnabel

Starring: Willem Dafoe, Oscar Isaacs, Mads Mikkelsen

Three stars

Rebel Moon – Part Two: The Scargiver review

Director: Zack Snyder
Starring: Sofia Boutella, Charlie Hunnam, Ed Skrein, Sir Anthony Hopkins
Rating: 2/5

Fifa Club World Cup:

When: December 6-16
Where: Games to take place at Zayed Sports City in Abu Dhabi and Hazza bin Zayed Stadium in Al Ain
Defending champions: Real Madrid

Ramy: Season 3, Episode 1

Creators: Ari Katcher, Ryan Welch, Ramy Youssef
Stars: Ramy Youssef, Amr Waked, Mohammed Amer
Rating: 4/5

The specs: 2018 Harley-Davidson Fat Boy

Price, base / as tested Dh97,600
Engine 1,745cc Milwaukee-Eight v-twin engine
Transmission Six-speed gearbox
Power 78hp @ 5,250rpm
Torque 145Nm @ 3,000rpm
Fuel economy, combined 5.0L / 100km (estimate)

Qosty Byogaani

Starring: Hani Razmzi, Maya Nasir and Hassan Hosny

Four stars

Match info

Arsenal 0

Manchester City 2
Sterling (14'), Bernardo Silva (64')

Our family matters legal consultant

Name: Hassan Mohsen Elhais

Position: legal consultant with Al Rowaad Advocates and Legal Consultants.

UAE WARRIORS RESULTS

Featherweight

Azouz Anwar (EGY) beat Marcelo Pontes (BRA)

TKO round 2

Catchweight 90kg

Moustafa Rashid Nada (KSA) beat Imad Al Howayeck (LEB)

Split points decision

Welterweight

Gimbat Ismailov (RUS) beat Mohammed Al Khatib (JOR)

TKO round 1

Flyweight (women)

Lucie Bertaud (FRA) beat Kelig Pinson (BEL)

Unanimous points decision

Lightweight

Alexandru Chitoran (ROU) beat Regelo Enumerables Jr (PHI)

TKO round 1

Catchweight 100kg

Marc Vleiger (NED) beat Mohamed Ali (EGY)

Rear neck choke round 1

Featherweight

James Bishop (NZ) beat Mark Valerio (PHI)

TKO round 2

Welterweight

Abdelghani Saber (EGY) beat Gerson Carvalho (BRA)

TKO round 1

Middleweight

Bakhtiyar Abbasov (AZE) beat Igor Litoshik (BLR)

Unanimous points decision

Bantamweight

Fabio Mello (BRA) beat Mark Alcoba (PHI)

Unanimous points decision

Welterweight

Ahmed Labban (LEB) v Magomedsultan Magomedsultanov (RUS)

TKO round 1

Bantamweight

Trent Girdham (AUS) beat Jayson Margallo (PHI)

TKO round 3

Lightweight

Usman Nurmagomedov (RUS) beat Roman Golovinov (UKR)

TKO round 1

Middleweight

Tarek Suleiman (SYR) beat Steve Kennedy (AUS)

Submission round 2

Lightweight

Dan Moret (USA) v Anton Kuivanen (FIN)

TKO round 2

Name: Brendalle Belaza

From: Crossing Rubber, Philippines

Arrived in the UAE: 2007

Favourite place in Abu Dhabi: NYUAD campus

Favourite photography style: Street photography

Favourite book: Harry Potter

Turkish Ladies

Various artists, Sony Music Turkey 

Stats at a glance:

Cost: 1.05 billion pounds (Dh 4.8 billion)

Number in service: 6

Complement 191 (space for up to 285)

Top speed: over 32 knots

Range: Over 7,000 nautical miles

Length 152.4 m

Displacement: 8,700 tonnes

Beam:   21.2 m

Draught: 7.4 m

Company Profile

Company name: myZoi
Started: 2021
Founders: Syed Ali, Christian Buchholz, Shanawaz Rouf, Arsalan Siddiqui, Nabid Hassan
Based: UAE
Number of staff: 37
Investment: Initial undisclosed funding from SC Ventures; second round of funding totalling $14 million from a consortium of SBI, a Japanese VC firm, and SC Venture


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