Misfiring Hewitt Handed Wimbledon Wildcard

Lleyton Hewitt has been awarded a wildcard for Wimbledon, but he is going into the tournament in poor form, after crashing out at Queen’s in the first round.

The giant Croatian, Ivo Karlovic, beat the 31-year-old Australian, who won the Wimbledon title a decade ago, at the warm-up event.

Ironically, it was Karlovic who ended Hewitt's Wimbledon title defence in the first round, in 2003. Karlovic served 22 aces in nine service games, as he crushed a stunned Hewitt 6-3 6-2.

Afterwards Hewitt said: "It's not really a tennis match in some ways when you're playing against a guy like that. The rallies and the skill in the other form of the game is totally out of your control."

The former world number one’s only other competitive match since he endured toe surgery, in February, was a first-round French Open defeat to Blaz Kavcic.

Hewitt, who has only a couple of exhibition matches on his schedule, next week, thrashed David Nalbandian in the 2002 final at SW19 6-1 6-3 6-2, but his only other Grand Slam success came in 2001, when he beat Pete Sampras in the US Open final 7-6 6-1 6-1.

He was the runner-up at Flushing Meadows to Roger Federer in 2004, and to Marat Safin at the 2005 Australian Open.

Earlier this month, Hewitt dropped out of the world's top 200 for the first time in his career. He has never been in such poor form, leading into the action at the All England Club.

Other men's singles wildcards for Wimbledon have gone to the Belgian, David Goffin, who reached the quarter-finals at the French Open, the German, Tommy Haas, and Brits, Oliver Golding, Josh Goodall, James Ward, and Jamie Baker.

The Wimbledon 2012 betting  pages indicate that all of the wildcard entrants could struggle with the competition, this summer.