As some of his top rivals, such as Andy Roddick and Roger Federer, get upset at the Olympics, Australian Lleyton Hewitt feels better and better about his decision to skip the Summer Games in Athens.
"I'm sure some of them now are [asking], 'Why did they go,' " said Hewitt, the No. 2 seed at the Legg Mason Tennis Classic. "It's disappointing for me that the timing of the Olympics wasn't the greatest for tennis. When I set out to make my schedule at the start of the year, the four majors and Davis Cup are my main priorities."
Hewitt, who will meet No. 7 seed Cyril Saulnier in a quarterfinal today, said his decision not to go to Greece was based primarily on travel. He lost in the finals of the ATP Masters event in Cincinnati two weeks ago. That tournament came on the heels of a tour stop in Toronto last month.
"For me just to play Toronto and Cincinnati, then fly straight back to Europe and back again to the U.S. Open, I'd be worn out by the time the U.S. Open came along. . . . I've had some viruses in the past after long flights and stuff and I didn't want that to happen the week before the U.S. Open."
Still, Hewitt knows some Australians may have been disappointed by the decision.
"I think everyone knows how much I love playing for my country and how much I've put on the line for it. For example, at the end of last year, my ranking dropped to seven or eight purely because I was practicing on grass for eight weeks leading to the Davis Cup final," won by Australia.
Three years ago, Michel Kratochvil seemed poised to become a major force, finishing the season with a solid ranking of No. 35.
Instead, he regressed -- thanks to a spate of back and knee injuries that caused his ranking to plummet to 153.
Finally healthy, the 25-year-old Swiss entered the main draw here by winning three qualifying matches -- and he hasn't stopped winning yet. He earned a quarterfinal berth yesterday with a 7-6 (7-5), 7-6 (7-4) upset of No. 8 seed Dmitry Tursunov.
"I'm happy with the way that I'm playing," said Kratochvil, who has competed in five tournaments over the past two months. "In the last few months, I'm finally getting the points that I need to win. "