Lleyton Hewitt has been around in professional tennis for a long time yet I was surprised to realise he is the same age as Roger Federer; indeed Hewitt is six months older.
Federer has always seemed mature and well behaved although I have seen a documentary about him which showed he was very turbulent as a junior player. It is difficult to imagine nowadays.
Hewitt, on the other hand, who burst on the scene at a young age, for a longtime seemed to be poorly behaved and sadly a bit boorish at times. He appeared to reflect his youth.
Hewitt's determination as a player and his pride in doing his best for his country have never been in question and he has certainly outperformed a number of his contemporary compatriots who appeared more naturally gifted but seemingly have wasted their talents.
We've heard far less about Hewitt's behaviour in recent years which suggests that with age, experience, marriage and fatherhood he has matured and settled down. His slight build has always put him at a disadvantage against the very powerful top players but Hewitt has always punched above his weight. Repeated injuries have impeded him against those players.
In the past of couple of years I have thought that it might be time for Hewitt to call it a day but he has battled on and yesterday he won his first tournament in many a year and against his great nemesis Federer no less.
The look in Hewitt's eyes at the moment of victory indicates his delight and perhaps surprise at the achievement at this stage of his career.
The Australian Open 2014 commences next Monday. Hewitt will be there giving his all, as usual. Perhaps luck will favour him in the draw and we can yet again admire his never say die spirit deep into the second week.