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Ten most hated athletes in the world.

Posted by tennisplanet on June 7, 2007

Do you think anyone from the tennis world made the list? Yes, of course.

Who do you think?

No. 10 was Lleyton Hewitt.

Here is an excerpt from GQ.

10. Lleyton Hewitt

To our minds, Lleyton Hewitt’s obsession with Rocky is reason enough to put the Aussie tennis star on the list (the dude fires himself up on the court by shouting, “C’mon, Rock!”), but it’s his race-baiting during the 2001 U.S. Open that really seals the deal. Serving in the third set against American James Blake, Hewitt was called for multiple foot faults by a black linesman. Incensed, he approached the chair umpire and, pointing first to the offending linesman and then to Blake, said, “Look at him and you tell me what the similarity is.” “It was a terrible act,” says tennis sage Bud Collins. “Everybody knew what he meant.”

“The thing is, he’s a big foot faulter,” adds former pro and current analyst Mary Carillo. “So the idea that all of a sudden, in the heat of a match, he’s getting called for it out of racial bias was ridiculous.

“He makes guys crazy,” Carillo adds. “They try hard to ignore him, but he’s always barking on the other side of the net.” In his 2005 Australian Open match against Argentine Juan Ignacio Chela, Hewitt so enraged Chela with his frenzied celebration of an unforced error that Chela fired a serve directly at him, then spat at him during a changeover.

“We all know how Lleyton is,” said another Argentine player, Guillermo Coria. “He can be the best player in the world, win every tournament, but I would not want to be like him.” Hewitt, Coria added, is disliked “by every other player on the international circuit.”

Hewitt isn’t even popular in his native Australia. He has been booed in his hometown, and after the incident with Chela, one Australian paper proclaimed, “Many regretted [the spit] did not find its target.”

Who are the other idiots? Click here.

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