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BBC Sport's Richard Evans
BBC Sport's Richard Evans
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Sunday, 9 September, 2001, 17:45 GMT 18:45 UK
Richard Evans on the US Open
Venus Williams and Lleyton Hewitt took the plaudits at the US Open.

Watching events unfold was BBC Sport's Richard Evans who was on hand to answer your e-mails.

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    Lleyton Hewitt blew away Flushing Meadows' legend Pete Sampras in the men's final while Venus triumphed against sister Serena in the women's.

    Australian hero Hewitt beat Sampras in three sets to win his first Grand Slam title, while Venus was never really troubled by Serena in another one-sided clash.

    Commentating on the games was BBC Sport's Richard Evans and he joined us to answer all your e-mails.

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    Ken Turner from Scotland

    How good is Lleyton Hewitt at his age compared to other recent Aussies, like Pat Cash and Pat Rafter?

    Well, he's a different kind of player to both Cash and Rafter. He's primarily a baseline player, although he's proved in winning the Stella Artois at Queens two years running, and beating Sampras there as well, that he can serve and volley - his volley's not bad and its going to get better.

    Basically he's a back court player who runs and hustles, he's terribly quick, that's what worried Sampras more than anything, the speed of Hewitt, the speed around court, the ability to disguise his passing shots. He's a counter puncher and a counter attacker unlike Cash and Rafter who were pure serve and volley players in the more traditional, Aussie style.

    And how good do you think he can become?

    Well he's obviously very good now because he's just won a Grand Slam. But I think he can still go on from there. As our enquirer mentioned, he's just 20 years old so there's a lot of room for improvement.

    He's got an excellent coach, Darren Cahill, who was a semi-finalist himself here at the US Open. He's done a great job with Lleyton and he'll be trying to put together various aspects of his game that could do with improvement. But he's a competitor, he's a fighter and he's going to want to improve and will do so.

    Bob, Australia

    Was Sampras off form as so many reports say, or was he made to look slow by his opponent?

    A little bit of both. He's 30 years old, he'd been through a very rugged two weeks here, winning six matches, three of them against former champions. No one has ever done that before at the US Open, no one has ever beaten three former champions in one tournament. And so Sampras was obviously tired and obviously not 100% at the best possible notch of his game.

    But you have to hand it to Lleyton Hewitt because he made Sampras feel worse than he was probably feeling when he walked on court. It was the speed and the accuracy and the disguise of Hewitt's passing shots that left Sampras completely helpless, so don't take anything away from Hewitt because he forced Sampras into submission.

    Alex, England

    Are you surprised at how well Sampras did up to the final beating Rafter, Agassi and Safin?

    Slightly surprised given that he hasn't played as well in the last year. We saw the best form from Sampras since he won Wimbledon in 2000. Yes, I was a little surprised that he played as well as he did. But he certainly turned it on. He came here very determined to prove to all his doubters that he's not finished.

    People sort of jumped onto the idea that he was going to retire soon, but there are no signs that Sampras wants to retire. He loves playing tennis; he thinks he can compete at the very top level, which he's proved here despite his defeat by Hewitt. I think he will continue to compete right the way through until next year's Wimbledon, which he is confident he can win.

    Andrew, Scotland

    What is the future for American tennis in the men's game now that Sampras and Agassi are coming to the end of their careers? Who apart from Roddick can lift their game?

    Roddick is the real deal; he is going to be fantastic! He might have beaten Hewitt here if he hadn't of got the very bad over-rule in their match. Roddick is a completely different sort of player to Hewitt, in as far as power hitting is concerned. He is going to blast people off court and he is going to be a terrific champion in the very near future. Taylor Dent is very raw, but he serves at 140 mph and he's going to scare a lot of people, and James Blake looked very good here. He won two sets off Lleyton Hewitt and is a fast player with a lot of good shots. I think he'll improve a lot in the next two years, so the Americans have a really good new generation.

    Ben Smith, England

    Is this the beginning of a new era in women's tennis dominated solely by the Williams sisters?

    It's very difficult to tell what they are going to do next. They are both very keen on playing tennis at the moment, how long that will last I don't know. They have a lot of other interests, including fashion design. They might concentrate on their tennis for another couple of years, they might not. Reaching the final of the US Open was the dream their parents had for them, and having fulfilled that, who knows what lies in store for the Williams sisters. They are capable of dominating the game and are winners, so expect to see them around for a bit longer.

    Paula, Ireland

    Can stylists like Henin and Schett ever really challenge the power of the Williams sisters?

    I'm not sure about Schett, but Henin is a really good player with a fantastic backhand and good court sense. She's going to struggle against the power, especially on faster surfaces, but I expect her to be right up there in the top five or six for a long time and she'll win her share of titles.

    James, UK

    Does Richard think Rusedski or Henman will ever win a Grand Slam considering they are both in their late twenties and the crop of young players coming through?

    It's getting more difficult. The younger generation are snapping at their heels. I think both are capable of winning a Grand Slam, but they'll need a bit of luck, they'll need to keep working at their game. Rusedski will certainly keep working because he's very determined and very ambitious and Henman has Larry Stefanki who is a top-class coach. Stefanki can improve Henman's mental attitude, but it's going to be difficult because the new generation is very potent.

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