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Last Updated: Thursday, 15 January, 2004, 12:00 GMT
15 Lleyton Hewitt
Lleyton Hewitt
Born: 24/2/81
Nationality: Australian
Seeded: 15
World ranking: 15
Australian Open best:
4th round (2003, 2000)
Recent record:
2003: 4th round
2002: 1st round
2001: 3rd round
By most people's standards, Lleyton Hewitt endured a disappointing 2003.

Beginning the year as world number one, he ended it outside the top 10 and reached only one Grand Slam quarter-final.

The nadir came at Wimbledon when, as defending champion, he was ousted in the first round by unheralded Croatian Ivo Karlovic.

However, Hewitt insisted his only goal for the year was to win the Davis Cup with Australia - and he was true to his word as the Aussies lifted the Cup in December.

Andy Roddick, Roger Federer and Juan Carlos Ferrero have dominated the tennis scene in the last 12 months - but Hewitt should not be discounted.

His fiercely competitive spirit has been sorely missed in the latter stages of Grand Slam tournaments, and despite a relatively quiet year he nonetheless picked up two titles.

Past form suggests the turnaround may not come at the Australian Open, which has never been a happy hunting ground.

Despite his brilliance on hard courts, he has never gone past the fourth round in front of his home fans.

But he remains one of the favourites with the bookies, and the top seeds will hope to avoid him in the draw.

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