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Lleyton antics not good for tennis: Nalbandian

Nalbandian has been unimpressed by Hewitt's aggressive behaviour that angered his opponents James Blake and Juan-Ignacio Chela.
PTI | By Agence France-Presse, Melbourne
PUBLISHED ON JAN 25, 2005 12:05 PM IST

David Nalbandian has stoked the temperature ahead of his Australian Open quarter-final showdown with Lleyton Hewitt, saying his opponent's on-court behaviour was not good for the sport.

Nalbandian came through a late-night fourth round meeting with Argentine compatriot Guillermo Coria on Monday, winning 5-7, 7-5, 6-3, 6-0 to set up a meeting with Australian third seed Hewitt.

Ninth seed Nalbandian has been unimpressed by Hewitt's aggressive behaviour so far in the tournament, which angered second round opponent James Blake and third round opponent Juan-Ignacio Chela.

Chela was so irked he twice hit balls at Hewitt and spat in his direction, actions which earned him a $2,000 fine.

Nalbandian said he understood why Hewitt got under opponents' skin.

"It's not easy when you have one guy behind the net doing that all the time," Nalbandian said when asked about Hewitt's repeated 'come on' cries.

"It's not very good for the sport.

"If he does it when he wins a point it's okay, but not when you do a mistake, an easy mistake - that's the worst thing.

"If he makes a winner or wins a very good point, that's fine, but not if (the opponent) makes a double fault or any easy (error)."

Asked if most other players shared the same opinion of Hewitt's over-the-top antics, Nalbandian replied "I think so, yeah."

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