GIGSTUFF – Edition #46: From Kew to Z

by Andrew Gigacz

17th January 2011


And we begin this week’s “Stuff” with the not so unusual news that Shane Watson has scored another three 50s against England. What is unusual is that, this time, those three 50s were all part of the same innings. Watto’s unbeaten 161 at the MCG on Sunday took Australia to victory in the first of seven one-day internationals. It seems that while Watto has trouble converting 50s to 100s, once he reaches the triple-figure milestone* he really knows how to go on with it.

*Incidentally, now that we are a metric country, shouldn’t a “milestone” now be a “1.6 kilometre-stone?


In fact that title is a bit of a misnomer as this week’s weather report is actually about rain. The devastating floods in Queensland have been widely covered. To give us a bit of perspective, we turn to our precipitation specialist, Wayne Gauge. Wayne tells us that in the seven days from January 6th, Brisbane recorded 267.4 mm of rain. This is about the same amount of rain that was registered in Melbourne from New Year’s Day 2009 until Geelong defeated St Kilda on September 26th that year.


Jelena Dokic opened her 2011 Australian Open campaign with a 6-3, 6-2 win over Zuzana Ondraskova on Monday. In honour of her effort, the Aussie dollar is currently buying 63.62 British pence.


And in the North/South division of the Victorian Sub-District Cricket Association, the news is good for the team so popular they named a letter of the alphabet after it. Having won six of its seven matches so far this season, Kew is second only on percentage to Caulfield on the ladder.


Spare a thought for the 31st and 32nd seeds in the men’s draw of this year’s Australian Open, Spaniards Feliciano Lopez and Guillermo Garcia-Lopez. If either of them is to take the 2011 title, not only will they have to get past the likes of Federer, Nadal and Djokovic, they’ll have to beat history as well.

The list of Australian Open and pre-Open winners going back to 1905 covers every letter of the alphabet except one – Z. Of all the past champs, men and women, none has had a surname that contained the letter Z.

Several have come close, being beaten in the final. In 1977 Australian Di Fromholtz went down to Kerry Melville-Reid in straight sets. Mary Joe Fernandez lost two finals, in 1990 to Steffi Graf and two years later to Monica Seles. Then in 1994 and 1995 it was Aranxta Sanchez Vicario’s turn losing firstly to Graf and then to Mary Pierce. In 1998, Conchita Martinez copped it, defeated by Martina Hingis.

Most recently, the only Z-man to make it to an Australian Open final, Fernando Gonzalez was defeated in straight sets by Roger Federer.

With Peter Luczak already out of the 2011 Open, from one Z-man to two others, I say to Lopez and Garcia-Lopez, good luck!


And the man many Australians love to hate, depending on how far into the draw he gets, Lleyton Hewitt will once again be battling to become the first Aussie to win the men’s title since Eddo in 1976. No doubt the Seven Television Network will be hoping that “our” Lleyton goes deep into the second week, thus ensuring continued good ratings. Perhaps it’s not surprising then, that…


About Andrew Gigacz

Well, here we are. The Bulldogs have won a flag. What do I do now?


  1. Good to see you in the votes so early in the season Gigs.

    I don’t understand why Hewitt is disliked by so many Australians.

    All the pseudo Bohemians and intellectuals would be too smart and too busy to watch sport so that would cut them out leaving only us sports nuts.

    If you compare Hewitt’s attitude and behaviour with some of the great Aussie icons young Leyton should be beatified. No drugs, piss-ups, sex scandals dodgey business deals or the other stuff that a lot of our heroes are into.

    What’s wrong with a bit of aggression on the court? At least he has a go. He’s passionate.

    Bring it on.

  2. Peter Schumacher says

    They don’t like Hewitt because Australian champions of the past, say Hoad, Rosewall, Newcombe didn’t have to resort to such childish nonsense to psych themselves up. Come to think of it, they were so much better than their opponents perhaps they didn’t have to.

  3. Peter Flynn says


    Saw Hewitt play on Court 2 at Wimbledon in 2001.

    The way he yelled at his mum and the profanities that spewed from his mouth towards her during the match was a disgrace.

    I lost a great deal of respect for him that day.


  4. Peter Flynn says


    There is a little bit of Eric Olthwaite in us all.


  5. Thanks Flynny. I’m just off to do some digging with my Spear & Jackson Number 6 shovel..

  6. I still like him. Maybe some of our cricketers should yell at their mothers a bit.

    He won in England next year. These days that is very un-Australian

  7. It always used to annoy me that Lleyton was presented as the bad guy while Pat Rafter was presented as the saintly Aussie alternative. Rafter was the perfect gentleman who always smiled and never used bad language or obvious gamesmanship….and lived in tax exile in Bermuda. Hewett might have behaved at times like an antipodean McEnroe, but his address for legal and tax purposes was Adelaide. Or to put it more selfishly, Lleyton’s winnings contributed to my kids’ education and the nation’s public health bill and Pat’s did not.

    Give me the foul mouthed socially responsible Croweater over the smiling Queensland tax-dodger everytime.

  8. Clearly there’s a Lleyton Hewitt profile from an Almanacker’s perspective just waiting to be written. Who’s up for it?

  9. Good on ya Dave.

  10. Careful Dave, Pat lives not far from you. He is currently residing just down the road from my sister on the Sunshine Coast.

    I reckon people liked Pat because he was seen as a normal bloke. Quote after winning the US Open: “I’m still the same old sack of sh*t” or somethying like that. I guess he has better spinners than LH.

    Also, he didn’t make snide borderline racist remarks when things didn’t go his way, didn’t dump Kim Clijsters for a TV star and act like a tool when things weren’t going his way. He was also a gracious loser despite being the odds on favourite, yet never looked anything but grateful for the opportunity to be there.

    And he married a model which always helps. They seem to understand you don’t need to talk to get your message across….

  11. Phil Dimitriadis says

    Lleyton just comes across as a witless smartarse, Gigs. The Women’s mag deals don’t do him any favours on the credibility front either.

    Like Gus says, he also thinks Australian Tennis owes him.

  12. #4 Don’t mnetion Eric OUthwaite in Queensland at the moment.

  13. #11. Phil, I think you’ve pinpointed the essence of Hewitt’s “unlikeability”.

    If you think back to players like Connors, Nastase, even McEnroe, they were ill-tempered and rude but they knew how to make a witty and funny comment in between. Hewitt doesn’t appear to have a humourous bone in his body. He looked like he was feeling out of place in that “Rally for Relief” thing the other day. All the other players seemed to know how to make it fun but he looked lost.

  14. Phil Dimitriadis says

    Personality goes a long way Gigs.

  15. Phil, personality is also an anagram of “early points”. I don’t think Hewitt scored too many of those in the eyes of many.

  16. Phil Dimitriadis says

    Very true Gigs. I like that one.

  17. Dave Nadel says

    All of that is true, but you have to admire Hewitt’s refusal to admit defeat, clearly on show tonight when he lost in the fifth 7-9 to Nalbandian. I agree that he has an unlikeable personality (although I suspect the “dumped Kim Clijsters for a TV star interpretation of the end of his relationship is pure women’s magazine fiction) Part of Hewitt’s sense of entitlement comes from his parents, I remember one of the ABC footy commentators asking Tommy Hafey what it was like to coach Glyn Hewitt (Lleyton’s Dad who played 15 games for Richmond) Hafey just grimaced and said “It was an experience.” But for all that, Hewitt, like McEnroe before him, was always available to play Davis Cup for his country when “better behaved” players were not.

    However, for all of Hewitt’s unlikeability and Rafter’s charm, the fact remains that wealthy tax dodgers are contemptible bludgers on the rest of us and anyone who “represents his country” while claiming to be a resident of Bermuda for tax purposes is beneath contempt!

  18. Points well made, Dave. I was still barracking for Hewitt all night.

  19. Further to “The Z Factor” (above), below is a list of the last times each letter of the alphabet has appeared in the surname of the Australian Open winner:


    2010 DEFR Federer
    2009 ALN Nadal
    2008 CIJKOV Djokovic
    2005 S Safin
    2003 G Agassi
    2002 H Johansson
    1997 MP Sampras
    1996 B Becker
    1993 U Courier
    1998 W Wilander
    1980 T Teacher
    1968 Y Bowrey
    1948 Q Quist
    1908 X Alexander


    2010 AILMSW Williams
    2008 HOPRV Sharapova
    2007 EU Mauresmo
    2004 DN Henin-Hardenne
    2002 CT Capriati
    1999 G Hingis
    1994 F Graf
    1987 K Mandlikova
    1979 J Jordan
    1977 Y Goolagong-Cawley
    1951 B Wynne-Bolton

    No women’s champion’s surname has ever included a Q, X or Z.

    Now that you know this, you’ll be able to sleep tonight.

  20. Z FACTOR LIVE UPDATE: Bernard Tomic has knocked out Lopez in straight sets, which leaves Guillermo Garcia-Lopez as the only hope of breaking the Z drought. Unfortunately for Garcia-Lopez, his next opponent is probably going to be Andy Murray.

  21. Further to the discussion about Hewitt and specifically my comment #13, I listened to Hewitt’s special commentary during the second and third sets of the Nadal-Tomic game, and I have to say I was pleasantly surprised.

    Hewitt’s commentary was insightful, appropriately sparse, and he did throw in the odd humourous comment. None of the acrimony towards Tomic that he supposedly has was displayed and his comments about players such as Federer and Nadal revealed a great admiration without being fawning.

    I think what this reveals is that his on-court persona reflects his total focus on the game and can manifest itself in some unendearing ways.

    I was sceptical about Seven bringing him on but I think he showed that he could be a capable special comments person beyond retirement.

  22. Great review Gigs. There’s no way I could watch 7 tennis and gushing Brucie.

  23. Peter Flynn says

    Mute button is crucial for Ch7.

    Really enjoying the Fox coverage.

    Gigs, agree with you re Hewitt the pundit. I listened to him a little before muting. Smart player who will offer insight.

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