I have never liked Lleyton Hewitt, never , and never will. Can't stand his arrogance, something that I thought may just have toned down as he approached retirement. This year's Wimbledon Championships proved that the arrogant Aussie still has a long way to go if he is to be respected by the majority of the tennis fraternity.
What I did enjoy immensely was the way the giant Pole JJ Janowicz mimicked Hewitt when he beat him in 5 sets. As I stated in an earlier chapter "That's how you start a lawn mower Lleyton".
There is no doubt whatsoever that I am just one in a long line of people who do not like the arrogance from Down Under but I know someone who is more upset with him than most. A retired former professional from Sweden by the name of Niklas Kroon is far from happy with Hewitt and I can understand why, here's the story.
Kroon was a handy player but a lesser known Swede as his more famous countrymen Borg, Wilander, Edberg etc took the limelight but he did reach World number 46 in 1989. It was in fact Kroon who thought up the "vicht" hand sign that unfortunately for him Hewitt now has the 'rights' to. Mats Wilander probably made the hand sign famous in 1988 at the Australian Open from memory and continued it that year in particular as he won three of the four majors.
The hand sign in a broad sense means "for sure" and from the side looks like a duck's bill.
I have read numerous articles on the "vicht" and it seems that Wilander also owned the rights to it along with Kroon from 1988. There is no doubt at all that both Swedes can take credit for the signal becoming famous. What seems most frustrating for them is the fact that it now seems to be in the 'keeping' of the arrogant Aussie Hewitt.
Unfortunately this whole saga has not been followed through by the media but at last count Kroon was seeking confirmation from a Lawyer as to his rights over his sign. Sounds rather silly doesn't it? After all the Swede invented it.
It does seem though that it is a moral issue as the patent on the sign had lapsed with the passing of Kroon's father who took care of his son's business affairs. Niklas was unaware apparently that the time had elapsed as far as legally renewing the "vicht" as his own brand which he had marketed himself.
Then enters Lleyton Hewitt. 'Mr Unoriginal' then bought the rights to the sign. Kroon reportedly said simply " I wish he had called me first ". He no doubt was referring to the moral side of the equation as that is what it comes down to in all reality. If someone in an Industry such as the Sport of Tennis invents something that is used by champions such as Wilander then surely a simple phone call may not have gone astray ...." Hi Niklas it's Lleyton, about that hand sign of yours"......
Surely Niklas Kroon and Mats Wilander should have a say in what happens in this whole rather frustrating saga as it was originally a part of Swedish Tennis folklore.
I enjoyed watching Mats do the "vicht" a whole lot more than Hewitt as the Swede was my favourite player , Hewitt's accompanying "Cmon" was loud and obnoxious. Wilander did it with a touch of 'cool' whereas Hewitt's version got under his opponents' skin regularly.
I would love to hear how the "vicht" is going now days , not Hewitt's version but the legal version as it would be nice to hear a positive outcome for the Swedes , I will keep looking.......