Did hometown pressures do in Hewitt?

MELBOURNE, Australia -- Lleyton Hewitt battled a lot of things outside of tennis going into the Australian Open.

He had a stomach virus at the start of the year, and he's a player who really has to use every ounce of energy. He doesn't have that supreme finishing shot, that weapon like a serve or his forehand. He does have a weapon with his heart and how hard he plays, but he's going to be in a battle with every single player who wants to punish him.

Hewitt is crafty, moves the ball around and takes his opponent's pace and redirects it, but in the end he has to be able to put away points, especially if you get injured like he did in his second-round loss to Juan Ignacio Chela. You could see throughout the match that Hewitt was trying every little trick in his bag and just didn't have enough weapons to put Chela away.

He's playing under a lot of pressure in his home country and all these extra things that appear to be going on. There's just a lot of drama. Players should come down here with the people they need to win the tournament.

They talk about this all the time with other sports when you play a home game and how you have so many additional responsibilities outside of just stringing your rackets and hitting balls, and I think that plays a big part in his lack of success over the years at the Aussie. He advanced to the final last year, but other than that he hasn't advanced past the fourth round.

Former ATP Tour pro Luke Jensen is providing ESPN.com with analysis during the Australian Open. Jensen, a two-time All-American at USC, captured the 1993 French Open doubles crown with his brother Murphy.