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Saturday, August 17
Hewitt compares ATP to a 'circus'


SYDNEY -- Lleyton Hewitt has launched another attack against the ATP, saying he does not care about holding on to his world number one ranking because of the organization's stubborn attitude, Australian media reported.

Branding the governing body of men's tennis as a badly run "circus," the Wimbledon champion told Sydney's Sunday Telegraph newspaper: "Next year I couldn't give two hoots about the No. 1 ranking.

"There are times when you feel like (walking away). It's a great sport if the ATP would just get out of the way.

"You have to ask why men's tennis is struggling and you have to start by looking at the top.

"I'll change my schedule next year if the ATP keep up with this garbage."

Hewitt is embroiled in a dispute with the ATP over a television interview during last week's Cincinnati Masters.

Although Hewitt's appearance in the final, which he lost to Spaniard Carlos Moya, earned him $206,000, the Australian was fined half of his prize money by the ATP.

The fine followed the 21-year-old's fracas with the ATP over his refusal to conduct an interview with ESPN before his first round match in Cincinnati.

"When things happen like in Cincinnati, when you think about the way everything has been run, it's just not much fun," added Hewitt, who is appealing against the fine.

Hewitt said he was annoyed by the ATP's attitude over the incident because he had already agreed with the broadcaster to do the interview after the match.

"ESPN was satisfied with that," said Hewitt.

"(ATP chief executive) Mark Miles was satisfied with that and the tournament director was satisfied with that but there was one guy, the PR manager (Matt Rapp), who wasn't."

The ATP declined to comment on Hewitt's remarks.

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