The Hewitts are smartly using all the eyeballs currently on Australia to spread word about their future off-court ventures.
First, Lleyton and his camp have trademarked the Aussie’s “C’mon” celebration along with the accompanying cobra-like hand gesture. His manager, David Drysdale, explained the plan: “I think it’s good that he has his own brand and that (the c’mon) is the one thing that’s most synonymous with him.” (The Age) They hope to slap that logo on various kinds of apparel, joining wife Bec, who already has plans to launch a line of children’s clothing.
More on “the vicht”: So it turns out that this on-court gesture is called “the vicht“, invented by Swedish player Niclas Kroon in the late 1980s and popularized by countryman Mats Wilander. The duo owned the rights for almost twenty years until a few months ago, when the trademark lapsed. After being orphaned for a few months, it was snapped up by Hewitt. Now Kroon is crying foul, especially because Kroon himself had planned to launch his own boutique line of vicht clothing at a tennis club in Houston, Tex. Kroon is ultra-pissed — he’s out and Lleyton stands to gain millions — and it showed: the wire story about this feud included a few expletives from the Swede.
There were reports that Wilander was going to talk to Hewitt while they were both at this week’s Adelaide International (Wilander coaches participant Paul-Henri Mathieu, and Hewitt himself is the tourney’s top seed). So far, no one’s written up on it.
(Our buddy Joe’s Stick It Wear?! had a shirt with the vicht on his website, but had taken the style down because of low sales. He probably shouldn’t put it back on…)
An online venture: The two-time Grand Slam champ and his actress wife are also using this time to help launch eSwap.com.au, a swapping and auctioning website with a separate storefront component (basically, a site similar to eBay). He spoke about it here.
Scoreline: Lleyton made it as far as the quarters of the tourney, losing to Jo-Wilfired Tsonga 4-6, 2-6.