HEWITT SURE TO BE A HIT THIS SUMMER
THERE’S more than a whiff of sentiment as Australia’s summer of tennis kicks off this weekend, with former US Open and Wimbledon champ Lleyton Hewitt embarking on his final playing tour of Australia before hanging up his racquet after the Australian Open.
Former world No.1 Hewitt will exchange playing for Davis Cup captain duties after his 20th Australian Open, but not before treating Australian audiences to his last professional matches on court and his commentary skills for Channel Seven off court before his final farewell.
Hewitt, 34, was honoured at a special ATP farewell in Europe in November and whatever happens at the Open, bows out a contented man.
“I feel old,” he grinned, when honoured at the ATP World Tour finals after watching Rafael Nadal defeat Andy Murray.
“I was lucky enough to sit courtside to watch Rafa and Andy play and just to see how the game keeps evolving over the years … I look back to when I was able to play in the Tennis Masters Cup in 2001 and 2002 and holding up the trophy – that was nearly 20 years ago.
“I’m looking forward to finishing at the Australian Open but I won’t be playing another AT.
“I’ve loved absolutely every minute of being out here on the tour.”
Seven’s Summer of Tennis coverage kicks of today, with coverage of the Hopman Cup in Perth, where Hewitt is expected to play, and the Brisbane International.
Hewitt will pick up commentary duties with Seven, whose coverage will again be anchored Bruce McAvaney, around his playing commitments.