Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - NEWS -

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.

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