Hewitt set for final Queen’s bow


Published: Tuesday 10th February 2015 by The News Editor

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The Aegon Championships at Queen’s Club is set to be one of only three appearances Lleyton Hewitt will make ahead of his farewell at next year’s Australian Open.

The two-time grand slam champion and former world number one announced in Melbourne last month that he anticipated the 2016 Australian Open being his final tournament.

Now Hewitt has revealed he intends to play very sparingly in 2015 with a focus on the grass-court season.

The 33-year-old is currently preparing for Australia’s Davis Cup World Group tie against the Czech Republic next month, and after that he will turn his attention to grass.

Queen’s has taken the unusual step of already granting four-time champion Hewitt a wild card into the tournament in June, and Wimbledon is sure to do the same should the 2002 winner require one.

Hewitt said of Queen’s: “I can’t wait to get back there one more time. I’ll enjoy the grass one more time, and then finish off where it all started for me, at the Australian Open.”

Hewitt’s ranking has slipped to 81 and, with injuries taking their toll, he has struggled to make an impact on the big stage where he once thrived.

There have been high points, notably wins over Stan Wawrinka and Juan Martin del Potro at Wimbledon and the US Open in 2013, but last year he won only one grand slam match and last month he lost to Benjamin Becker from two sets up in the second round in Australia.

Hewitt still believes he can mix it with the best on grass, though, saying: “I still give myself a good shot, obviously with a bit of good luck in the draw.

“But the grass-court tournaments do throw up a few surprises, and it’s where I have my best opportunity because not that many players are contenders for the big tournaments on that particular surface.

“If the draw opens up, you never know what might happen. I’ll be going in to do some damage.”

Andy Murray and defending champion Grigor Dimitrov have already committed to playing at Queen’s this summer, and tournament director Stephen Farrow had no hesitation in guaranteeing Hewitt his place.

“It took us roughly two seconds to decide to guarantee Lleyton a wild card,” said Farrow.

“It is a little unconventional to award wild cards before the entry list has been finalised, but Lleyton is one of our greatest champions and we were delighted to hear that he wanted to return one more time.”

Hewitt currently shares the record of four titles with John McEnroe, Boris Becker and Andy Roddick.

Published: Tuesday 10th February 2015 by The News Editor

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