Hewitt to retire in 2016

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Published: Thursday 29th January 2015 by The News Editor

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Former Wimbledon and US Open champion Lleyton Hewitt has announced his intention to retire from tennis after playing his 20th Australian Open next year.

However, the 33-year-old will remain involved in the game by taking over as Australian Davis Cup captain at some point in the future.

Current captain Pat Rafter stood down with immediate effect on Thursday, with interim skipper Wally Masur taking charge of the team for their World Group tie in the Czech Republic in March.

” I’ve thought long and hard,” Hewitt said in a press conference at Melbourne Park. “I plan to play the Aussie Open next year and most likely finish then.

“Obviously for me the Davis Cup is something we’ve worked extremely hard to put ourselves in a position in the World Group where we have a genuine shot. I believe with the guys now we have a lot more options, a lot more depth.

“I feel like I can still put my hand up as a player and help the boys get over the line. Whether that’s singles, doubles, whatever is needed. Right at the moment that’s the main focus for us.

“Personally I’ll be looking t owards the grass-court season and most likely finishing here in Melbourne, which for me would obviously be special to play 20 Australian Opens.”

Masur added: “I t’s not in the model in Australian tennis to have a playing captain as such. Obviously I spoke to Lleyton a few days ago about it, and we’ve come to the arrangement that he’s still a player, he still has a career to flesh out and see where that ends. Until that happens, I’ll be captain.”

Hewitt lost in the second round in Melbourne last week and has reached just one grand slam quarter-final in the last eight seasons.

Published: Thursday 29th January 2015 by The News Editor

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