December 15, 2017 6:46:15 pm
Lleyton Hewitt will come out of retirement for a third time later in January, 2018 and return to the court once again at the home Slam in Australian Open. At the tournament that gets underway on January 15, Hewitt will join forces with Sam Groth to play in the men’s double draw. Groth, on the other hand, will be calling time on his career when the Slam comes to an end.
However, ITF has made clear that Hewitt hadn’t officially retired, so he will be available for drug testing. Had he officially retired, the 36-year-old would have needed to give ITF six months notice of his intention to comeback. As per ITF, only three men retired in 2017 – Mariusz Fyrstenberg of Poland, Albert Montanes of Spain and Juan Monaco of Argentina.
Hewitt had called time on his glittering career last year after exiting early at the Australian Open. However, he came back to play doubles for Australia in the Davis Cup against United States while coming close to a dramatic win alongside John Peers against the Bryan brothers. Hewitt had initially announced intention to retire in 2015 when he partnered Groth and reached the Round of 16 at the first Grand Slam of the year in Melbourne.
This year, he took over as Australia’s non-playing captain in the Davis Cup and led the team to the semis where despite boasting a talent bunch of youngsters such as Nick Kyrgios, Jordan Thompson and John Millman, they went down to Belgium on clay in Brussels.
Best of Express Premium
What Hewitt said: It’s going to be a bit of fun – that’s what the Australian Open is about. I’m going to really enjoy it. We’ve been hitting a lot of balls, hitting every day, and we’re not just going out there making up the numbers. We want to give it a fair crack.
What Groth said: It’s something Lleyton and I have talked about and it’s perfect for me. I was there when ‘Rusty’ (Hewitt) retired in 2016 and it’s great that he’ll be there with me when I bow out. He’s not just someone I know through tennis, he’s a great mate.
📣 Join our Telegram channel (The Indian Express) for the latest news and updates