Ahead of his fourteenth consecutive year on the ATP World Tour, Lleyton Hewitt still feels the competitive drive running through his veins. The former World No. 1 has not intentions on retiring anytime soon and made it clear that, barring injury, this will not be his final Australian Open.
“[The Australian Open] won’t be the last. I can’t see myself finishing at the end of the year at the European indoor tournaments. I am just going out there and enjoying it,” Hewitt said.
“The hunger’s absolutely there, otherwise you wouldn’t be playing,”
The former Wimbledon and US Open champion also shared his thoughts on young Aussie talent Bernard Tomic, who has had a rough year in 2013, between issues with his father/coach and his disappointing results for the majority of the season. Hewitt sympathized with the youngster, saying that experience and maturity will ultimately prevail.
“I was No 1 at 20 so I was under the spotlight, I probably wasn’t out at nightclubs and bars quite as much,” Hewitt said. “When you’re growing up, we’ve all made mistakes, I’m sure he’d take it back if he had the time over again.
“Bernie does spend long hours on the practice court . . . it’s just about doing those one percenters all the time and backing it up. If he does that he’s good enough to have a long, successful career.”
Hewitt is scheduled to take part in both play the Brisbane International and Kooyong Classic in the lead-up to the Australian Open, which begins January 13 in Melbourne.