10sBalls.com

Lleyton Hewitt Coming Out Of Retirement To Team Up With Sam Groth For 2018 Australian Open Dubs

Australia’s team captain Lleighton Hewitt reacts during the second singles match for the Davis Cup World Group semifinal between Belgium and Australia, in Brussels, Belgium, 15 September 2017. EPA-EFE/STEPHANIE LECOCQ

 

 

Hewitt coming out of retirement to team up with Groth for Australian Open doubles

 

By Ricky Dimon

 

Lleyton Hewitt ending his retirement–again–to play doubles at next month’s Australian Open, he announced on Thursday. Hewitt is partnering fellow Australian Sam Groth, who is approaching his own retirement that will coming following the first major of 2018.

 

Hewitt last played in 2016, when he retired from singles following the Aussie Open but returned for doubles duty in Davis Cup and at Wimbledon. Now 36 years old, the two-time Grand Slam singles champion, lost a five-set Davis Cup rubber with John Peers against Americans Bob and Mike Bryan, won his Wimbledon first-rounder with Jordan Thompson 19-17 in the third set, and then fell to defending Wimbledon champions Jack Sock and Vasek Pospisil. Hewitt has not played since, but he remains extremely active in tennis as Australia’s Davis Cup captain and part-time coach of various Australian players.

 

“It’s going to be a bit of fun–that’s what the Australian Open is about,” the former singles world No. 1 assured. “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.”

 

“It’s something Lleyton and I have talked about and it’s perfect for me,” Groth added. “I was there when Rusty 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.”

 

It is worth pointing out that Hewitt has not officially submitted retirement papers to the International Tennis Federation, which is why he will be able to play Down Under.

 

In 2014, Andy Roddick asked U.S. Open tournament organizers for a wild card to play doubles with fellow American Mardy Fish. The 2003 U.S. Open singles champion, though, officially retired in 2012 and was therefore not allowed to play on such short notice. Roddick, who asked for the wild card more than a month in advance, was not in the ITF’s drug-testing program three months prior to playing, as is the rule.

 

Hewitt, because he has not officially filed those papers, has remained in the drug-testing protocol.

 

Ricky contributes to 10sballs.com and also maintains his own tennis website, The Grandstand. You can follow him on twitter at @Dimonator.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *