Related News

Home » Sports » Tennis

Hewitt rules out retirement despite early ouster

LLEYTON Hewitt was adamant that retirement was a long way off despite losing in the first round of the Australian Open yesterday.

The Australian, who is on yet another comeback trail after undergoing hip surgery last August, was bundled out of his home grand slam by Chile's 13th seed Fernando Gonzalez 5-7, 6-2, 6-2, 3-6, 6-3 in a see-saw match that could have gone either way.

It was Hewitt's first opening round defeat in Melbourne since 2002, when he was struck down by chicken pox, and the 27-year-old was confident he could still compete with the world's best players.

"(I'm) right there," the former world No. 1 said when asked whether he could return to the top 10.

"If I was going to retire, then I wouldn't have had the surgery done.

"It wasn't something that was going to affect me in everyday life for the rest of my life.

"It was something that, if I want to still play tennis, then it had to be done."

Hewitt, who has been hampered by toe, knee and back problems since 2005, has slipped down the rankings to No. 70 after his latest injury setback. He only returned to competition this month but was unseeded for the Australian Open and not expected to beat Gonzalez, a finalist at Melbourne Park two years ago.

Hewitt was also beaten in a close match with David Nalbandian at the Sydney International last week but said both performances were encouraging signs for his future.

"The guys that I've lost to, especially the last two weeks, they're both top 15 at the moment," said Hewitt, who has not won a grand slam since Wimbledon in 2002.

"The two losses haven't been the worst losses on paper. I probably could have easily won both those matches, as well.

"I think it's a good springboard for the rest of the year."


Copyright © 1999- Shanghai Daily. All rights reserved.Preferably viewed with Internet Explorer 8 or newer browsers.

沪公网安备 31010602000204号

Email this to your friend