Veteran Lleyton Hewitt has laughed off making a 2014 Australian Open swansong after reaching full fitness again and revitalising his tennis career.
The thought of playing his final Australian Open in 2014 made Lleyton Hewitt laugh in Brisbane on Friday.
Then again the revitalised former world No.1 can see the funny side of things after finally reaching full fitness for the first time in years.
Hewitt, 32, was the first to admit his only focus these days was preparing for grand slams and Australia’s Davis Cup campaign.
Yet Hewitt could not help but chortle when asked whether the curtain was drawing on his stunning career ahead of his 18th Australian Open.
“It won’t be the last,” he said of the year’s opening grand slam during his visit in preparation for this month’s Brisbane International.
“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.”
And he has heaps of fun planned for the Brisbane International starting on December 29.
Finally free of the foot problems that plagued his career for years, the world No.60 admits the thought of tangling with Brisbane newcomer Roger Federer was music to his ears ahead of the Australian Open.
“You don’t want to play him early on but if you get into the weekend and get a crack at him that would be great,” Hewitt said.
“He’s still one of the top players and the No.1 seed here.
“He’s still a benchmark for this sport.”
Yet Hewitt has already received an accurate yardstick – and he likes what he sees.
Hewitt said chalking up top-10 scalps such as Juan Del Potro and Stanislas Wawrinka this year at grand slams had provided renewed hope ahead of 2014.
However, he said the priority would be Australia’s first appearance back in the Davis Cup’s elite World Group since 2007, when they take on France.
“That’s special especially with my mate Patrick Rafter as captain,” Hewitt said.
“But beating guys like Del Potro and Wawrinka – two form players in the top seven in the world this year – gives me a lot of confidence that over five sets I can hang with the best of them.
“However, my goals are the same. World rankings are the least of my worries.
“I am not trying to get back into the top five in the world.
“I just prefer preparing for the grand slams and the Davis Cup.
“I would rather spend a lot of time with my family.”