Sports

Hewitt set to retire after 2016 Australian Open

Bernard Tomic, 22

 

Nick Kyrgios, 19

The curtain is set to come down on Lleyton Hewitt's career.

But the 34-year-old Australian tennis star, who shot to fame by winning two Grand Slam titles (US Open in 2001 and Wimbledon in 2002), is not dreading it.

Indeed, he is relishing his next role as mentor to his younger countrymen.

He told The New Paper: "I'll pretty much stop after the Australian Open (in January) next year.

"So I'll just try to play a limited schedule this year, Wimbledon then the Davis Cup, and then the Australian Open will be the main focus.

"Then I'm probably going to be (Australia's) Davis Cup captain at some stage, pretty soon.

"So my focus is still going to be to help the younger guys get the most out of themselves."

Hewitt, who helped Australia to two Davis Cup wins in 1999 and 2003, is excited by the new crop of tennis talent emerging Down Under.

Bernard Tomic, 22, and Nick Kyrgios, 19, are two Australian players who have caught the eye over the last 18 months.

Asked how badly he wanted a final Davis Cup triumph to cap off his career, Hewitt said: "It'd be perfect if we could but, at the end of the day, I want to go out there and get the most out of myself, and compete as hard as I possibly can.

"In terms of the Davis Cup, it's about helping some of the younger Australian guys as well now, and it's fantastic we've got this depth coming through where we have some quality players.

"And I think, over the next five to 10 years, we can compete for the Davis Cup again and that's really exciting to me."

- SAZALI ABDUL AZIZ