Hewitt warms up for summer of tennis - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Hewitt warms up for summer of tennis

By Darren Walton 29/12/2003 04:35:40 PM Comments (0)

The return of Pat Rafter and Jelena Dokic promise diverting sideshows but home fans will hope Lleyton Hewitt can provide the biggest headlines of the Australian tennis summer.

A month-long feast of action starts with the Hopman Cup in Perth on Saturday as the world's premier players begin to converge on almost every state and territory, with more than $A22 million in total prizemoney up for grabs.

From lead-up events in Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Perth, Hobart, Canberra and Queensland's Gold Coast, the sport's cream will arrive for the Australian Open at Melbourne Park on January 19 looking to make their mark at the first grand slam of 2004.

Still seeking the key to a successful Australian Open campaign, Hewitt has again opted for the Hopman Cup as his launching pad in 2004.

The mixed teams event at the Burswood Dome offers the former world No.1 the security of at least three competitive singles matches and a fourth if he and Alicia Molik can guide Australia to the final.

Hewitt will ease into the New Year on Sunday against either unheralded Canadian Frank Dancevic or little-known Hungarian Attila Savolt.

He then has meetings with Belgian Xavier Malisse - one of only nine players to have beaten Hewitt in 2002 - and wily Slovak Karol Kucera.

But his most eagerly-awaited date of the tournament will be on Wednesday week when he and new fiance Kim Clijsters clash in the mixed doubles.

Hewitt will be hoping to wind up his Perth commitments with a final tester against either Marat Safin, James Blake or Jiri Novak before heading to Sydney for the adidas International starting January 11.

The Davis Cup hero will have his work cut out nabbing a third title in Sydney - after his back-to-back successes in 2000-01 - with the event attracting a high-quality 32-man draw in which only players ranked in the top 40 were assured of a start.

Brought to you by AAP AAP © 2023 AAP

0 Comments about this article

Post a comment about this article

Please sign in to leave a comment.
Becoming a member is free and easy, sign up here.

« All sports news