Sydney - Two-time Grand Slam champion Lleyton Hewitt, who is battling back from foot surgery, was on Wednesday handed a wildcard into the main draw of this month's French Open.
The 31-year-old, who reached the fourth round of the Australian Open in January, has made a speedier recovery than expected from the operation in February and has been training well on clay.
His reward is one of Tennis Australia's two wildcards to Roland Garros, with 16-year-old Ashleigh Barty, the 2011 Wimbledon junior champion, getting the other.
"I'm looking forward to playing the French Open especially after missing it last year due to injury," Hewitt said.
Hewitt was not expected to be back until the grass court season but returns for his 12th campaign in Paris.
"It's great to see Lleyton back from injury and we are very pleased to be able to reward his efforts with this wildcard," Tennis Australia chief Craig Tiley said in a statement.