Hewitt lives in hope

2012-01-06 10:27

Perth - Former world number one Lleyton Hewitt is hopeful his injured left foot will stand up to the rigours of another Australian Open campaign.

Hewitt made his latest injury comeback, this time from a toe injury that flared during Australia's Davis Cup clash with Switzerland in September, at the Hopman Cup on Sunday.

Although the dual Grand Slam champion won only one of his three singles matches, against 421st-ranked Chinese unknown Wu Di, Hewitt was happy to have emerged from the tournament unscathed.

"Yeah it was good," he said of the much-needed match practice.

"Obviously that was the focus - to come here and get plenty of court time and just test the moving out and try to get my ball strike as close to where I want it going into Melbourne.

"The three matches have been perfect for me."

The Australian was beaten by Spain's Fernando Verdasco and Frenchman Richard Gasquet in singles at the Hopman Cup, both in three sets, prior to beating Wu on Thursday.

Hewitt, who has admitted the rest of his career will be a matter of pain management rather than being fully fit, said his injured toe had come through well.

"I hope so, I hope so," he said when asked if the foot would be all right for next week's Sydney International and the subsequent Australian Open.

"It's hanging in there, it's going all right."

The 30-year-old, who is ranked 186th in the world after playing just 20 matches in 2011, is also hoping to play at the London Olympics later this year.

He's been granted a wildcard for the Australian Open, where he was a beaten finalist in 2005, but bowed out in the first round last year at the hands of arch-rival David Nalbandian.

Hewitt, who made his first Australian Open appearance as a 15-year-old in 1997, dismissed any concerns about potential highly ranked opponents in the early rounds.

"It doesn’t make any difference to me," he said.

"At the end of the day you go into a tournament, and last year I wasn't seeded either, I drew Nalbandian first round, so it's exactly the same situation.

"You can draw anyone from the first round and obviously those top guys are going to be tough first up, but even if you can get a lower seed and take their position in the draw, it can open up like that.

"I won't be looking too far past my first opponent."