New York - Thirteen years after winning the US Open, Lleyton Hewitt was back out on Arthur Ashe Stadium court sweating under a blazing sun on Wednesday, still battling, still fist-pumping and still not ready to call it a career.
The 'Battling Aussie', whose no-quit philosophy has defined his career, went down swinging 6-3 6-4 6-3 to sixth-seeded Czech Tomas Berdych but offered little hint about either his long-term or short-term future plans after his second-round loss.
"Don't know. Get that asked every week," Hewitt told reporters when asked if he would be back at Flushing Meadows next year.
"Don't know. I haven't even thought about it," the twice grand slam winner replied when asked if he was going to remain in New York.
What is certain, though, is that Hewitt will be back in Perth next month ready to lead Australia into a Davis Cup tie against Uzbekistan.
Beyond that, there is the ATP Tour's Asian swing but Hewitt would not be pinned down on what might follow, saying only he would "take it from there".
"That (Davis Cup) is the week after here, so ... that's obviously the main goal, to try and stay in the World Group," said Hewitt, who has played more grand slam five-setters (42) than any player in the Open era.
"We've got a good opportunity to consolidate our spot in the World Group. Hopefully do that.
"It was always going to be hard any time you want to stop, but I'd prefer them (Australia) to be in good shape rather than playing in the minor leagues every year in Davis Cup. That's a positive. Whenever I do stop, I think it's in good hands."
Certainly Hewitt will not be pushed into retirement. When the 33-year-old finally calls it a career, it will be on his terms.
This season, the former world number one has undergone a bit of a career renaissance, picking up a pair of titles to bring his career tally to 30 and move back into the top 50 of the world rankings.
The only other thirty-something to win two titles this season is Roger Federer.
While Swiss Federer is all elegance and grace and economy of motion, Hewitt is relentless fury and grit, a combination that has taken a heavy toll on the Australian's body.
But he would not change a thing.
"Just living the dream," said Hewitt. "You grow up, just wanted to be able to play the majors and play Davis Cup for Australia.
"I have been fortunate to do it for an awfully long time."
Only slightly more willing to reflect on his past than look forward as his post-match news conference drew to a close, Hewitt was asked again what he hoped will be his future at the U.S. Open.
"I don't know. I really don't know. Just wait and see." Results on Wednesday from the third day of the US Open, the final Grand Slam tournament of 2014 (x denotes seeded player):
Stan Wawrinka (SUI x3) bt Thomaz Bellucci (BRA) 6-3, 6-4, 3-6, 7-6 (7/1)
Blaz Kavcic (SLO) bt Jeremy Chardy (FRA x30) 6-2, 7-6 (8/6), 6-3
Tomas Berdych (CZE x6) bt Lleyton Hewitt (AUS) 6-3, 6-4, 6-3
Martin Klizan (SVK) bt Steve Darcis (BEL) 3-6, 2-6, 7-6 (7/5), 7-5, 6-4
Alexander Kudryavtsev (RUS) bt Evgeny Donskoy (RUS) 2-6, 7-6 (8/6), 3-6, 6-3, 6-4
Teimuraz Gabashvili (RUS) bt Santiago Giraldo (COL x27) 6-3, 1-6, 7-6 (8/6), 6-3
Feliciano Lopez (ESP x19) bt Ivan Dodig (CRO) 1-6, 7-5, 2-6, 6-4, 1-1 - retired
Tatsuma Ito (JPN) bt Steve Johnson (USA) 6-2, 3-6, 5-7, 4-1 - retired
Dominic Thiem (AUT) bt Luks Lacko (SVK) 6-3, 6-3, 6-2
Ernests Gulbis (LAT x11) bt Kenny De Schepper (FRA) 6-1, 6-4, 6-2
Marin Cilic (CRO x14) bt Marcos Baghdatis (CYP) 6-3, 3-1 - retired
Illya Marchenko (UKR) bt Marco Chiudinelli (SUI) 7-6 (7/3), 4-6, 7-6 (15/13), 7-6 (7/4)
Jerzy Janowicz (POL) bt Dusan Lajovic (SRB) 6-3, 7-5, 5-7, 7-5
Kevin Anderson (RSA x18) bt Pablo Cuevas (URU) 6-3, 6-7 (3/7), 4-6, 6-2, 7-6 (7/1)
Grigor Dimitrov (BUL x7) bt Ryan Harrison (USA) 6-2, 7-6 (7/4), 6-2
Dudi Sela (ISR) bt Carlos Berlocq (ARG) 1-6, 6-3, 6-2, 7-5
David Goffin (BEL) bt Niels Desein (BEL) 6-1, 6-3, 6-3
Joao Sousa (POR x32) bt Frank Dancevic (CAN) 7-6 (8/6), 3-6, 6-2, 4-6, 7-6 (7/2)
Angelique Kerber (GER x6) bt Alla Kudryavtseva (RUS) 6-2, 6-4
Belinda Bencic (SUI) bt Kurumi Nara (JPN x31) 6-4, 4-6, 6-1
Johanna Larsson (SWE) bt Sloane Stephens (USA x21) 5-7, 6-4, 6-2
Jelena Jankovic (SRB x9) bt Tsvetana Pironkova (BUL) 7-5, 6-4
Lucie Safarova (CZE x14) bt Zheng Saisai (CHN) 6-3, 4-6, 6-2
Alize Cornet (FRA x22) bt Daniela Hantuchova (SVK) 6-3, 6-3
Roberta Vinci (ITA x28) bt Irina-Camelia Begu (ROM) 2-6, 6-4, 6-1
Peng Shuai (CHN) bt Agnieszka Radwanska (POL x4) 6-3, 6-4
Maria Sharapova (RUS x5) bt Alexandra Dulgheru (ROM) 4-6, 6-3, 6-2
Sabine Lisicki (GER x26) bt Madison Brengle (USA) 6-4, 6-1
Andrea Petkovic (GER x18) bt Monica Puig (PUR) 3-6, 6-3, 7-6 (7/5)
Caroline Wozniacki (DEN x10) bt Aliaksandra Sasnovich (BLR) 6-3, 6-4
Sara Errani (ITA x13) bt Anastasia Rodionova (AUS) 6-4, 7-6 (7/2)
Venus Williams (USA x19) bt Timea Bacsinszky (SUI) 6-1, 6-4
Mirjana Lucic-Baroni (CRO) bt Shahar Peer (ISR) 6-7 (6/8), 6-3, 6-2
Simona Halep (ROM x2) bt Jana Cepelova (SVK) 6-2, 6-1