Lleyton Hewitt stood on Rod Laver Arena after his final singles match to watch a video played on the big screen with messages from Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer and Andy Murray. It ended with Nick Kyrgios declaring his mentor of the past six months to be the best player in Australia and suggesting he should reconsider his retirement.
Thirty four year old Hewitt was asked in the press conference if he had any second thoughts, his three children was seated beside him as he responded that he has been set on hanging up his racquet, he felt he got the most out of his body and have pushed himself to the limit. Hewitt is now looking forward to the next phase, helping the next guys including Nick.
Hewitt spent the past 12 months building up to this moment, since he announced last year that his 20th successive Australian Open would also be his last. He enjoyed a special farewell tour, which saw him lead Australia to the semi-finals in the Davis Cup, playing memorable doubles alongside Sam Groth against the Murray brothers. He got out with a great ovation at Wimbledon, US Open, and a special on court ceremony at the Barclays ATP World Tour finals. His final came on the Rod Laver Arena, which is where he enjoyed some of this most momentous wins and biggest battles.
Hewitt said he has been extremely fortunate to have had such a great career, and that he had the opportunity to go out on his own terms. He said many other athletes do not have that opportunity and the coaches normally make the decisions of whether they play or finish their careers.
The journey is not over for Hewitt, before he fully assumes his role as the Australian Davis Cup captain there was still at least one more match left to play, the men’s doubles second round with Sam Groth against Henri Kontinen and John Peers on Friday.
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