Hewitt's busy schedule
By Scott Coghlan
October 8, 2003
AUSTRALIAN OPEN tournament director Paul McNamee expects Lleyton Hewitt to return to something like the punishing schedule that carried him to the top of the men's rankings in 2001 and 2002.
McNamee made the assessment yesterday after confirming that Hewitt would play for Australia in the Hopman Cup in Perth in January.
Hewitt's decision to return for the unique mixed teams tournament means the 22-year-old faces a frenetic schedule in the first month of the year.
The Hopman Cup runs from January 3-10 before Hewitt heads to Sydney to compete in the Adidas International at Homebush Bay from January 11 to 17. Then it's Melbourne Park for the first Grand Slam of the year, starting on January 19.
McNamee said he believed Hewitt's decision was a strong indication he was looking to increase his workload and climb back up the rankings. He's currently No.8.
"It appears by this that he has made a conscious decision to ramp up his schedule," McNamee said. "I think that's a fairly safe assumption you can take from that.
"By his standards he hasn't played a lot of tennis this year, but he certainly means business by that schedule. He hasn't played both weeks (in January) for a couple of years."
Hewitt played 76 singles matches in 2002 but just 46 so far this year.
Hewitt will be partnered by fellow South Australian Alicia Molik at the Hopman Cup. They reached the final this year.
Hewitt's girlfriend Kim Clijsters will represent Belgium, which is in Australia's group in the round robin tournament. She will be partnered by Xavier Malisse.
Despite the death of her sister recently, Serena Williams also will return to the Hopman Cup.