Melbourne, Jan 29 (IANS) Lleyton Hewitt Thursday announced that the 2016 Australian Open will likely be his last, while Pat Rafter stood down as Australia’s Davis Cup captain.
In an oddly timed news conference at Melbourne Park, Hewitt revealed his retirement plans while Rafter was replaced in the captaincy role for the interim by Wally Masur, reports allsports.com.gh.
Hewitt will succeed Masur as captain once he retires from playing, which he suggested could be as early as in 12 months’ time.
“I’ve thought long and hard. I plan to play the Aussie Open next year and most likely finish then,” said 33-year-old Hewitt, adding that he would probably bypass the French Open in May.
“Obviously for me the Davis Cup is something we’ve worked extremely hard to put ourselves in a position in the World Group where we have a genuine shot. I believe with the guys now we have a lot more options, a lot more depth.”
Masur will take the reins for Australia’s World Group first-round tie against the Czech Republic in Ostrava starting March 6.
Rafter, who was appointed Tennis Australia’s director of performance in November, said he simply could not manage the role along with leading the men’s tennis squad.