Hewitt retirement plans on hold
Former world number one Lleyton Hewitt has dismissed speculation he is preparing for his final Australian Open appearance next year.
Hewitt is preparing for the Brisbane International, which starts on December 29, but his press conference on Friday was focused on the premise the 32-year-old might call time on his career following next month's Australian Open.
The two-time grand slam winner laughed off the suggestion he will retire in January, adding he expects to return to Melbourne Park in 2015 as well.
"No I don't think it'll be the last (Australian Open appearance) because I can't see myself finishing at the end of the year at the European indoor tournaments," Hewitt said.
"So I'm definitely playing all this year.
"You know, I've got Davis Cup this year and I plan on being back.
"Obviously, though, you get to my age and one serious injury and that can pull up the stumps, but right at the moment the body feels good, so you just enjoy it. Go out there and enjoy it."
The 2014 Australian Open begins on January 13 and Hewitt, who has battled foot injuries in recent years, knows he faces a race to be ready for the first grand slam of the new year.
"You know, we only get two weeks to get any kind of matches under our belt before one of the toughest tournaments, down in Melbourne in the Australian Open," Hewitt said.
"So, physically, it's important for everyone, even those top guys, to get tough matches."
Hewitt reiterated his focus is on notching up a few more appearances at grand slam tournaments and playing a role in the Davis Cup, where Australia will compete in the top-tier World Group in 2014.
"I don't care about rankings," Hewitt said.
"That's the least of my worries and I'm not trying to get back into the top five in the world.
"I don't play enough tournaments these days.
"I prefer just preparing for the grand slams and Davis Cup."