BRISBANE INTERNATIONAL 2013
Hewitt's Competitive Fire Debuts In Brisbane
by ATP Staff|
After a season that brought Lleyton Hewitt his fair share of challenges and disappointments, the Australian is ready to ring in the New Year with a clean bill of health and peak conditioning.
Making his debut at the Brisbane International this week, the 31 year old enters the event pleased with his off-season training in preparation for his 16th year on the ATP World Tour.
"I feel like I've had a really good off-season this year on the practice court and more so in the gym and doing off-court work," said Hewitt.
"I love competing… I've been able to freshen up though the last few years in terms of there has been four or five months at a time where I've had surgeries and had to recover. Mentally, I've been able to be a lot fresher and not burnt out as much. For me it's all about scheduling and not playing too many tournaments and obviously trying to play well where I want to play well."
Hewitt dropped as low as World No. 233 on 9 July, and despite playing a limited schedule throughout the year, he managed to work his way back into the Top 100, finishing at No. 83. The former World No. 1 will need to get off to a strong start in January if he wants to maintain his standing, as his biggest points haul from 2012 was courtesy of a fourth-round showing at the Australian Open.
"It's going to be a tough match," said Hewitt, who has a 3-1 lead over Stepanek in their FedEx ATP Head2Head series. "I've always played pretty well against him, and then lost to him a couple months ago in Shanghai, when he played really well.
"He's a tough competitor. He gives 100 percent every time he's on the court. He's got an awkward game style to a lot of other guys out there."