Hewitt confident of prolonging farewell tour


David Ferrer could be the man to send Lleyton Hewitt into retirement but the Australian icon believes he has a "fighting chance" of extending his farewell tour.

Hewitt will meet eighth-seeded Spaniard Ferrer in the second round of the Australian Open after the 34-year-old - who will retire upon the conclusion of the tournament - accounted for countryman James Duckworth in straight sets on Tuesday.

Appearing in his 20th and final Australian Open, Hewitt was at his trademark fighting best in a 7-6 (7-5) 6-2 6-4 win at Rod Laver Arena.

Hewitt faces a substantial step up in class against 2013 French Open runner-up Ferrer, who is also a two-time semi-finalist at the Australian Open and the US Open.

But former world number one Hewitt is upbeat about his chances.

"He's [Ferrer] like a brick wall out there. He competes as well as anyone on tour, as well. He moves great," Hewitt said in his post-match media conference.

"Everyone thinks he just makes ball, but he's a pretty aggressive baseliner out there. He doesn't get back too far behind the court.

"He's been just under, I guess, winning that grand slam as well, making the final at the French. He's made so many semi-finals of slams. Especially on clay and hard court, he's a tough customer for nearly anyone.

"But I give myself a fighting chance. It's going to be tough, I know that. But I feel like I'm hitting the ball well enough to go out there and give him a good run."

Hewitt, who trails the head-to-head with Ferrer 2-1 following the world number eight's win at the 2012 US Open, added: "I want six more [wins]. But I just take it one match at a time. I do all the right things.

"I've prided myself my whole career on preparing as well as possible and doing all the one percenters to try and get the best result possible. I'll do that again.

"If it doesn't go my way the next match, then so be it. Everything is in my control. I'm going out there to give it my best shot."