Hewitt proud of career achievements as retirement beckons


After walking off Rod Laver Arena in a playing capacity one last time, an emotional Lleyton Hewitt heads into retirement proud of his exploits on the tennis court.

Hewitt's farewell on home soil came to an abrupt end at the Australian Open on Thursday, swept aside 6-2 6-4 6-4 by eighth seed David Ferrer in the second round.

The 34-year-old and former world number one - now set to take up his role as Australia's Davis Cup captain - leaves the playing circuit as a Wimbledon and US Open champion, while he also spent 75 weeks atop the ATP Tour rankings between 2001-2003.

An emotional Hewitt said after his loss: "Out on the court obviously you've got so many things going through your head. You're trying to soak it up as much as possible out there one last time.

"It was an unbelievable atmosphere out there. A couple of the roars during the match tonight were as loud as I've ever played in front of. I was getting goosebumps at times. Obviously just watching the video and hearing those great players talk about you in that light, it was pretty emotional.

"Especially when I got back in the locker room, I guess that hits you a little bit more then. When I'm with my close friends and coaching staff that have helped me out so much, it's sort of a strange feeling because you're obviously disappointed not to keep going, but obviously proud of everything we've done as well."

Asked if any particular moment stood out in his successful career, he added: "The Davis Cup semi-final, but also the [2003] final against Spain where I beat Juan Carlos Ferrero in five sets on day one.

"Some of my greatest memories doing it with the team, Mark Philippoussis, and it's obviously pretty special times. But obviously the two majors."