Lleyton Hewitt has decided to come out of retirement to play doubles at next month’s Australian Open.
The former world No 1 officially called time on his career following his home Grand Slam tournament in Melbourne in 2016.
But, the 36-year-old has already returned to the court twice since then, playing in the Davis Cup and at Wimbledon last year.
Now, he is making another reappearance, this time alongside fellow Australian Sam Groth, who is making this the last tournament of his career.
“It is going to be a bit of fun,” Hewitt said. “That is what the Australian Open is about.
“We have been hitting a lot of balls, hitting every day, and we are not just going out there making up the numbers. We want to give it a fair crack.”
Hewitt won Grand Slam singles titles at the US Open in 2001 and Wimbledon the following year, while he was also victorious in the doubles at Flushing Meadows in 2000, partnering Max Mirnyi.
Hewitt and Groth have played doubles together previously at Grand Slams and in the Davis Cup, including a five-set defeat to Andy and Jamie Murray in 2015.
“It is something Lleyton and I have talked about and it is perfect for me,” Groth said. “I was there when ‘Rusty’ retired in 2016 and it is great that he will be there with me when I bow out.
“He is not just someone I know through tennis, he is a great mate.”