Lleyton Hewitt.
Lleyton Hewitt. Rogelio V. Solis

Lleyton Hewitt 'looking very sharp' for Brisbane event

TENNIS: Brisbane International tournament director Cameron Pearson believes defending champion Llyeton Hewitt can go back-to-back next month despite a world class line-up which includes 17-time grand slam champion Roger Federer.

Hewitt has been practising at the Brisbane Tennis Centre with James Duckworth and Pearson said he was looking "very sharp".

"Every time he steps on the court you know he is going to give 130%," he said.

"He has been playing in the IPTL (Indian League), so he is match ready as well and if I was one of the top seeds, I wouldn't want to draw him in the second round.

Despite being the defending champion, having stunned the Swiss ace Federer 6-1 4-6 6-3 earlier this year, Hewitt heads into the event unseeded.

"I would think the top seeds are more worried about drawing him," Pearson said.

A good performance in Brisbane will count towards the seedings for the Australian Open which will be another driving force for Hewitt who would love nothing more to face off with Federer again in the final.

"I still feel like I could knock out some of the higher seeds and then you can take their section of the draw," Hewitt said recently.

"Once you're in the second week (of a Grand Slam event) anything can happen. You just saw what happened with (Marin) Cilic and Nishikori at the US Open.

"Sometimes that gives you an easier path to get to the second week.

"Those top three or four guys are still going to be the ones to beat going into the first major but I'm looking forward to the challenge.

Hewitt is back in Sydney training but along with many of the big names will begin arriving in Brisbane early in the New Year for the January 4-11 tournament.

Meanwhile, European imports Ajla Tomljanovic and Jarmila Gajdosova have received the two main draw wildcards into the women's draw.


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