Tennis: Lleyton Hewitt comes out of retirement to play doubles at Australian Open

Lleyton Hewitt celebrates during the match between Belgium's Steve Darcis and Australia's Jordan Thompson at the Davis Cup semi-finals on Sept 17, 2017.
Lleyton Hewitt celebrates during the match between Belgium's Steve Darcis and Australia's Jordan Thompson at the Davis Cup semi-finals on Sept 17, 2017. PHOTO: REUTERS

MELBOURNE (REUTERS) - Former world No. 1 Lleyton Hewitt is to come out of retirement temporarily and play doubles with compatriot Sam Groth at the Jan 15 to 28 Australian Open, local media reported on Friday (Dec 15).

Hewitt, a US Open and Wimbledon singles champion, officially retired from top-level tennis after his home Grand Slam last year, where he also played doubles with Groth. He did, however, play doubles during the Davis Cup and Wimbledon in 2016.

"It's going to be a bit of fun. That's what the Australian Open is about," Hewitt told News Corp Australia on Friday.

"I'm going to really enjoy it. We've been hitting a lot of balls, hitting every day, and we're not just going out there making up the numbers.

"We want to give it a fair crack."

Groth, who is retiring after the season-opening Grand Slam and is hoping for a wild card for the singles draw, will also play mixed doubles with Sam Stosur.

"It's something Lleyton and I have talked about and it's perfect for me," Groth said.

"I was there when Rusty retired in 2016 and its great that he'll be there with me when I bow out. He's not just someone I know through tennis, he's a great mate."