Wimbledon 2014: Lleyton Hewitt coy on retirement talk after second-round loss

Wimbledon 2014: Lleyton Hewitt refuses to rule out a return to SW19 after a five-set defeat by Jerzy Janowicz

2002 Wimbledon champion Lleyton Hewitt Photo: Marianne Bevis

Lleyton Hewitt refused to rule out a return to Wimbledon next year after the former champion lost in five sets to 15th seed Jerzy Janowicz.

The 2002 winner battled from two sets down overnight to push his Polish opponent all the way before eventually running out of steam against a much-improved Janowicz in the decider, losing 7-5, 6-4, 6-7, 6-4, 6-3 in the second round.

Frustrating to walk off the court feeling fine, feeling like you could have bounced back and played another five‑setter tomorrow

Lleyton Hewitt

At 33, Hewitt was inevitably probed on the likelihood of the two-time Grand Slam winner returning to SW19 next year – but the Adelaide-born veteran remained coy on any talk of possible retirement in the coming 12 months.

Asked about his post-match wave, Hewitt said: “You never know. I’m one injury away from hanging up the bats at any time. Obviously you appreciate the support out there today.”

He added: “The body felt fine out there which is obviously a positive thing. But still frustrating to walk off the court feeling fine, feeling like you could have bounced back and played another five‑setter tomorrow. But you don’t get the opportunity.

“With all that I’ve been through, the surgeries, it’s going okay at the moment.”

Doesn’t matter how old is he and doesn’t matter his ranking, he’s extremely good player ‑ especially on grass

Jerzy Janowicz

The grass court season will be extended by an extra week next year, which is good news for Hewitt, who has only performed better at the US Open in terms of final, last-four and quarter-final appearances.

But the Australian played down the significance of that development when he will sit down and make a decision on whether to prolong his career.

“I wouldn’t make my decision whether I keep playing or not just on that for sure,” Hewitt continued. “But obviously, I would have loved it 10 years ago. It’s always so tough and such a short period to adjust and play on grass.”

However, Janowicz, who will face 23rd seed Tommy Robredo in the next round, tipped Hewitt to continue playing on the ATP circuit for another two years – although the 15th seed hopes to avoid facing the fiery Australian again.

“Lleyton Hewitt is really dangerous player. Doesn’t matter how old is he and doesn’t matter his ranking, he’s extremely good player ‑ especially on grass,” Janowicz said.

The Pole added: “In my opinion, he will not finish the career like this. He will still play at least two more years.

“I hope I will not play against him anymore. As I said, he’s really, really extremely good player.”

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