Melbourne, Jan 11 (ANI): Former World No.1 Lleyton Hewitt is certain that his body will get him through this week's Sydney International and later on the Australian Open.
The dual grand slam winner began his year determined to win his way back into the world's top 10 after clawing his way back to No.22 last year following hip surgery that kept him off the circuit for five months in the second half of 2008.
He said on Sunday that staying healthy this year was now his primary goal, FOX Sports reports.
"I'd love the body to hold up. And if it does hold up I want to look at the top 10 again. I pride myself on being able to compete. And I want to play well in the grand slams. The last few years the only ones who have beaten me in the majors have been the top few players," Hewitt said.
He regards his back problem as a minor ailment, but knows another run of injuries would stymie his attempt to re-establish himself at the top of the game.
Hewitt was grateful to have earned a first-round bye in Sydney, giving him extra time to recover from the scare. "It feels good. I have been getting a bit of treatment and doing all the right things."
"It felt a lot better today than it did the last two days. It's interesting having the bye. I didn't realise until late that there was a bye. I guess they have done it to try and attract some top players in the week before a grand slam."o.4 seed Hewitt said he never considered pulling out of this week's Sydney event to protect his back ahead of next week's Australian Open. (ANI)