Lleyton Hewitt’s disappointing 2011 campaign looks to have carried over into 2012 as the former tennis star dropped out in the opening round of the Sydney International.
Hewitt was defeated by fifth seed Viktor Troicki 4-6 6-3 6-2. Troicki gave up the opening set after leading 4-1 but in the decider was able to break Hewitt’s serve twice to defeat the local favorite.
The world No.1 in 2001, Hewitt’s game had declined rapidly over the past decade to the point where he is now just the 182nd ranked singles player.
A toe reconstruction caused Hewitt to miss three months last year, an average season for the 30-year-old, who won just nine of his 20 appearances. Finally healthy in 2012, Hewitt was still no match for the world No. 21.
Disappointed with his showing, Hewitt admitted that his expectations coming into the tournament were not overly high, saying that his main priority was to achieve some match fitness and noted that he had already begun to notice a difference in his mobility compared to just a week before when he played at the Hopman Cup in Perth.
In other tennis news, Serena Williams has confirmed she will play in next week’s Australian Open while sister Venus had been forced to withdraw after coming down with Sjogren’s syndrome.
Sjogren’s syndrome is a disorder that affects the immune system, with nine out ten effected patients being women.
Venus last played in September 2011 and although she will not participate at the grand slam tournament she did announce via Twitter that she is aiming for a February return.
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