Hewitt has no intention of quitting

2009-09-07 00:00

NEW YORK — Lleyton Hewitt, a year younger than 29-year-old soon-to-retire Marat Safin, has no desire to follow the Russian out the door — even after losing for a 14th straight time to Roger Federer at the U.S. Open.

Hewitt, the 2001 champion at Flushing Meadows, lost 4-6 6-3 7-5 6-4 to Federer.

He said that a year after the hip surgery which saved his career, he’s eager to keep working: “If I didn’t, then I’d be hanging out with Marat,” he joked.

The former number one who has lifted his ranking from outside the Top 100 to its current 32, is planning a full schedule for the autumn after not playing during the period in 2008 as he recovered.

“I didn’t have to have it (surgery) done if I didn’t want to keep playing professional tennis. I could have gone on being fine in everyday life and got around the golf course fine,” he said.

“I only had it done to have these challenges to get back competing against these guys week-in and week-out. Tournaments like this are what motivate me, playing in these big matches against Roger and having a crack at him.

“That’s where the motivation is.” — DPA.

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