Lleyton Hewitt has pulled out of the Kooyong Classic in Melbourne, saying he fears playing would harm his preparation for the Australian Open.
Hewitt reclaimed his place as Australia’s top-ranked player when he won the Brisbane International on Sunday, capped by an upset 6-1 4-6 6-3 victory over Roger Federer in the final.
But the veteran says playing a succession of matches in hot, humid weather in Brisbane took a toll and he needs time to recover before the Open starts next week at Melbourne Park.
Hewitt says he’s not injured, but at the age of 32 needs more time to recover than he did in his younger days.
He will still play an exhibition match at Kooyong on Friday night against Andy Murray, while young Australian Jordan Thompson has replaced him in the field for the Kooyong Classic exhibition tournament.