Now that she’s out of the singles, Casey Dellacqua has switched her focus to doubles and helping Lleyton Hewitt bow out as a Wimbledon champion – again.
Dellacqua’s conditioner is the wife of Hewitt’s long-time trainer and the West Australian said she was over the moon when the former world No.1 asked her to partner him in the mixed event in his Wimbledon swansong.
“I’ve known Lleyton for a long time and we were just texting and he was like: ‘Do you want to play?'” Dellacqua told AAP following her third-round loss to Agnieszka Radwanska.
“I was like: ‘Yeah, that’d be great’. Obviously this being his last Wimbledon, I was pretty honoured and privileged actually that he wants to play with me.
“I think we can do really well here too, but we’ll just take it a match at a time. He’s really great to play with and easy going.
“It’s pretty special to be playing with him at his last Wimbledon together.”
Though he rarely plays, Hewitt is an accomplished doubles exponent.
Apart from doing the business for Australia on countless occasions in Davis Cup, Hewitt teamed with Belarusian Max Mirnyi to win the US Open men’s doubles crown as a teenager way back in 2000.
Throw in his 2002 Wimbledon singles crown and the veteran could complete a grand slam set if it all comes together with Dellacqua at the All England Club.
After a straight-sets win over Santiago Gonzalez and Abigail Spears in the first round of the mixed, Hewitt and Dellacqua are also still alive in the men’s and women’s doubles.
Hewitt and teenage ace and fellow South Australian Thanasi Kokkinakis are through to the third round after staging two epic five-set victories, while Dellacqua and Kazakh Yaroslava Shvedova have also progressed to the last 16.
Runners-up at the French Open in only their third tournament together, Dellacqua and ended Samantha Stosur’s Wimbledon campaign with a 6-3 6-0 second-round drubbing of the Australian No.1 and Slovak Daniela Hantuchova.
Like Hewitt, Dellacqua owns one grand slam doubles title, having won the 2008 mixed championship at Roland Garros with American Scott Lipsky.
But defeats in all four grand slam finals, including three with teenage compatriot Ashleigh Barty in 2013, has Dellacqua craving a maiden women’s doubles trophy.
“I’m putting myself in good positions, making grand slam finals, but I’d love to get one under my belt,” said the 30-year-old left-hander.
“Slava and I, we’re a pretty new team but we complement each other’s games really well and she’s really easy to get along with and play with.
“Singles is always my priority, definitely. But I really want to do well in the doubles here and that’s obviously my focus and then with Lleyton as well, it’s cool to be in the mixed with him too.
“So I’m hoping my day will come.”