Lleyton Hewitt’s Australian Open farewell continues to roll on – in the men’s doubles at least.
There were emotional scenes and a range of tributes for Hewitt on Thursday night following a straight-sets loss to David Ferrer at Melbourne Park – his final singles match.
Far from easing into retirement, the 34-year-old was back in action on Saturday alongside compatriot Sam Groth.
The pair struggled early but defeated the pairing of Henri Kontinen and John Peers 2-6 6-4 6-4 on Hisense Arena.
“I’m so lucky. I feel a responsibility to keep his career going,” Groth said courtside.
Hewitt revealed he was going to sit out the doubles prior to Thanasi Kokkinakis’ shoulder injury.
“Sam and I love playing together. He was actually going to play with Thanasi, so I got a late call-up,” Hewitt said courtside.
“It was fantastic out here.”
The performance won’t be as fondly remembered as some of Hewitt’s great comeback wins in his 20 years at Melbourne Park.
But Hewitt and Groth showed plenty of pluck after dropping the first set in just 26 minutes.
The duo will face Vasek Pospisil and Jack Sock in the third round.