Now that his grand slam singles commitments are over, Lleyton Hewitt can get back to the more serious business of helping Australia win back the Davis Cup.
Hewitt makes no secret that he only carried on in 2015 to have one final crack at Davis Cup glory.
After making four finals in a five-year golden period at the turn of the century and lifting the trophy in 1999 and 2003, Hewitt craves a last hurrah in the prestigious teams’ event he’s devoted his career to.
The 34-year-old had planned to bow out after the Australian Open but figured his experience and the talents of Bernard Tomic, Nick Kyrgios and Thanasi Kokkinakis could take Australia a long way with some luck in the draw.
Australia’s most prolific Davis Cup performer, Hewitt has been mentoring the talented young trio all year as he prepares to hopefully take over the captaincy from interim skipper Wally Masur.
“It’s been like that the last few years. I’ve had that many Aussie young boys come and stay at my house and train with me, whether it’s in Sydney, Bahamas, Adelaide, wherever it’s been,” Hewitt said.
“It’s been like that for a long time. Davis Cup for me has been a massive passion.
“It’s the reason that I still played this year, because I feel like we had a good opportunity to do well and I could still add something to the Davis Cup team as a player this year.
“I made no secret that my goal this year is to go as far as we can in Davis Cup.”
After upsetting the top-seeded Czechs in Ostrava in the first round and recovering from 2-0 down for the first time in 76 years against Kazahstan in Darwin, Australia head to Glasgow after the US Open to take on Andy Murray’s Brits in the semi-finals.
Hewitt hadn’t planned to play the Open, but decided he needed court time following Australia’s progression to the last four of Davis Cup.
“Wally and Pat (Rafter), (Cup coaches) Joshua Eagle and Rochey (Tony Roche), everyone wanted me to play, obviously take a wildcard,” he said.
“It could have gone to another Aussie, but I felt like to give myself the best opportunity for the Davis Cup tie, it was the right decision.”
Hewitt received just the right amount of court time after winning through to the second round at Flushing Meadows and falling to Tomic in a three-and-a-half-hour five-set classic.
The spiritual leader will almost certainly team up with Sam Groth again in Glasgow in what looms as a potentially decisive doubles rubber after finishes as Australia’s heroes in Darwin.
From 2-0 down, Hewitt and Groth won the day-two doubles to keep the tie alive before returning to triumph in the two reserve singles rubbers.
The pair carried on where they left off on Friday with a promising first-round doubles win over Horacio Zeballos and Henri Kontinen at Flushing Meadows.
Victory over Great Britain in a 50-50 indoor hardcourt tie from September 18-20 would clinch Australia a home final against either Argentina or Belgium from November 27-29.