Hewitt still has desire and passion
Lleyton Hewitt is eyeing off up to two more years in tennis with grand slams and the return of Australia to Davis Cup's World Group the focus before winding down his career.
The former world No.1 will begin his summer at the Brisbane International starting December 30 as he tunes up for what will be his 17th consecutive Australian Open campaign.
But suggestions of this being a farewell year may be a little wide of the mark with the two-time grand slam winner saying he was keen on playing more majors and donning the green and gold in 2014 - the earliest Australia can return to the 16-team elite Davis Cup group.
"For me it's more about getting my body right for the grand slams and the most important tournaments are the Australian Open and Wimbledon," Hewitt, 31, said in Brisbane on Tuesday.
"The Davis Cup ... absolutely, it's one of the biggest goals for me.
"I'd love nothing more than to have a crack in 2014 if I get that opportunity.
"I'd love to play another world group tie before I finish my career.
"It would mean a lot to me and I know it would mean a lot for (Davis Cup captain) Pat (Rafter) as well and hopefully I can lead the boys into it."
Back on top physically following major foot surgery to save his career earlier this year, Hewitt's confidence may not be misplaced.
He's edged his ranking back up to No.83 after dropping out of the world's top 200 and while the glory days of going deep into the second week of a grand slam appear behind him he has enjoyed some encouraging performances in the last six months.
"I played exceptional at the Olympics, I was a couple of points away from beating (Novak) Djokovic on centre court at Wimbledon," Hewitt said.
"I finished the year off beating (Juan) Monaco who's in the top 10 in straight sets."
Hewitt came close to pulling the pin on his decorated career with his toe injury severely compromising his movement.
But radical surgery has given him a new lease of tennis life and belief he can plug away for more than another season.
"It makes a massive difference (not having a foot injury) because I don't have to worry about all the other things," he said after a sharp hit-up against rising Australian hopeful James Duckworth at the Brisbane Tennis Centre.
"I can just got out and compete. I'm enjoying the practise and being in the gym because I'm not in so much pain every day.
"The motivation is still there. I've done so much hard work to put myself back in a position to compete against the best guys out there again and hopefully I can do that in the next five or six weeks."