‘Never write off Andy and Novak’


Legend Lleyton Hewitt says he would “never write off” Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic from dominating tennis again.

Murray has not played competitively since a quarter-final exit at Wimbledon due to an ongoing hip injury, while a persistent right elbow injury ended 12-time Grand Slam champion Djokovic’s season.

But former world No 1 and Australia’s Davis Cup captain Hewitt insists the duo can be a force in the game again despite a number of big name players also expected to make their comeback in the New Year.

“I don’t know if they’ll be as dominant as they were,” said the former US Open and Wimbledon champion. “For them just to pick it up where they left off a couple of years ago, it’s not that easy. But I would never write those guys off.

“Both those guys, Djokovic and Murray, have played so well in Australia. They play so well in the hot conditions but also the night matches on Rod Laver Arena. If they can get through that first week and give themselves a chance then they’re going to be tough to beat.

“But it’s an interesting one. You’ve got (Stan) Wawrinka, (Milos) Raonic, (Kei) Nishikori – a lot of top guys coming off an extended break from injuries or surgeries at the end of the year.”

Hewitt also says he doesn’t know whether or not world No 1 Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer are “normal” after they cleaned up at the Slams in 2017.

Asked if they can keep dominating forever, he replied: “You wouldn’t think so but those two, I don’t know if they’re normal. Especially Roger. At his age, and especially how he started the year. He’s wound back the clock and even his results against Rafa. It’s the best he’s ever done against Rafa, so I wouldn’t say there’s anything those two can’t do.

We’ll be back in 2018 with coverage from the Australian Open on http://www.skysports.com/tennis with news, previews, live blogs, reports and expert analysis.


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