20 Jun 2011

Injured Hewitt claims he'll be ready

7:09 am on 20 June 2011

The former champion Lleyton Hewitt has declared himself ready to play his opening round match at the Wimbledon tennis championships this week despite carrying a foot injury.

The 2002 title holder is due to play Japanese youngster Kei Nishikori on Wednesday exactly a week after being forced to retire mid-match from a lead-up event in Eastbourne.

Hewitt struggled against Belgian Olivier Rochus last week, trailing 6-2 3-0 when he finally pulled the pin because of the stabbing pain in his left foot.

The Australian had a 45-minute training session on the practice courts on Monday but it was far from an intense work out by his standards.

However he has no doubts about making his 13th straight appearance at Wimbledon, a tournament he holds so dearly.

If Hewitt is able to drag his body over the line against world No.59 Nishikori, it only gets tougher for him in the second round.

Waiting for him will be the winner of the clash between fifth seed Robin Soderling and in-form German Philipp Petzschner.