13 Jan 2014

Former number one to set Australian Open record

4:55 pm on 13 January 2014

Lleyton Hewitt will become the first person to play 18 consecutive Australian Open tennis championships when he steps onto Rod Laver Arena tomorrow as he continues his pursuit of an elusive home major.

Runner-up to Marat Safin in 2005, Hewitt has returned to Melbourne Park year after year since becoming the youngest qualifier in history way back in 1997.

A month shy of his 33rd birthday, Hewitt will make more history when he faces Italian Andreas Seppi tomorrow.

Only Americans Andre Agassi, who contested 21 straight US Opens, Jimmy Connors and Stan Smith, with 20 successive tilts in New York, have made more consecutive appearances at a single grand slam than Hewitt.