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Hewitt to play in French Open

Aap
Thursday, May 17, 2012

SYDNEY - Lleyton Hewitt could be a shock French Open starter after making a another typically-speedy recovery from foot surgery.

Hewitt wasn't expected to return to the court until next month's Wimbledon lead-up event at the Queen's Club after undergoing further repairs in February for his chronic toe injury.

But the never-say-die baseliner is hoping to make his latest comeback at Roland Garros when the claycourt grand slam tournament gets underway on Sunday week.

"He's probably ahead of schedule. There's no doubt about that," Hewitt's manager David Drysdale told AAP on Tuesday.

"It was surgery that he had to have, whether he continued to play or not.

"He's got some screws and a plate in there but so far - touch wood - everything's going better than expected."

Tennis Australia will issue their two French Open wildcards on Wednesday and Hewitt would almost certainly be awarded the men's one if he put his hand up.

"I think we'd be interested but we probably won't know if he can definitely play until the end of the week," Drysdale said.

Any court time in Paris would be a bonus for Hewitt, whose priority this year has always been Wimbledon and the "Wimbledon" Olympics on London's hallowed lawns in July.

Despite the 31-year-old's ranking languishing at No.178 in the world, Hewitt retains one special record at the French Open.

The dual grand slam champion is the only active player on the ATP Tour - Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal included - to have reached at least the third round in Paris in 10 consecutive campaigns.