Hewitt appoints Draper as new coach

Hewitt appoints Draper as new coach

Lleyton Hewitt has appointed former Davis Cup team-mate Scott Draper as his coach after being left in the lurch when Roger Rasheed quit last week.

Hewitt's manager Justin Cohen released a statement saying Draper had been hired to coach the former world number one through the Australian Open, starting in Melbourne next week, but may continue in the job after that.

"The role will be open-ended and we will see how things unfold over the next two weeks," Cohen said.

Draper was a tennis professional for more than a decade, reaching a career high ranking of 42 and winning the 2005 Australian Open mixed doubles title with Samantha Stosur.

A close friend of Hewitt, the pair played a Davis Cup tie together against India in 2002 before Draper quit tennis to try his luck as a professional golfer.

Rasheed announced last week he was leaving Hewitt, with Australian newspapers reporting the split followed a row at the Adelaide International after Hewitt was eliminated by world number 94 Igor Kunitsyn of Russia.

Rasheed took over as Hewitt's coach in 2003 when Jason Stoltenberg quit two weeks before he was due to defend his Wimbledon title.

Stoltenberg had been in the job for just 18 months after replacing Darren Cahill, who guided Hewitt from a teenager to world number one and the 2001 US Open title.

Hewitt, 25, is currently ranked 19th in the world and has not won a grand slam title in the last four and a half years.

He has made no secret of his desire to win the Australian Open but the closest he came was two years ago when he lost in the final to Marat Safin.

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