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Hewitt: Stick with January

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Originally published on: 26/02/10 12:14

During the past week Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Andy Murray have all called for the tournament to be shifted back to February to give players a longer build-up to the first grand slam event of the year.

“As an Australian I think it’s probably the ideal time for Australian sport,” said Hewitt. “I’ve always know the Australian Open to be played around late January, even when I was coming here as a young kid to watch.”

He added: “I think sports-wise there’s not a lot on at this time of the year either so it sort of stands out by itself as well which is probably a good thing for our grand slam.

“It’s a tough call. It’s obviously early in the year but a lot of overseas players have prepared well enough to win it in the past.”

While Hewitt has not spoken with Federer, who won the title in Melbourne in 2004, 2006, 2007, Nadal or Murray about the issue, Hewitt believes Federer – the president of the ATP Players’ Council – is aware of his feelings on the subject.

He said: “I’m sure Roger knows. He’s had a lot of success here in the past. It hasn’t really changed his performance, I guess.

“He’s lucky that he’s been able to come out after only one or two weeks’ preparation and still play extremely well.”

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