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Fit-again Hewitt believes he can bounce back in 2011

Australian veteran Lleyton Hewitt still has hopes of ending his nine-year wait for a third grand slam title.
Australian veteran Lleyton Hewitt still has hopes of ending his nine-year wait for a third grand slam title.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Lleyton Hewitt is ready for new season after overcoming a series of injury problems in 2010
  • Australian to partner compatriot Alicia Molik in the Hopman Cup beginning in Perth on Saturday
  • Former world number one will play his first match since injuring his hand in September
  • Double grand slam champion believes he can still improve at the age of 29

(CNN) -- Former world number one Lleyton Hewitt has declared himself fully fit for the 2011 season, insisting that his string of recent injury problems are well and truly behind him.

The Australian will team up with compatriot Alicia Molik to compete in Perth's Hopman Cup from January 1-8, a warm-up tournament for his home grand slam in Melbourne later in the month.

It will be Hewitt's first match since injuring his hand playing in the Davis Cup last September. The 29-year-old also underwent hip and knee surgery in 2010, and his time out of the game has seen him slip to 54th in the world rankings.

But spurred on by his impressive victory over Roger Federer in the final of the grass-court tournament in Halle, Germany earlier in the year, Hewitt said he remains confident of rediscovering the form that led to his two grand slam titles at the U.S. Open in 2001 and Wimbledon in 2002.

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"I still think I can get better," he told the Tennis Australia website on Friday. "The main goal is always the grand slams, the ranking takes care of itself.

As long as the motivation is there and I want to go out and compete and become a better player then I'll do it
--Lleyton Hewitt
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"As long as the motivation is there and I want to go out there and compete and become a better player, then I'll do it until that's not there anymore, I guess."

And following an intensive period of training Down Under with his coach, former French Open champion Tony Roche, Hewitt said his preparation going into the start of the season has never been better.

"I've had no interruptions," he said. "I've been training at least six days a week, sometimes seven days a week, going as hard as I can.

"I don't feel there's probably anybody else out there who has trained as hard as I have for the last two months."

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Unseeded Hewitt and Molik will face Belgian third seeds Justine Henin and Ruben Bemelmans in the first round of the season-opening Hopman Cup on Saturday, which sees each team contest two singles and one doubles match in a round-robin competition.

In 2002 they lost to the American pairing of Serena Williams and James Blake in the final as Hewitt suffered chicken pox, before reaching the title match again in 2004 but having to withdraw when Molik picked up an injury.

At the 23rd edition of the competition this year, the Australian duo will face competition in Group A from Serbian top seeds Ana Ivanovic and Novak Djokovic and Kazakhstan's Yaroslava Shvedova and Andrey Golubev.

The Group B line-up comprises Britain's Laura Robson and Andy Murray, Italy's French Open champion Francesca Schiavone and Potito Starace, Kristina Mladenovic and Nicolas Mahut of France and Bethanie Mattek-Sands and John Isner of the U.S.