BRISBANE, Australia (AP) — Lleyton Hewitt lost just weeks away from his retirement as Czech Republic beat the Australia Gold team at the Hopman Cup mixed teams event Sunday.
Jiri Vesely defeated Hewitt, who will retire after the Australian Open, 6-3, 6-7 (1), 6-4 before Karolina Pliskova came from 3-1 down in the second set to beat Jarmila Wolfe Gajdosova 7-5, 6-3 at Perth, Western Australia.
The Czech team won the later mixed doubles 6-2, 7-5 to sweep the match 3-0.
“Jiri is a quality player and deserved to win, but it was just good to come out here for the first game of the year and get a tough match,” Hewitt said. “Hopefully I can come out for the rest of the week now and get better from here to get ready for the rest of the summer.”
Hewitt, a two-time Grand Slam champion and former No. 1, has already been named Australia’s Davis Cup captain and will be in charge of the team against the United States in the first round of World Group play from March 4-6 at Kooyong in Melbourne.
For the first time in the Hopman Cup’s 28-year history, Australia is being represented by two teams.
Earlier, Nick Kyrgios broke…