Australian tennis coach Lleyton Hewitt has withdrawn from the upcoming Rio Olympics due to personal reasons, the latest high-profile tennis figure to withdraw from the summer games. Earlier, Canadian Milos Raonic and Simona Halep pulled out due to concerns over the Zika virus.
Hewitt's exit comes as a big blow to Australia's tennis prospects at Rio de Janiero as they are already missing top-ranked players Nick Kyrgios and Bernard Tomic. The two decided to pull out after a spat with the Australian team's chef de mission Kitty Chiller.
Hewitt, 35, is a three-time Olympian having represented Australia at the 2000, 2008 and 2012 games. He struggled to make an impact at the event though, with his most successful campaign coming in London 2012 where he reached the third round of the singles event only to lose to current World No 1 Novak Djokovic. Hewitt also advanced to the quarter-finals of the mixed doubles with Samantha Stosur.
Following Hewitt's withdrawal, Tennis Australia has applied to the Australian Olympic Committee to appoint Mark Draper as his replacement. The 45-year-old who competed in the singles draw of three Grand Slams did not make too many waves as a player. His best performance was reaching the second round of the Wimbledon championships in 1998.
Australia's men's tennis contingent for the summer event consists of Thanasi Kokkinakis and John Millman who are competing in the men's singles draw while John Peers and Chris Guccione will play in the doubles.
The women's team looks much stronger than the men's outfit, with Samantha Stosur and Daria Gavrilova competing in both the singles and doubles events.