Vol. 5 Num 926 Sat. January 06, 2007  

Hewitt's coach quits

Lleyton Hewitt's coach Roger Rasheed on Friday announced he had quit his role with Australia's former world number one.

In a statement, Rasheed said he and Hewitt could no longer work together.

Rasheed has been Hewitt's coach since 2003, and his decision to quit comes little over a week before the start of the Australian Open, a tournament Hewitt has never won.

The decision comes a day after Hewitt went down to unheralded Russian Igor Kunitsyn at the Adelaide Invitational.

Hewitt was seen looking accusingly at Rasheed throughout that match and it is believed the pair had an argument immediately after the loss.

"This is the hardest decision I've ever had to make, but one I felt I had no choice but to make," Rasheed said.

"Within the current environment, I don't believe it is possible for us to get the results we are looking for."

Rasheed is Hewitt's third coach since he turned professional.

Unlike predecessors Darren Cahill and Jason Stoltenberg, who both gave family reasons for quitting, Rasheed said family had not played a part in his decision and added he would be happy to coach another player.

In his statement, Rasheed said he still felt Hewitt could win another grand slam.

"I believe in Lleyton as a player and still believe he's capable of winning grand slams, but I feel the only way I can make a positive change to his environment, and mine, is to walk away from one of the great coaching jobs," he said.