Date set for Hewitt retirement

AUSSIE veteran Lleyton Hewitt has ended debate about his future, announcing he will retire after the 2016 Australian Open and eventually take up the role as Davis Cup captain.

The announcement came as present captain Pat Rafter said his new position as Tennis Australia's director of performance meant he was unable to devote enough time to the Davis Cup.

Rafter said former player turned commentator Wally Masur would fill the role in an interim capacity.

"Wally will take over as the interim captain," Rafter said.

"Lleyton will then fill the spot when the time is right and ready."

Australia's next assignment is against the Czech Republic in March, with Hewitt expected to act as an assistant to Masur.

Despite the emergence of a new generation of players including Nick Kyrgios, Bernard Tomic and Thanasi Kokkinakis, Hewitt said he also believed he still had something to offer the team as a player.

"For me, obviously the Davis Cup is something that we have worked extremely hard at to put in ourselves in a position to have a genuine shot," the former world No.1 said.

"I believe that with the guys playing so well, we have that.

"We have a lot of options and depth.

"I feel like I can put my hand up as a player and help the boys get over the line, whether that is singles, doubles or whatever is needed."

Hewitt said he was also looking forward to playing in the grass court season in Europe, including Wimbledon, where he won his second grand slam title in 2002.