Aussie tennis great Lleyton Hewitt and Swiss maestro Roger Federer are set to host a world-first exhibition match in Sydney in the New Year.
Dubbed “One Night with Roger Federer and Lleyton Hewitt” the event will take place on Monday January 12 at the Sydney Exhibition Centre and will debut a number of new rules in a shortened best-of-five-sets match.
This fast new format initiated by Tennis Australia will feature four rule variations – no advantage scoring, no service lets, tiebreakers at three games all and sets of first-to-four games.
The match will be part of both players preparation for the 2015 Australian Open, with Hewitt and Federer also set to compete in January’s Brisbane International – where the pair met in last year’s final.
“Playing Roger in this new format will be an exciting challenge for both of us and a lot of fun,” said Hewitt ahead of what is likely to be his last appearance at Melbourne Park.
“It’s a fantastic innovation for tennis and one that I hope will take off.”
The pair have enjoyed a rivalry spanning nearly two decades, having first played each other as 15-year-olds in Federer’s homeland.
The Swiss legend has twice as many victories in their career head-to-head meetings with the ledger standing at 18-9 but Hewitt triumphed in their most recent clash in Brisbane.
“We’ve had some amazing battles over the years and I think we still bring out the best in each other every time we play,” Federer said.
It’s unlikely we’ll see the new format employed at Strathfield Sports Club any time soon but if you’d like to have your say on the matter get along to the match and tell us your thoughts. Tickets are currently on sale from Ticketek.