SYDNEY, Australia -- Lleyton Hewitt will start his preparations for the French Open in Paris this week, hopeful that he can overcome a persistent hip injury and be ready to take part when the tournament starts on May 25.
Hewitt has not been able to play for more than a month because of his hip problem.
The former world number one will be assessed daily by his coach Tony Roche and trainer Ivan Gutierrez as he practices on the clay courts at Roland Garros.
"I thought it best to go to Paris and start my originally planned preparation, in the hope that the hip will be okay for me to compete," Hewitt said on his Web site.
"I am being optimistic about playing the French and also the grasscourt season, especially Wimbledon. I've now just got to prepare as well as possible and hope the body holds up for me."
Hewitt has been out of action for more than a month because of the injury and said he would give himself until the first day of the French Open to decide whether he would compete.
The injury is the latest in a series of setbacks that Hewitt has suffered since losing the world number one ranking in 2003.
He won the U.S. Open in 2001 and Wimbledon the following season but has not won a grand slam title since and has slithered down the rankings to 26th.