9/23/12 8:22 PM | Johan Lindahl
Former No. 1 Lleyton Hewitt will make his sixth appearance in Shanghai in 13 years after being given a wild card into October's Masters 1000 event.
The 31-year-old Australian last appeared in China's commercial capital in 2009, beating John Isner before losing to Gael Monfils.
When the city hosted the year-end ATP Masters Cup, the two-time Grand Slam champion won the title in 2001 and played finals in 2002 against Juan Carlos Ferrero and two years later against Roger Federer.
Hewitt has been making a comeback this season after another foot operation, playing the Newport summer grass final and placing in the third round at the London Olympics and the US Open. He returns to Shanghai a week after playing Davis Cup for Australia, which resulted in a loss to Germany in a World group playoff.
"We had no hesitation in awarding Lleyton a wild card when he asked for it," tournament director Michael Luevano said of the world No. 101. "Shanghai tennis fans will remember the outstanding run he had here in 2002 when he won the year-end championship.
"That year he defeated Albert Costa, Marat Safin, Roger Federer in the semis and then Juan Carlos Ferrero in a gripping five-set final. That incredible spirit has never left him no matter how many times he has been forced to make comebacks after injuries and surgeries.
"Lleyton held the world No.1 ranking for 80 weeks and was a winner of Wimbledon and the US Open, and I have no doubt fans at the Shanghai Rolex Masters will be thrilled to see Lleyton in action once again at Qi Zhong Tennis Center."
The event will feature Olympic gold medalist and US Open champion Andy Murray, along with a hope-for showing from Federer, who has entered the event but has also said he needs to take an autumn break from the game.
Find the latest tennis odds at Unibet.com
|1. Djokovic||12 500 pts|
|2. Murray||8 750 pts|
|3. Federer||8 670 pts|
|4. Ferrer||6 970 pts|
|5. Nadal||6 385 pts|
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