Bernard Tomic is no certainty to contest the Australian Open after a disappointing 12 months of Tennis.
And Lleyton Hewitt has called on his old friend to knuckle down ahead of the gruelling Australian summer.
The 24-year-old has dropped to 144th in the world and may need to qualify to compete in Melbourne in January.
Tomic won the junior Australian Open aged 15 before becoming the youngest male player to win a main-draw match the following year.
The Queenslander must have a strong finish to 2017, with a wildcard to compete in the Aussie Grand Slam far from assured after Tomic opted out of playing at the Olympics and Davis Cup.
“He’s still got a few tournaments. With Bernie, it’s about getting into that routine of playing a lot of matches again. He just hasn’t played enough this year,” Hewitt said.
“Then that cycle of trying to get out of that rut of losing first and second round isn’t easy to do.
“His ranking drops off so he’s not seeded in those tournaments. He’s getting tougher draws earlier on then.”
Hewitt implored Tomic to put in the hard yards on and off the court to give him the best opportunity to return to playing to his full potential.
“I’ve had a few chats with him, so have a few people from Tennis Australia as well. I get along really well with Bernie,” Hewitt said.
“Obviously I really tried to help him out a lot last year, in 2016, and it’s been disappointing. It’s pretty much been 12 months since about September 2016 that he’s really struggled.
“I think the tennis community, especially Tennis Australia, would really love him to get back there because he’s a quality top-20, top-25 player easily and his goal should be to try and get into the top 10 some day.”