Perth, 5 January 2011 | AAP

Lleyton Hewitt has declared his Australian Open preparations on track despite a straight sets Hopman Cup hammering from Novak Djokovic.

Hewitt is cramming match fitness in Perth, the 6-2 6-4 loss to the world No.3 just his second singles match since returning from a serious hand injury.

The world No.54 displayed his trademark fighting qualities but was ultimately outclassed on Tuesday night as Serbia took the tie 3-0, ending any chance of Australia reaching the Hopman Cup final.

But the 29-year-old Australian said he was pleased with his individual progress ahead of a final group match against Kazakhstan on Thursday.

“It was probably exactly what I needed,” Hewitt said of his clash with Djokovic.

“Second match up to play a quality player, he played as well as he could.

“My ball striking was right where I want it be at the moment, still a week-and-a-half out from the Aussie (Open).

“I was pretty happy with my movement.

“I haven’t played three sets in any of my singles matches but so far the body’s holding up pretty well.

“There were a couple of break opportunities, I could have been up a break in both sets.

“It was a big step up. I hit the ball a lot better than I did in my first match.

“He’s just come off playing the tour finals in London against the best guys in the world and he played in the Davis Cup final as well, so he’s match tough at the moment and playing those big points extremely well.”

Hewitt said Thursday’s clash with world No.36 Andrey Golubev would be another important step in his preparation for the Australian Open.

“He’s a great shot maker. He’s not going to be easy, he’s going to go out there with an attitude of nothing to lose and be slapping balls around everywhere,” Hewitt said.