Home Hall grand Lleyton Hewitt officially inducted into the Newport International Tennis Hall of Fame

Lleyton Hewitt officially inducted into the Newport International Tennis Hall of Fame



The Australian from Adelaide received tennis’ ultimate honor on Saturday July 16, in front of a crowd of family, friends, fans and well-wishers.

Inducted from the Class of 2021, Hewitt’s induction celebrations have been postponed to 2022 due to travel restrictions. But the Wimbledon champion, US Open champion and two-time Davis Cup champion had his moment in Newport, RI this weekend on the famous grounds of the International Tennis Hall of Fame.

Known for his tenacity and never-say-never attitude on the court, the fiery competitor won 616 matches during his 18-year career, including two Grand Slam singles finals, the 2001 US Open and 2002 Wimbledon.

“The Hall of Fame seemed like something that was so far away from me,” Hewitt commented. “It’s never something I thought about as a player, and it’s always what I thought about the people who were my idols growing up and the absolute legends of the sport.

It’s been an incredible experience for me, all the preparation for the past two years, but especially this weekend. I think it’s so fitting for me to be inducted here in Newport in such a special place.

The youngest player to reach the ATP Tour world No. 1 ranking (20 years old), the Aussie icon has also won two ATP Tour year-end singles championships and played on Australian teams Davis Cup winners in 1999 and 2003.

“The Hall of Fame seemed like something that was so far away from me. It was never something I ever thought about as a player, and it was always what I thought about for people who were my idols growing up and the absolute legends of the sport.

– Lleyton Hewitt, Hall of Fame
Over the years, other big names in international tennis have shared praise and accolades for Hewitt’s career and contribution to the sport. So much so that even British tennis star Andy Murray named his dog “Rusty” – Hewitt’s popular nickname – to honor one of his favorite players.

Two men pivotal to the launch of Lleyton’s career – John Newcombe and Tony Roche, respectively captain and coach of Australia’s Davis Cup team of the 1990s – shared their memories of when they first met and picked the 15-year-old Australian to be a team. member:

From the start, Hewitt’s dynamic personality – on and off the pitch – caught Tony Roche’s eye instantly:

“I remember the first meeting I had with Lleyton was at a charity event in Adelaide. He must have been around 12 or 13, and I was very impressed with his playing, even at that early age. But I was more impressed with his mullet haircut, really. All the kids in Adelaide seemed to have those great mullet haircuts. But yeah, Lleyton, you could tell it was going to be something special.

Newcombe recalled times when Hewitt was inspired and fought over during his matches:

“In 2000 we played the final against Spain and Lleyton on the first day had to face Albert Costa and it was an amazing game. It was war there. And Lleyton ended up leading 5-4 in the fifth set, serve. He came, brought love-40 down on his serve and went deep in the court and yelled at the ground. And everybody wanted to know why he’s yelling at the ground? And what he was doing, c It was that he loved the Rocky movies. Rocky was his hero and he used to get into that other person. So he was screaming to the floor, ‘Come on, Rocky. Get up, Balboa. Fight, fight, go Rock’. And he went out and got five points in a row. Incredible effort.

Newcombe added: “And we are proud, Lleyton, to have known you and to be able to spend time with you. It was an honor for us. »

Lleyton Hewitt at his induction ceremony on July 16, 2022
The impact of Hewitt’s style of play and the tenacious spirit he brought to the sport of tennis will be part of tennis and sports history for years to come, beyond his permanent Hall of Fame enshrinement. tennis international.

Nothing meant more to Hewitt than representing Australia and proudly wearing green and gold. Even in retirement, he continued his commitment to further strengthening Australia’s tennis legacy when he became the country’s seventh Davis Cup captain in 2016. Since then, he has instilled his Davis Cup experience under the leadership of Newcombe and Roche to usher in a new, exciting generation of Australian powerhouses to take the tennis world by storm.

“There was something special about this competition for me. Tennis is such an individual sport for so many months of the year, and I think that’s why the Davis Cup was so important to me. It was my way of playing AFL football but in the sport of tennis.

Being side by side with your teammates, your captain, your coach and knowing that you are fighting for something more important than yourself.

And last, but certainly not least, Lleyton closed his induction speech by noting that he wouldn’t be where he is today without the incredible dedication, love and support of his family – his parents. , Glynn and Cherilyn, his sister, Jaslyn, and his children, Mia, Cruz and Ava, and of course, his wife Bec.

“It was such a special time and I loved traveling as a little family around the world and experiencing this adventure together. I’m so lucky to have you, Bec,” shared the now official Hall of Fame member. fame by acknowledging his family’s efforts during his playing career. “You are the most active mom ever and the best wife and you have always supported me with everything. I’m so proud of the three kids and how they’ve grown up, and a big part of that is thanks to you.

“To Mia, Cruz and Ava, thanks for being here today guys. I know it hasn’t been easy putting all the logistics in place to be here with all of your activities around the world, but it means the absolute world to me. The most special thing about this weekend is being able to spend it with you. So thank you.”