ATP great Lleyton Hewitt inducted into Hall of Fame
Former ATP world number one Lleyton Hewitt has been inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in Newport, Rhode Island, USA on Saturday.
The Australian, 41, won 30 tour level singles titles across his ATP career including two Slam crowns, two ATP Finals trophies and a Masters 1000 in Indian Wells in 2003.
Hewitt was also the 20th ever ATP number one, and is currently one of just 27 men to have achieved that accolade.
“For me, someone that loved to lay it on the line day after day, and got the most out of themselves, I competed as hard as I possibly could on the court every time I took to the court,” Hewitt said at the ceremony according to the Associated Press. “The fans deserved for us to give everything and go out and compete, and that’s something I prided myself on.”
Hewitt achieved his career heights in the early 2000s, winning the US Open in 2001 before going on to win that year’s ATP Finals, then known as the Tennis Masters Cup, becoming world number one for the very first time during that event.
He achieved that feat by defeating fellow Australian and two-time US Open champion Pat Rafter in the round robin stage, becoming the youngest man ever to top the ATP rankings aged 20 years and 268 days, a record he still holds today.
He won a second and final Major singles title at Wimbledon in 2002, dismantling David Nalbandian 6-1, 6-3, 6-2 in the final.
Playing in a time of transition in men’s tennis, Hewitt faced ATP legends Pete Sampras and Andre Agassi nine and eight times each respectively, as well as facing Roger Federer 27 times, Rafael Nadal 11 times and Novak Djokovic on seven occasions.
“I feel fortunate that I was able to play across different generations,” Hewitt added. “That I was able to be on the same court as my heroes that I looked up to like Andre Agassi and Pete Sampras, and then go on and compete against three of the greatest tennis players our sport has ever seen in Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic.”
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