Hewitt: “I feel lucky to play different generations”

Lleyton Hewitt hung up his racket after falling in the second round of the Australian Open in 2016. Six years later the Australian is inducted into the Newport Hall of Fame, where a gala was held in his honor with guests such as Stan Smith, Andy Roddick or Tracy Austin. The official ATP website collects the most special words of Lleyton Hewitt, who did not expect to one day get to the place he is today.

Being in the Hall of Fame

“Being part of the Hall of Fame seemed like something very far away. I never thought about it as a player. I always thought they were my idols growing up and for the absolute legends of the sport”, explains the Australian.

Lleyton explains to that his path to the Hall of Fame has perhaps been somewhat more complicated than that of others: “It has been a longer rise, I suppose, than other people, but I have also enjoyed it. It would not have been right to rush with Australia, the borders, the pandemic and everything that has happened in recent years. I will be able to enjoy with friends and family. If I were here alone, it wouldn’t mean so much. I am proud to have people here who have been such an important part of my career and who have made me the person I am today.”

From Agassi and Sampras to Federer, Nadal and Djokovic

Hewitt, the last Australian tennis player to win a Grand Slam (Wimbledon in 2002), was present in two historical generations in racket sport: “I feel lucky to have been able to play in different generations. I was able to be on the same court with the heroes I looked up to like Andre Agassi and Pete Sampras and then go on to compete against three of the greatest tennis players our sport has ever seen: Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic.”

father and coach

His did Cruz, now 13 years old, shows ways in tennis, having already been U-12 champion in Australia: “He didn’t take up tennis until he was close to the Davis Cup guys, Alex De Miñaur, Nick Kyrgios… Then his love for tennis came to him. He wanted to go out and train this sport in particular. It’s fantastic for me to see his entire journey, to see him play junior tournaments and feel the same love for the sport that I felt so many years ago.

Sometimes it is difficult to see him play, that is clear. For me it’s like being in the Davis Cup sitting on the side of the court. I can’t influence the match much, whereas when you’re playing everything is under your control. It’s something I’ve had to learn to deal with being the Davis Cup captain and trying to help however I can. The same goes for Cruz.

The legacy of the Hewitt on track

“He is someone who leaves everything on the field, who gave absolutely one hundred percent every time he stepped on the tennis court, no matter the situation. He is someone who is proud to play for his country, for his teammates, for his captain or for his coach. Loyalty is something very important to me in my life in general. Those are the things I would like to be remembered for.”