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LLEYTON HEWITT'S HALL OF FAME INDUCTION WILL INSPIRE OTHER AUSSIES



Lleyton Hewitt’s place in Australian tennis is one of profound proportions. This month, Hewitt was honoured with the prestigious announcement that he would be inducted into the Tennis Australia Hall of Fame.


It really is fitting for a man that has so far, given his all and propelled the Australian tennis landscape to great heights.


Hewitt peaked at a young age. At only 20, he had his hands on the first of his two grand slam singles wins and soon enough, Australia had found their new sporting hero.


Hewitt spent 80 weeks as world No. 1, the 10th longest period in ATP tour history which also included 30 career singles titles.


Last year Hewitt celebrated the 20th anniversary of possibly his most cherished tennis memory, his Wimbledon singles win, beating David Nalbandian in a straight sets final as he also remains the last Australian men’s player to win a grand slam singles title.


Hewitt’s other highlight included representing the green and gold in Davis Cup but also the Olympic Games where he was a three-time Olympian and held a pivotal role in the 1999 and

2003 Davis Cup title runs.


But What did Hewitt possess that made him a young success story?


Last year, reflecting on his Wimbledon success, Hewitt, explained that he had endless bounds of self-confidence and assurance and perhaps this set him apart.


“I knew I was the best grass-court player in the world at that time,” he explained.


“With my personality and the way that I went about my tennis, it probably brought out the best of me as well.”


Hewitt still brings this strong desire to win and although he may not be on-court, his tutelage and continued presence towards Australian tennis is helping shape the character of all our players.


I was there to experience and observe Hewitt’s guidance at Wimbledon this year and more often than not, it means a great deal to the current crop of Australians on tour.


In recent years, Alex de Minaur has reaped the rewards of having Hewitt as a key mentor, taking Hewitt’s playing experience and implementing that into his own game.


Before de Minaur competed in the final at Queens earlier this year he spoke on the importance of having Hewitt around him, particularly at Queens with Hewitt being a four-time winner of the tournament.


“I think he's just letting me know after every match, good job, well done, just positive, you know, just being there,” he said.


“Probably not as much technical stuff. He's definitely keeping track of every one of my matches.”


Hewitt’s ongoing footprint on Australian tennis, which also includes the role as Australia’s Davis Cup Captain has also impacted other players such as Jason Kubler who has modelled his game and career off the back of being inspired by Hewitt.


Hewitt’s Hall of Fame announcement took place at the Australian Open launch earlier this month where he will join 46 of Australia’s finest ever.


Speaking about the induction of Hewitt, Tennis Australia CEO Craig Tiley expressed that he was thankful for what Hewitt had done for the sport, particularly in Australia.


“Lleyton has been an inspiration as a player and now as a leader in our sport, and I’m delighted to announce his induction into the Australian Tennis Hall of Fame,” he said.


“He was a warrior on the court and always put his country, and we are all very grateful for everything he has contributed to tennis.”


Hewitt also touched on how happy and proud he was to be joining a list of legends who he looked up to throughout his playing career.


“It’s a great honour to be inducted into the Australian Tennis Hall of Fame, following in the footsteps of some of my great Australian idols,” he said.


“I’ve always been such a proud Australian and loved the rich tennis history we have in our sport.”


A ceremony will be planed for Hewitt on Wednesday 24th January at the Australian Open with his bronze statue to also be unveiled in Garden Square at Melbourne Park.

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