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Wednesday, August 17, 2022

Former Australian great Leighton Hewitt seated in the hall

NEWPORT, RI ( Associated Press) — Layton Hewitt paused for a moment and the word easily came to mind when asked how he wanted to be remembered.

“Competitors,” 41-year-old Hewitt said in an interview with the Associated Press on Saturday night, a day before being inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame.

The former Australian star said, “For me, someone who likes to put it on the line day after day, and get the most of myself, I competed as hard as I could on the court every time.” , “The fans deserved our everything to give and go out and compete, and that’s something I’m proud of.”

Hewitt was selected to Hall in the Class of 2021, but due to travel restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic, he was unable to attend the consecration ceremony last summer. No one was selected for 2022, so that moment was lonely. He is the 34th player from Australia to join.

The inauguration ceremony was held at Newport’s Grass Side Court after the semi-finals of the Hall of Fame Open. Eight Hall of Famers attended the event, including Andy Roddick (2017) and Tracy Austin (’92).

A two-time Grand Slam champion (Wimbledon 2002, US Open 2001), Hewitt finished ’01 and ’02 as the world No. 1 player and spent 80 weeks in the top spot. In 2001, he became the youngest at 20 years, eight months and 26 days to become the top men’s player.

During his career, he won 30 singles titles and was part of two Davis Cup championship teams in 1999 and 2003.

One of his most memorable moments was being on his first Davis Cup team in ’99.

“I was only 18 at the time, I think. I had Pat Rafter as our top singles player and I was playing at No. 2 behind him,” he said. “That was a really proud moment for me. It was to stand with all the great Australians I’ve always idolized and looked up to.”

Hewitt won his last ATP title at Newport in 2014. It was then that the idea of ​​getting selected for the hall came to his mind.

“I was here playing tournaments and the career I had, and I was approaching the end of my career,” he said in the interview. “A lot of people who used to bump into me said: ‘I can’t wait to see you back here in a few years.’ That’s probably the only time you really start thinking about it.”

He was the runner-up at the 2005 Australian Open. Despite having no regrets, he said it was the only thing missing in his career – a Slam title in his own country.

“There is nothing I would change,” he said. “But something that I wish I had been able to achieve, obviously. I thought, obviously, I was good enough to do.”

World Nation News Desk
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