Former world No.1 Lleyton Hewitt becomes the 32nd Australian player to be inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame.
Lleyton Hewitt will be inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame later this year.
The Australian great, who won the fan vote last year, was officially announced as one of the 2021 inductees this morning.
“I am hugely honoured to be inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame,” Hewitt said.
“When you are competing, you’re so focused on training and your results that week or that year, you don’t really look ahead to something like this. But when that is all compiled up and deemed deserving of becoming a Hall of Famer, well, it’s just the ultimate recognition for a player, and I’m so honoured.”
Hewitt became the youngest player to hold the world No.1 singles ranking during his stellar career, rising to the top spot at age 20 in 2001. He won 30 career singles titles, including Grand Slam triumphs at the US Open in 2001 and Wimbledon 2002. Hewitt is also a two-time Davis Cup champion, playing an Australian record of 43 ties. The South Australian is also a three-time Olympian and a top-20 doubles player who won the US Open men’s doubles title in 2000.
Hewitt becomes the 32nd Australian player to be inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame and the first since wheelchair champion David Hall in 2015.
“The Hall of Famers are people who I admired so much throughout my career – especially people like Rochey (Tony Roche), Newk (John Newcombe) and Rocket (Rod Laver) and so many others,” Hewitt said. “They were all motivating factors in my career and to be recognised alongside them in tennis history is an incredible honour.”
Hewitt will be officially inducted alongside women’s tennis trailblazing Original Nine (which includes Australians Judy Dalton and Kerry Reid) and late South African coach Dennis Van der Meer in Newport, Rhode Island on Saturday 17 July.
✅ A trailblazing group of women
✅ An innovative teacher
✅ An Australian great
Presenting the International Tennis Hall of Fame Class of 2021 🎥 pic.twitter.com/IHfRMmIM5J
— Tennis Hall of Fame (@TennisHalloFame) February 24, 2021
“For us to be given this honour is really something special and I think it’s great recognition for what we did. It means a lot,” said Dalton (nee Tegart). “One of the main things that we achieved was recognition for women’s tennis, but also for women’s sport as a whole really. I think that for all of us, we worked so hard and when we took such a chance, we didn’t realise how significant it would be 50 years on.”
“I think it’s so great that the Hall of Fame agreed to put us in the Hall as a group. It means a lot,” added Reid (nee Melville).
The International Tennis Hall of Fame is planning a variety of in-person and virtual events for the 2021 Induction Ceremony to ensure fans across the globe can safely participate.