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Former World No. 1 Lleyton Hewitt Enshrined Into International Tennis Hall of Fame

NEWPORT, RHODE ISLAND – JULY 16: Tony Roche, Donald Dell, Stan Smith, Steve Flink, Lleyton Hewitt, Andy Roddick, Tracy Austin, Gigi Fernandez, and Rosie Casals pose for a picture after the International Tennis Hall of Fame 2022 Induction Ceremony on July 16, 2022 in Newport, Rhode Island. (Photo by Brian Fluharty/Getty Images for International Tennis Hall of Fame)

Lleyton Hewitt played with fiery emotion.

The 41-year-old Aussie superstar made an emotional entry into the International Tennis Hall of Fame.

Former world No. 1 Hewitt was official enshrined into the hallowed Hall of Fame in Newport, Rhode Island with a host of Hall of Famers on hand to welcome him.

Aussie legend Tony Roche, Tracy Austin, Gigi Fernandez, Rosie Casals, Stan Smith, who hit with Hewitt’s son Cruz Hewitt on Newport’s grass courts, Donald Dell, Andy Roddick and Steve Flink were among the Hall of Famers on hand for the Saturday night induction ceremony.

“I am hugely honored 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 honored.

“The Hall of Famers are people who I admired so much throughout my career—especially people like Rochey and Newk and Rocket and so many others. They were all motivating factors in my career and to be recognized alongside them in tennis history is an incredible honor.”

Aussie legends John Newcombe and Tony Roche introduced Hewitt in a shared speech filled with memorable highlights. Newcombe recalled his days as captain of Australia’s Davis Cup team. During a tie against Russia, Grand Slam champion Yevgeny Kafelnikov vowed to give Hewitt “a tennis lesson.” After Hewitt swept Kafelnikov in straight sets he pulled out a $50 in his post match presser, Newcombe recalls, telling the media he wanted to pay Kafelnikov for the lesson.

Hewitt wowed in his first year on the ATP Tour, when, in 1998, as a wild card entry into his hometown tournament in Adelaide, he swept through the draw, defeating Andre Agassi in the semifinals and ultimately winning the title. Hewitt entered the tournament ranked world No. 550 and never looked back.

The youngest player to ever claim the No. 1 spot in men’s professional tennis, Hewitt did so at just 20 years of age in 2001, fueled by his victory at the US Open where he defeated Pete Sampras in straight sets. Hewitt won his second major title in 2002, when he was victorious at Wimbledon, and closed out the year in the top spot for the second time in a row. He was also a finalist at the Australian Open in 2005.

Hewitt maintained a ranking in the Top-10 for more than five years and won 30 career singles titles. A fiercely dedicated Davis Cup player for his country, Hewitt twice helped Australia win the Davis Cup – in 1999 when he was 18 years old, and again in 2003. Today, he remains Australia’s record holder for most Davis Cup ties played (43) and most total wins (59-21), and he serves as the team captain.