Lleyton Hewitt was at dinner on Thursday night in Newport with family and friends earlier than his Saturday enshrinement into the Worldwide Tennis Corridor of Fame. The Australian was sitting at a desk with Peter Luczak and Jaymon Crabb when he obtained a particular shock.
In walked his former coach, Tim Gullikson Profession Coach Award winner Tony Roche, who had not instructed him he was touring to Rhode Island. Hewitt’s face instantly lit up as he shortly rose from his chair to greet his mentor and pal.
When Hewitt is formally enshrined on Saturday night, it will likely be due to his many accomplishments, which embody two year-end No. 1 finishes within the Pepperstone ATP Rankings, two Grand Slam titles on the 2001 US Open and 2002 Wimbledon, two Nitto ATP Finals triumphs and many extra. However to the 41-year-old, this weekend shouldn’t be about his accomplishments, however the individuals who helped him alongside the best way.
That’s the reason on Friday morning when he toured the Worldwide Tennis Corridor of Fame’s museum, the 262nd inducteee was not simply there together with his family, however his buddies and their households, too.
“To be trustworthy, it wouldn’t imply that a lot if it was simply me, since you look again in your profession and so many individuals are concerned in that as effectively,” Hewitt instructed ATPTour.com. “I wouldn’t have had the outcomes that I used to be capable of have if you happen to didn’t have these individuals supporting you, backing you up, serving to you out each day all through all these years.”
Peter Luczak, Lleyton Hewitt and Glynn Hewitt” />
Peter Luczak, Lleyton Hewitt and his father, Glynn Hewitt, tour the museum. Picture Credit score: Andrew Eichenholz/ATP Tour
When Hewitt — a member of the Class of 2021 being celebrated this 12 months due to the Covid-19 pandemic — walked up the three flights of stairs that result in the museum on Friday morning, one of many first issues the Australian noticed was a small plaque together with his image on it.
“Significantly bigger than the sum of his elements, the Australian Lleyton Hewitt was an inexhaustible competitor with uncanny courtroom sense and extraordinary match enjoying acumen,” the plaque learn. “Hewitt’s exceptional courtroom protection and wonderful return of serve carried him to profession defining triumphs on the US Open in 2001 and Wimbledon in 2002. He completed each years at No. 1 on this planet. Contributing mightily to Australia’s Davis Cup victories in 1999 and 2003, Hewitt was unassailable when it counted, assembly each problem forthrightly, performing commendably beneath stress.”
These are the stats behind his induction. However the individuals behind it had been these roaming the halls of the Newport On line casino. Two dozen household and buddies had been there with the Australian step for step as he explored the historical past of the game at a venue the place he gained the singles and doubles titles on the Infosys Corridor of Fame Open in 2014.
Tony Roche, Lleyton Hewitt and Cruz Hewitt” />
Tony Roche, Lleyton Hewitt and his son, Cruz Hewitt, pose for a photograph. Picture Credit score: Andrew Eichenholz/ATP Tour
A number of youngsters in attendance loved enjoying a quiz sport and taking their flip as broadcasters, voicing over historic factors in tennis historical past. Lleyton’s son, Cruz, had a blast calling some extent between Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal from the 2012 Australian Open last.
Hewitt mentioned a number of instances how honoured he was to be on the verge of becoming a member of a few of the finest gamers and most necessary figures in tennis historical past within the Corridor of Fame. However it was much more necessary to him to have those that helped him to the accomplishment by his aspect.
“The individuals which might be right here with me in Newport and even my shut buddies again house in Australia, they know who they’re,” Hewitt mentioned. “They’ve been such a giant a part of my tennis journey and the particular person I’m on and off the courtroom. That’s in all probability the best possible second of this weekend, that I get to share it with these individuals.”
Stan Smith, a fellow Corridor of Famer who has beforehand served because the establishment’s president, mentioned it finest as he greeted the Australian in direction of the tip of his tour.
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