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Lleyton Hewitt


ABOUT
ABOUT

Lleyton Hewitt is a retired Australian tennis player who once ruled men's tennis - back in the early 2000s.


Hewitt burst on to the scene just when Pete Sampras and Andre Agassi had started declining, and the Australian even dominated Roger Federer at the start of their rivalry. While injuries hampered his career in the second half of the decade, Hewitt had already crafted a fantastic career by then.

 

Best finish at each of the four Grand Slams:

Australian Open: Runner-up (2005)

French Open: Quarterfinalist (2001, 2004)

Wimbledon: Champion (2002)

US Open: Champion (2001)

Highest Ranking: No. 1

Weeks at No. 1: 80

 

Style of play


Hewitt was a counterpuncher, relying on his movement and defensive skills to outlast his opponents. He was equally competent off both the forehand and backhand from the back of the court, and often used the slice, drop shot and lob to change the pace of a rally.


The Australian was an attacking returner, using his anticipation to reach most serves and send them back with interest. He didn't come to the net often, but was very comfortable with his volleys whenever he had to hit them.



Strengths and weaknesses


Hewitt's foot speed was his biggest weapon; he could run all day, and outrun any player in the world. His excellent movement coupled with his groundstroke consistency made him one of the toughest players to hit a winner against.


Hewitt had a good backhand, hitting it equally well crosscourt or down the line. His forehand, however, lacked the firepower possessed by many of his top 10 peers, which is why he often struggled to finish points with winners.


The Australian's return of serve is widely considered to be one of the best in history. He could get to almost any serve without any trouble, and could send the return back right the opponent's feet, very much like Novak Djokovic.


Hewitt also had a very good drop shot and a world-class lob, while his volleying skills were also very nifty.



Personal life


Hewitt was born in Adelaide, and his father Glynn played Australian Rules football for Richmond. His mother was also a professional sportsperson, having played netball in her youth; she later went on to become a physical education teacher.


Hewitt played both tennis and Australian Rules as a kid, but decided to shift his focus completely to tennis at the age of 13. While he didn't win any Grand Slams as a junior, he tasted almost immediate success upon becoming a pro - he reached the Wimbledon 2000 mixed doubles final with then-girlfriend Kim Clijsters, and won the 2000 US Open men's title with Max Mirnyi.


A year later the Australian was winning singles Grand Slams too; he defeated Pete Sampras in the 2001 US Open final. He also became the youngest ever ATP World No. 1 in that year, accomplishing the feat at the age of 20.


Hewitt married actress Bec Cartwright in July 2005. The couple have three children together, who are often seen accompanying their father when he's attending tennis tournaments.


Hewitt always displayed incredible intensity on the court, and his cry of "Come on!" after winning a point became a well-known trademark of his. His never-say-die attitude won him appreciation from all over the world, and also helped him register many remarkable comeback wins - most notably his Davis Cup victory over Roger Federer from two sets to love down in 2003.


Hewitt's aggressive mentality also led to controversies, however. He was once involved in an altercation with a black line judge that many believed had racist overtones, and in 2005 had a nasty fight with Juan Ignacio Chela that prompted Chela to spit in his direction.


Despite his polarizing behavior though, Hewitt never failed to give his 100% on the court. He won two Davis Cup titles with Australia, and continued mentoring the national team despite being beset with injuries for much of his later career, making himself an inspiring role model for all young Australian tennis players.



Social media presence:

Lleyton Hewitt Instagram: @lleytonhewitt89

Lleyton Hewitt Twitter: @lleytonhewitt

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