Lleyton Hewitt's sad announcement about Hall of Fame induction

·Sports Editor
·4-min read
Lleyton Hewitt, pictured here with son Cruz and wife Bec Hewitt at the Newcombe Medal in 2018.
Lleyton Hewitt with son Cruz and wife Bec Hewitt at the Newcombe Medal in 2018. (Photo by Scott Barbour/Getty Images)

Lleyton Hewitt has made the sad decision to defer his induction into the International Tennis Hall of Fame due to Covid-19.

The Aussie great and former World No.1, who won two grand slam titles during his career, was named to the Hall of Fame Class of 2021 in February.

'DEADLY': Ash Barty's brutal act of revenge at Madrid Open

'HELL OF A CHICK': Ash Barty's beautiful act for pregnant rival

He was supposed to be honoured at an induction ceremony at the Newport, Rhode Island-based Hall of Fame on July 17.

However travel restrictions from Australia to the United States have forced Hewitt to push the induction back a year.

"Unfortunately due to the circumstances around Covid this year, my family and I won't be able to make it over to Newport to celebrate this July," the former Wimbledon and US Open champion said in a video on the Hall of Fame's website.

"But we are really looking forward to coming back and actually being a part of it in 2022.

"I wish absolutely everyone who is getting inducted this year all the very best and so hopefully they can really enjoy and celebrate their great achievements."

The 40-year-old Hewitt was elected to the Class of 2021 along with the trailblazing 'Original 9', who laid the groundwork for the women's professional tour.

Long-time coach Dennis Van der Meer will also be inducted posthumously having passed away in 2019.

Croatia's Goran Ivanisevic and Spaniard Conchita Martinez, former players who were voted in as the Class of 2020, will also be honoured at the July ceremony after last year's festivities were called off because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Lleyton Hewitt, pictured here during Australia's Davis Cup tie against Brazil in 2020.
Lleyton Hewitt looks on during Australia's Davis Cup tie against Brazil in 2020. (Photo by Mark Brake/Getty Images)

Lleyton Hewitt honoured by Hall of Fame call

Hewitt is the youngest male player ever to be ranked World No.1, winning the US Open in 2001 and Wimbledon in 2002.

In November of 2001 he reached the top of the rankings at the age of just 20 years, 268 days.

He is also the youngest player to finish as year-end No.1 and helped Australia win the Davis Cup twice.

"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," Hewitt said in February.

"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.

“The Hall of Famers are people who I admired so much throughout my career - especially people like Rochey (Tony Roche) and Newk (John Newcombe) and Rocket (Rod Laver) and so many others.

“They were all motivating factors in my career and to be recognised alongside them in tennis history is an incredible honour.”

Since retirement, Hewitt has turned to commentary and coaching and has been Australia's Davis Cup captain since 2016.

He has been responsible for nurturing and developing a number of Australia's most promising young stars, including Alex de Minaur and Alexei Popyrin.

Hewitt will be the first Australian inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame since wheelchair champion David Hall in 2015.

with AAP

Watch 'Mind Games', the new series from Yahoo Sport Australia exploring the often brutal mental toil elite athletes go through in pursuit of greatness:

Click here to sign up to our newsletter for all the latest and breaking stories from Australia and around the world.