Former Australian tennis star Lleyton Hewitt was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame on Sunday. Hewitt, a former world number one and two-time Grand Slam winner, considered one of the finest players of his generation, was honored at a friends and family event.
He was the youngest world No. 1 on the men’s side of the sport when he clinched the top spot in the rankings in 2001. Hewitt is also a two-time (2001, 2002) winner of the World Tour Finals.
In his speech, the fiery Aussie talked about taking on some of the greatest players the sport has ever seen. Hewitt talked about his matches against Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal while recalling his performances against Andre Agassi and Pete Sampras.
“I feel lucky to have been able to play across different generations. I was able to be on the same pitch as my heroes that I looked up to, like Andre Agassi and Pete Sampras, and then go on and compete against three of the greatest players in tennis our sport has ever seen in Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic,” said Lleyton Hewitt.
The Australian said he expected to be in the Hall of Fame when he was a player.
“The Hall of Fame seemed like something so far removed from me. It was never something I thought about as a player, and it was always, I thought, for the people who were my idols growing up and the absolute legends of the sport,” Hewitt said.
Lleyton Hewitt’s record against the Big Three
Of the Big Three, Lleyton Hewitt has recorded the most wins over Roger Federer. In their 27 encounters, the Australian won nine matches while the Swiss maestro won 18. Hewitt won his first three meetings and seven of his first nine matches, while Federer won 16 of his next 18 matches.
Hewitt has won just one win over Novak Djokovic in seven matches, in their first-ever meeting at the 2006 US Open. They last met at the 2012 Olympics, where the Serbian emerged victorious in three sets.
Hewitt’s record against Rafael Nadal is much more balanced than his record against Federer and Djokovic. The Spaniard has won seven matches while Hewitt has won four matches, with all his wins coming in their first five encounters.