In his first interview with Lleyton Hewitt, coach Darren Cahill stated that Hewitt was an exceptional player who will go on to accomplish great things. At a ceremony held on Saturday in Newport, Rhode Island, Hewitt was given honorary membership into the Tennis Hall of Fame.
Twenty-year-old Hewitt upset Pete Sampras to win his maiden Grand Slam championship in the 2001 US Open. Hewitt became the first male player under the age of 30 to reach the top division in the same year. Between 1998 and 2001, Hewitt and Cahill collaborated on many projects.
“Wow, what a talent this young man have. What a tremendous talent this young man has in store. Genetically, Lleyton stood out from the others “Inducting Hewitt into the Hall of Fame, Cahill reportedly stated. “He took an individual sport and converted it into a team one, utilizing his Aussie Rules experience to gather others around him as teammates in the process..
In his act, there was no loneliness and he was not scared to get engaged in a fight.”
Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal: Cahill on Hewitt
With his second Grand Slam triumph at Wimbledon in 2002, Hewitt was anticipated to win ten Grand Slam titles by the age of 21.
Hewitt’s career has been hampered by injuries, and the rise of Federer and Nadal has done little to alleviate the situation. If injuries and the rise of Federer and Nadal, two of the sport’s greatest players, had not intervened, Cahill believes Hewitt would have won more Grand Slams.
“Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal are two of the greatest players ever, but he is been plagued by ailments in his early twenties that have hindered him from adding to his achievements. Regardless, he will always be able to look back on his professional life with pride and no remorse “Cahill chimed in, too.
Since Hewitt’s victory at Wimbledon in 1998, Australia has been devoid of a male Grand Slam champion. ‘Lleyton has left a significant legacy by playing for Australia and creating a standard for coaching and competition that every generation should aim to,’ Cahill said.