Australian tennis legend Lleyton Hewitt has retired.
Hewitt’s glittering career, spanning more than 20 years, was brought to a close last night Spaniard David Ferrer, 6-2 6-4 6-4, in round two of the Australian Open at Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne.
Hewitt played 878 matches as a tennis professional. In 1997 at 15, he became the youngest player to qualify for the Australian Open. He won the US Open in 2001, Wimbledon in 2002, and became the youngest world No 1 at 20 by beating greats including Roger Federer, Pete Sampras and Andrew Agassi. He represented Australia in two Olympics: Beijing 2008 and London 2012.
His final Australian Open campaign started promisingly when he beat fellow Aussie James Duckworth 7-6 6-2 6-4 in the first round, but Ferrer provided a sterner test for the ageing battler.
“I came out, I gave everything I had like always and left nothing in the locker room,” he told Channel 7 in the post-match interview. “That’s something I can be proud of. My whole career I’ve given 100 per cent. I love competing.”
He will continue to mentor Nick Kyrgios, who is through to the third round of the Open. He also remains captain of the Davis Cup team.
He married Australian singer Bec Hewitt in 2005 and looks forward to spending more time with their three kids, Mia Rebecca, Ava Sydney and Cruz Lleyton. – Jesse Mullens
Top photo of Lleyton Hewitt from his personal Twitter feed.