Tributes roll in for Australia’s gentleman of tennis

ICYMI (in case you missed it), Australia’s tennis hero Lleyton Hewitt last night played his last grand slam, putting on

ICYMI (in case you missed it), Australia’s tennis hero Lleyton Hewitt last night played his last grand slam, putting on a brief but perfect show that reminded everyone why he has captured the hearts of Australians for 20 years.

Lleyton lost to Spaniard David Ferrer in Melbourne last night in straight sets, 6-2, 6-4, 6-4, but he he battled on despite a leg injury, grunted “c’mon!” more than once, and even showed a flash of that feisty 20-year-old, telling an official “you’re a freaking idiot”.

But the 35-year-old was no match for the hungry young gun before him and he accepted defeat with grace and humility.

That’s when the real show started. With the tennis out for the way, everyone could fully celebrate the man, his achievements and the remarkable journey that brought him to this point: from Australia’s youngest number one to veteran player, and darling of Australian sport.

Surrounded by his three children, with his beautiful wife Bec in tears in the stands, Lleyton faced the warm embrace of the packed stadium. As the applause went on and on, the tributes were already rolling in, with players, fans, politicians and thousands of others sharing the love.

Tributes were flashed up on screen, including these from Federer, Kyrgios and Murray:

His opponent of the night, Ferrer said his opponent was his idol. “Lleyton fights until the last ball, he’s unbelievable… Tonight is the day for him and not for me.”

Standing on the court with Bruce McAvaney, Lleyton was clearly moved.

“It’s the perfect place to finish,” he said, thanking all those who had helped his journey.

In the compulsolry post-match press conference, Lleyton thanked hi wife and gushed about his children, saying they kept him in the game.

“[Fatherhood] is the greatest gift of life. It is amazing,’ Lleyton said. “To have the kids and see them grow up… for me it has been extra special the last 10 years because they have been able to be on this journey with us as well.”

Here are just some of the many tributes for Lleyton Hewitt – what do you have to add?


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What are your fondest memories of Lleyton Hewitt? As prodigious teen, tennis champ or doting dad?

  1. And hes a Crows supporter. How perfect can one person be?😀😄

    • What an idiot to put all that at risk by abusing the umpire. Better add sore loser to the list.

    • Never liked him when he was younger, indifferent as he’s become older and definitely not a fan knowing he’s a Crow’s supporter LOL.

    • He was a great tennis player and very passionate about the game and no-one can take that away from him. I was born in South Australia and am a Crows fan too.

    • Not judging, just not a fan of tennis to start with and dislike the bad boy behaviour of some ie. Tomic, Kyrios etc. Overpaid dummy spitters. This could apply to many other sports these days, including AFL footy players….don’t get me started. Yes, as you say, each to their own. Go Power!! 🙂

  2. Can’t add much to those wonderful accolades except Congratulations on a passionate and proud career,and wishing you a great future in your well deserved retirement.

  3. I laugh a the Gentleman of tennis, in my view a gentleman would not abuse the umpire, he hasn’t changed, and with his children watching I don’t think was setting them an example of being respectful.

    • I agree! Hearing him call an umpire ‘a spastic’ some years ago ruined him for me!! A bad sport & a twit!

    • You have never, in your misbegotten youth, said or done something that you regret??? How absolutely perfect of you. He argued with the umpire last night, as do many of the players. Big deal. In what way have you, Maria, and you, Carol represented this country for 20 years??????? I’m waiting ….

    • Certainly not “on the world stage” with thousands watching! Sorry but the tennis players of today have no idea of good sportsmanship. I gave up watching this sport because I was over the bad behavior. Never could stand the “come on” antics.

    • Why bother reading and replying if you gave up watching tennis? That’s just trying to be something you aren’t! This post is for us to congratulate Lleyton, so go away and pick on someone who cares cause we sure don’t. Sad people who never achieved in life, all you get is pity from real achievers and the contempt you deserve.

    • Many people have represented our country and done so with dignity. You’re missing something in your psyche if you think it’s ok for a person of his stature to denigrate & belittle peole by calling them spastic!!

    • So sorry Angela, wether I watch the tennis these days or not – I am still entitled to an opinion. Doesn’t make my remakes less true.

    • And just look at the young ones coming up after him. They get away with it and so it goes on. Reminds me of the road rage today.

  4. Going to miss watching him and the way he never gives up. Looking forward to his commentating, something he is also very good at.

  5. Was good to watch his career, from the young years. Yes he threw the odd tantrum, but a skilled player and mentor to many.

  6. Lleyton was very passionate about tennis and always gave his best in every match. I admired his commitment. A few of the newcomers could take a leaf out of his book. Well done Lleyton. You will be missed by me on the tennis courts. Enjoy the next phase of your career.

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