Aussie star Hewitt delays Tennis Hall of Fame entry to 2022

New York (AFP) –


Former world number one Lleyton Hewitt of Australia said Thursday his induction to the International Tennis Hall of Fame will be delayed until 2022 due to Covid-19 travel restrictions.

In a video posted on the Hall's website, the two-time Grand Slam singles champion said he plans to attend next year's ceremony in July during the ATP Hall of Fame Championship at Newport, Rhode Island.

"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," Hewitt said in the video.

"But we are really looking forward to coming back and actually being part of it in 2022 at the Hall of Fame."

The Hall of Fame will conduct an induction ceremony at this year's grass-court event on July 17, the day of the tournament semi-finals.

The ceremony will see the enshrinement of 2020 inductees Goran Ivanisevic and Conchita Martinez, whose ceremony was called off last year, and other 2021 inductees, including The Original 9, trailblazing players who launched the women's pro tour, and the late coach Dennis Van der Meer.

US-Australia travel issues will keep Hewitt from sharing the moment.

"While I'm very much looking forward to the ceremony and the celebration, everyone's health and safety is the rightful priority for us all to focus on right now," Hewitt said.

Hewitt, 40, won the 2001 US Open and 2002 Wimbledon singles titles and was runner-up at the 2004 US Open and 2005 Australian Open.

Hewitt captured 30 ATP singles crowns in his career, taking his first in his hometown of Adelaide in 1998 and his last at Newport in 2014.

In November 2001, the Aussie became the youngest player to be ranked ATP world number one at age 20.