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July 16, 2022

Lleyton Hewitt

Press Conference

BRETT HABER: Good evening, Newport. Welcome, everybody, to the International Tennis Hall of Fame induction ceremony here in beautiful Newport, Rhode Island. It is a pleasure to be here with you once again to celebrate the presentation of tennis' ultimate honor.

I'm Brett Haber from Tennis Channel, honored to serve as your host at this beautiful place, where the legends of tennis are enshrined and tennis history is celebrated.

There is of course no greater honor for a tennis player than enshrinement here at the International Tennis Hall of Fame. We have a wonderful night in store for you as Australian tennis great Lleyton Hewitt joins tennis' elite as the newest Hall of Fame inductee.

As you know, one of the great traditions here at the Hall of Fame is the annual gathering of past Hall of Fame inductees who travel from around the world to welcome their newest colleague. This year is no different. There is a remarkable group of tennis champions here to celebrate and welcome Lleyton. Join me in welcoming them back to Newport. This is not one of those situations where you have to wait until the end to cheer for them all.

We start with a man who is a Wimbledon champion, a US Open champion, a seven-time Davis Cup winner, celebrating the 50th anniversary this year of his Wimbledon title in 1972, from the class of 1987, the great Stan Smith.

A former world No. 1 and two-time US Open champion, the youngest ever inducted into the Hall of Fame, from the class of 1992, the legend Tracy Austin.

The winner of 12 major titles in doubles and mixed doubles, she was inducted twice in 1996 as a player and then again last year as a member of tennis' original nine, so please welcome back two-time Hall of Famer Rosie Casals.

He is a true pioneer in this sport, one of the first sports agents on the planet. A champion Davis Cup player and captain. From the class of 2009, Donald Dell.

How about the winner of 17 major doubles titles, not, just one, but two Olympic gold medals from the class of 2010, Gigi Fernandez.

He is a tennis journalist, author and globally renowned historian from the class of 2017, Steve Flink.

We continue with former world No. 1, US Open champion, Davis Cup winner, from the class of 2017, the great Andy Roddick.

A 15-time major champion in doubles and mixed doubles, a mentor and coach to our enshrinee tonight, all the way from Australia, the class of 1986, the legendary Tony Roche.

And won't you please join me in welcoming for the first time, the former world No. 1, Wimbledon champion, US Open champion, Davis Cup winner, and our incoming Hall of Famer tonight, ladies and gentlemen, Lleyton Hewitt.

You clean up nice, Lleyton (laughter).

We also welcome Lleyton's family and friends who have traveled from all parts of the world to be here for this very special evening. Join me in welcoming Lleyton's traveling party.

Sadly, since last we gathered here, the tennis world has lost five Hall of Famers, Hall of Famers who left a lasting impact and legacy on our sport. Join me in taking a moment to remember these tennis legends.

(Video Shown.)

BRETT HABER: As you may know from 2011 through the end of last year, the International Tennis Hall of Fame benefited immensely from the leadership and support from a great tennis ambassador in the role of president of this organization. Stan Smith is retiring from that position, but thankfully he isn't going very far.

Tonight we would like to thank Stan for his decade of service and more to the Hall of Fame.

(Video Shown.)

BRETT HABER: To help celebrate Stan, would you please join me in welcoming to the stage the CEO of the International Tennis Hall of Fame, Todd Martin.

TODD MARTIN: Thank you, Brett. Welcome, everyone.

I've known Stan for 35 years. In those 35 years, he's demonstrated mentorship and he's given me friendship.

Stan, in these last eight years that I've been here out of the 11 that you've served, our shared service to the Hall of Fame I count as one of the true blessings of my tennis life.

You've been a role model for me and so many others in this sport. And as Brett said, you are an ambassador par excellence.

As the Hall of Fame president, you served with three chairs, two CEOs, and you've participated in the induction of 45 Hall of Famers.

Stan, you've served generously, inspired generations. It's my honor on behalf of the sport, your fellow Hall of Famers, and everyone here at the Hall of Fame, to thank you for your service to this great organization and your dedication to the sport.

You are truly the example of kindness and excellence in tennis.

Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome Hall of Famer Stan Smith.

Stan, we do have a special gift for you. You were inducted a long time ago, and you got good hands. Stan was inducted long before a relatively new tradition here at the Hall of Fame of presenting each Hall of Famer, each inductee, a medal.

We thought on this occasion, considering the 11 years of service as the president of this institution, that we would honor you with a one-of-a-kind presidential Hall of Famer medal.

STAN SMITH: Thank you. Thank you, Todd. I appreciate those words. I saw your script. You forgot some of the other stuff. No, just kidding (laughter).

It's been great to be involved for the 11 years for these. I remember Mark Stenning, I'm not sure if he's here or not, he was the CEO; and Chris Clouser; and then later John Arnhold, who is not with us today; also then Mike Goss, who has been our chairman for the last, what, three years.

It's been a real honor to work with this leadership. It's an exciting time. I didn't realize this, I had the honor of 45 different inductees we had, but I had the honor of calling them to let them know they had been elected.

I also had the task of saying to those that weren't elected that they weren't elected, and that wasn't so much fun.

I remember talking to Lleyton Hewitt. I want to congratulate him, for sure. It was a special time to be able to give him a call and let him know he's there.

We have a great team here at the Hall of Fame. It was a real honor for me to be inducted in 1987. It's been a privilege for me to be involved as a president of the International Tennis Hall of Fame and to work with my friend Todd Martin. He's done a great job, and he's going to continue to do a great job as we go on.

We've had 262 people inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame. About 200 of those were the very best players whoever played the game. Think about that. The very best players whoever played the game are in this Hall of Fame.

We went back to the -- we call them the ancients to get them inducted, so we have included everybody during that time.

I'm pleased with the way the organization is going now. I'm even more excited about what's going to take place in the future. And I must say that it will always be a big part of my life to be I guess a lifetime trustee of the International Tennis Hall of Fame. I appreciate all of you coming out.

Thank you very much.

BRETT HABER: Stan, thank you, and congratulations for the record. I believe Todd dropping his script marks the first unforced error he's committed since 2004 (laughter). But like a great doubles partner, Stan was right there to pick him up and make the safe.

Australian tennis legend Lleyton Hewitt is about to become a Hall of Famer.

Did you know over the years just 267 people throughout the history of this beautiful sport have been the recipient of this, tennis' ultimate honor, Hall of Fame induction.

Hailing from a storied tennis nation, of course, Lleyton Hewitt joins the ranks of tennis' elite as the 34th Australian to be inducted here.

To officially present Lleyton Hewitt to the International Tennis Hall of Fame, here are some special words from two fellow Aussie legends.

JOHN NEWCOMBE: I'm John Newcombe. Together with Tony Roche, we were named as the captain and coach of the Australian Davis Cup team in the 1990s. We had two pretty good rookies to start with, Pat Rafter and Mark Philippoussis.

Tony, a couple years into the job, we picked a young Aussie, 15 years of age, to be a squad member.

TONY ROCHE: Yeah, Lleyton Hewitt. The first meeting I had with Lleyton was at a charity event in Adelaide. He must have been 12 or 13. I was even impressed with him game at that early age. I was more impressed with his mullet haircut really. All the Adelaide kids seemed to have these great mullet haircuts. But, yeah, Lleyton, you could tell, was going to be something special.

JOHN NEWCOMBE: The first time I had anything really to do with Lleyton was when he came over to my tennis ranch in Texas, 14 years of age, with a bunch of other young Aussies to spend a month training and playing tournaments.

He came up to me one day and said, I'd like to interview you.

I said, What for?

He said, I've got a project I'm doing. Could I interview you?

I said, Sure. When do you want to do it?

He said, Right now.

He had 25 questions already written down that he asked me. That was a good idea of how organized he was.

But, Tony, in that first time that he was joining the team as a squad member, I remember Pat always used to ask to practice with him.

TONY ROCHE: Lleyton, even at 15, he was at exceptional player. And Pat always asked to practice with Lleyton because he loved his high intensity, he gave him good rhythm, didn't miss a ball the whole practice session.

Pat could even tell at that early age that he was something very special.

JOHN NEWCOMBE: He traveled with us all the time. He couldn't get a job to play singles. He was just like a squad member. Then in 1999, at Wimbledon, Mark Philippoussis injured his leg, and Lleyton had gone back to Adelaide. I called him up and said, Hey, mate, are you ready to play?

He said, What do you mean?

I said, Mark is injured. I need you to get on a plane straightaway and fly to Boston. You're going to be playing in the Davis Cup quarterfinal at the Longwood Cricket Club.

He did a great job there, didn't he?

TONY ROCHE: That was a very special occasion because it was the centenary of the Davis Cup. But Lleyton showed up and came out on the first day and defeated Todd Martin, who was a top-10 player at the time, and beat him in four sets. That really set the ball rolling for Australia to go on and win that tie.

JOHN NEWCOMBE: Sorry, Todd, to be bringing that up now.

TONY ROCHE: And also at that tie we had our prime minister, and George Bush Sr. was at that tie. It was a very special occasion. What a way to start a wonderful Davis Cup career by winning that match.

JOHN NEWCOMBE: We were now in the semifinal and we had to play Russia in Brisbane, Australia, on grass. There were a lot of things happening in that match.

TONY ROCHE: They had two top-10 players. We were without Philippoussis and Rafter, so Lleyton took over the No. 1 mantle and had to lead the team. What a job he did. He defeated both Safin and Kafelnikov to win that tie for us.

JOHN NEWCOMBE: I remember we were leading two matches to one, and Kafelnikov, who was No. 2 in the world then, came into the press conference the night before and said, Tomorrow I'm going to give Lleyton Hewitt a tennis lesson.

Lleyton took him out in three straight sets, then came to the press conference afterwards and said, Has anybody here seen Yevgeny?

They said, No, but why?

He said, I got $50 here to pay him for the tennis lesson.

It was a great effort, and we went on to win the Davis Cup that year in France.

TONY ROCHE: What a remarkable career Lleyton has had. He was one of the youngest players to ever win an ATP Tour event in his hometown in Adelaide. He's still the youngest ever No. 1 ATP ranked player at the end of the year. He won two Masters Series tournaments, he won two Grand Slams, and his Davis Cup record is the greatest in Australian history. He's played more ties and won more matches than any other Australian, and we've had some great Davis Cup players.

JOHN NEWCOMBE: Yeah, I well remember the following year in 2000 we played the finals against Spain, and Lleyton on day one had to play Albert Costa. It was an unbelievable match. It was a war out there. Lleyton finally led 5-4 in the fifth set serving, came around, got down Love-40 on his serve. Went to the back of the court and was yelling at the ground. Everybody wanted to know why is he yelling at the ground.

What he was doing is he loved the Rocky movies. Rocky was his hero. He used to put himself into that other person. He was yelling at the ground, C'mon, Rocky, get up Balboa, fight, fight, c'mon, Rock.

He came out and won five straight points in a row.

Finally, Tony, you remember the Starlight Pro-Celebrity matches we used to put together?


JOHN NEWCOMBE: You remember Lleyton was in love with Bec Cartwright?

TONY ROCHE: Well, he requested -- my wife at the time was getting the players, and you went to Sue and asked if she could get in touch with Bec Cartwright because Lleyton wanted to play with her.

It's all history now. They've gone on and got married, have three wonderful children, who are there today with Lleyton. They must be very proud of you, mate.

JOHN NEWCOMBE: Yeah. We're proud, Lleyton, to have known you and to be able to spend some time with you. It was an honor for us.

So, ladies and gentlemen, please put your hands together and welcome the new member to the International Tennis Hall of Fame, Lleyton Hewitt.

BRETT HABER: Ladies and gentlemen, to present Lleyton Hewitt's Hall of Fame medal, from the class of 1986, his former coach and Davis Cup captain, Hall of Famer Tony Roche.

(Presentation made.)

LLEYTON HEWITT: It's hard to put things into words at the moment. I've had a little bit longer to try and come up with a speech for this. It's been lucky because you think back 35 years or so since I first picked up a racquet, and I think I needed that extra year to come up with some words. I've written a reasonably long speech here, but I hope you don't mind.

Firstly, I'd like to thank the International Tennis Hall of Fame. This is an incredible honor for me. I also want to thank them and especially Stan Smith and Todd Martin for delaying my induction by a year. I know it wasn't ideal the last couple of years due to the pandemic. But for me it's made it all that more special that I've been able to have my family and friends here on this occasion and really soak up the atmosphere. So thank you, guys.

I want to recognize Dennis Van der Meer and the Original Nine ladies as well who I'm in the class of 2021 with. So sorry I couldn't be here last year, but it was always a connection that we'll have for many years to come in the Hall of Fame. So thank you.

The Hall of Fame seemed like something that was so far away from me ever being part of. It was never something I ever thought about as a player, and it was always I thought for the people that were my idols growing up and the absolute legends of the sport.

So when I got a call from Stan Smith to say I was nominated to potentially go into the Hall of Fame, it was a funny moment because, as Stan said, I was actually at an under 12s junior tennis tournament in the middle of nowhere in Pakenham near Melbourne watching my son playing a junior tournament.

I had to ask Stan if he could hold on a minute so I could walk away from the court to have a chat so no one could hear what we were talking about. After that phone call, that's when it really started to sink in that this is a pretty special thing.

To think this is where it all began for me on junior tennis courts in the middle of nowhere in Adelaide in Australia, with no one watching, no TV cameras, and then to make the full tennis journey and actually now be potentially coming into the Hall of Fame.

I feel fortunate that I was able to play across different generations, that I was able to be on the same court 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 tennis players our sport has ever seen in Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic.

For me, though, this is such a special place here in Newport. You feel the history and tradition of tennis as soon as you walk in here. I first came here as a 17-year-old playing the Newport event back in '98. I wasn't a massive fan of grass actually. To be honest, where we're sitting now is actually where I played my first-round match. I still remember against a Swiss guy, Lorenzo Manta. It was actually my first win ever on the tour on grass. I was able to win that match. I lost second round against Jason Stoltenberg, but we won't worry about that. But my love for grass changed over the years.

Later on in my career I came back here to play quite a few times, thoroughly enjoyed it. I came close a couple times losing in the final in 2012 and 2013. That just made me more desperate, the kind of person I was, I wanted to get my name on the trophy here and actually win where the Hall of Fame was played.

I was able to do that in 2014. It ended up being the last title of my career, which I look back now and I'm so proud of. I think it's perfect. It's so fitting that it happened here in Newport.

Believe it or not, in my 20-odd-year career, I never won the singles and doubles at the same tournament ever. That particular week in 2014 I did it. So my last title ever on center court over there, I'll cherish forever because I actually won the singles, then went out a couple hours later and won the doubles with my Aussie mate with Chris Guccione.

So Newport will always hold a very special place in my heart, and this week just adds to it.

I was a kid that loved sport. I was lucky growing up in Australia where there is sport for choice when it comes to all different kinds of sports. As you saw in the video, my number one sport was AFL football, not rugby, not soccer, like every overseas person asked me, but it's a tough, true Australian team sport.

My dad, my grandfather, and my uncle all played it professionally. That was my dream to one day follow in their footsteps.

I only first started tennis because my parents joined a local club mainly for them just to stay active. But they were keen for me to start lessons, but were after a good coach that taught good technique from an early age.

My parents did some research, and they came up with Peter Smith. He had coached many top South Australian players, including John Fitzgerald and Peter Carter. Firstly, I want to thank Peter Smith and his family back in Adelaide.

I first started with Peter at the age of six. He coached at a small tennis club called Denman. He only had one time slot available, which is 7:30 a.m. on a Sunday morning for one hour. We took it, and we never looked back.

I ended up doing that 7:30 session every Sunday morning that I was in Adelaide from the age of six to sixteen when I went on the pro tour.

We even quite often laugh now because I had my normal Sunday morning session before I played in the ATP Tour Finals in Adelaide in '98 when I had to play Jason Stoltenberg about four hours later. That was actually the morning after I beat my idol, Andre Agassi, in the semifinals.

I would continually try to impress Peter, but nothing ever felt good enough back then. There were always things to improve, things to work on. But I look back now and I realize how important that mindset was. He kept me grounded and kept me striving to improve and keep getting better.

Peter's oldest son, Brett, was like an older brother to me. My parents would organize for him to hit on the courts of my school in my lunch break. Brett would end up traveling with me on the tour for a number of years. The whole Smith family has been a massive part of my tennis journey. I wouldn't be here without their help and support, and especially from Peter and Brett. I want to thank Smiths back in Adelaide.

I had a few tour coaches over the years. I want to thank all those tour coaches, but especially Darren Cahill. My parents got in touch with Darren when he was living back in Adelaide and asked if I'd be able to hit with him occasionally. He was nice enough to give me a go. I'd go over and do some sessions with him on his backyard hard court. I must have hit a few in because he ended up being -- keep giving me the odd session. That's how that relationship started.

It wouldn't be till the end of '98 that I started traveling with Darren as my tour coach. We had plenty of things in common, but the biggest thing was our family's connection with AFL football, even though we absolutely hated each other's AFL teams. But it was really special that I could win my first Grand Slam in singles and doubles and get to world No. 1 with a coach from my hometown of Adelaide.

Not only do I have Darren to thank for the start of my professional career and all the help on court, but also for my nickname Rusty.

My family would often travel to tournaments with us, and this is where Darren came up with the nickname. He thought my family was like the Griswolds in the Chevy Chase movie National Lampoon's Vacation. The son's name was Rusty. As you can imagine, all the older players started using it, so it just stuck. Thanks heaps also for that, Killer.

Just a quick thanks to a past Hall of Famer, Mats Wilander. I became well-known for my c'mons on the court and my celebration sign. But I actually stole this from Mats when I was in juniors. Not many people knew, but Mats was the one that started it. It was called the 'vicht'. He did it from Sweden.

But I loved going and watching Mats at every Australian Open when he would interact with the Swedish fans in the crowd. It was nice in the end when I spoke about it with Mats, he was happy with me to continue on with his sign. For some reason, I was the one that got known with it, especially in Australia.

I want to thank all my Davis Cup captains, John Fitzgerald, Pat Rafter and of course my first captain John Newcombe who introduced me.

Newk has already told the story, so he's taken half my lines here. The first time I met Newk was at his tennis ranch, as he said, in New Braunfels, Texas, and I was a young teenager. The one thing I remember that he spoke about was when I did ask him to do that sit-down interview for a school assignment.

He said, No worries, mate.

But the biggest thing he told me was about the famous Kipling poem "If," and especially about the famous two lines that are written above the walkway out on Centre Court at Wimbledon: If you can meet with triumph and disaster and treat those two imposters just the same.

The next day Newk gave me a printout of that "If" poem and highlighted the two lines in the poem and said, This is what you'll see soon when you get to play on Wimbledon Centre Court in a few years.

I always kept that note from Newk. It was such a special moment when I got to experience walking out on the Centre Court at Wimbledon for the first time in '99.

It was in the third round and I was playing the great Boris Becker. I didn't win that day, but I loved being out there and I loved the experience that came with the tradition of walking out onto Centre Court. All I wanted to do was get another crack at it one day.

Thanks, Newk, for all your support over the years, mate. I loved nothing more than going into battle with you. So thanks, mate.

I want to thank all the past Australian players that were on the tour when I first started. It wasn't easy for me being a 16-year-old and going straight on the ATP Tour. I was so fortunate to have a whole heap of older Aussie guys that were on the singles and doubles circuit at that particular time. They would take me under their wing.

Sandon, Flory, Bully, Teddy, Scottie and plenty more. But the one other main guy was Pat Rafter. Pat was like an older brother to me, someone I totally idolized and looked up to. You could imagine how pumped I was sitting courtside as an orange boy at the '97 Davis Cup tie against France in Sydney when I was only 15 and Pat is leading the charge.

After the match, he actually asked if I'd go down to Bondi Beach with him to do a recovery session in the ocean. Was he kidding? Of course, I would. That was every Aussie kid's dream.

From that day on, all I wanted to do was wear the green and gold and play Davis Cup for Australia.

There was something special about that competition for me. Tennis is such an individual sport for so many months of the year, and I think that's why Davis Cup was so important to me. It was my way of playing AFL football but in the sport of tennis.

Standing side by side with your teammates, your captain, your coach, and knowing that you're going into battle for something more important than just yourself.

So you can imagine how pumped I was to get the call up from Newk in '99, like he said, when I was going to play for Australia against USA in Boston at the Longwood Cricket Club. I'm sorry, Todd, but I had it in my speech as well, but it was an unbelievable day for me, and it really was a dream come true.

The number 89 would forever be a meaningful number for me. I was the 89th player to represent Australia in the Davis Cup after being handed my gold jacket. This was an incredible honor, but more importantly I knew the responsibility I had by being given this chance. I was fortunate to be playing for a country that had such a rich history in tennis and the Davis Cup competition, and had so many past greats that I could look up to.

I had some of my proudest moments and best moments in the sport of Davis Cup, but also some of my toughest losses. So I want to thank all my Davis Cup teammates, a couple of them are here today, for the years of sacrifice that they made in choosing to represent Australia with me.

I wouldn't be receiving this honor today if it wasn't for this bloke. Rochey, mate, you mean so much to me that you made the effort to make the long trek over from Australia to be here with me today. I've been so fortunate to have you as a coach, mentor, and more importantly to be able to call you a mate.

What you've done for Australian tennis is second to none. In my opinion, you are the greatest coach, but it's the culture that you've created through the Australian Davis Cup team that sets the tone for the future generations of Australian tennis.

You've done it for decades now. We've been through a lot together, mate, on and off the court. We've helped each other out through some really tough times and celebrated the great moments.

Some of my favorite times with you were on the practice court. I must have been bloody crazy because I loved all the brutal sessions you put me through, first as a 15-year-old doing non-stop two-on-one drills at Davis Cup ties, with absolutely no drink break during the session. Then as a 30-year-old veteran doing pre-season training at Kenthurst in Sydney in over 40-degree heat.

One thing is for sure, you would always have me prepared as well as possible to go into battle. I'm forever grateful, mate, because I would never have been the player I was without your guidance. But just importantly, I want to keep helping to pass on your knowledge, work ethic and passion for Australian tennis to the future generations.

Thanks, Rochey.

Two of my closest tennis mates that are here today, Peter Luczak and Jaymon Crabb. You two guys have always had my back, either when you were coaching me, being a part of my coaching with the Aussie DC squad or just as mates off the court. I appreciate your loyalty so much and the little things you've done for me and my family over the years. Thanks for being here today with your families over this weekend. Thank you.

To a couple of other people that weren't able to make it today that are back in Australia. A big shout-out to two people. As you can imagine with my body, the second half of my career I had a lot of injuries and surgeries. There's a lot of work that goes into putting a body like that back together to be able to go out and try to compete close to 100%.

I want to thank Ivan Gutierrez, my physio, and my fitness trainer, Nathan Martin, who are back in Australia. They know how much I love them and appreciate everything they've done for me over the years. Thank you, guys.

Then to my best mate Hayden Eckermann from Adelaide. Your loyalty and genuine support was second to none. Loyalty is something I hold dearer than anything. It was so special that you were able to be there when I won Wimbledon in '02, I was able to climb up to you guys in the crowd and you were able to be a part of it. So thanks, mate.

I want to thank mum and dad. I'm not sure where they are. Somewhere. You guys gave me the best opportunity to chase my dream of being a professional tennis player. Like I said earlier, thanks for getting me into the sport of tennis. Who would have thought that all those early Sunday mornings would lead us to be here today.

Thanks for making the effort to find the best coach in Peter Smith, and for also not caring too much about my schooling, even though mum was a teacher (smiling).

And, dad, thanks always for believing in me and putting your own career on hold to travel with me when I needed you most, when I was 16 and had no coach to go on the tour with me.

Also for taking Jaslyn, my sister and I, to the Australian Open every year as kids which gave me the inspiration I needed to try to play at this level and be able to play in these big tournaments.

What made all my big wins more special was the fact that you guys were there. You've played such a massive role in my tennis journey, and always done what was best for me and my family. So thank you.

My sister Jaslyn, you've always been my biggest supporter ever since we were kids, and you continue to go out of your way to help support Bec and my kids. I couldn't thank you enough.

Also Jaslyn made a round-the-world trip to bring my son here so he could be here this weekend. She's gone beyond. Thanks, Jas. I can't thank you enough for doing that.

There's a few other friends that are here that have made a massive effort to come from Australia, Bahamas and other parts of America to be here today. I'd also like to thank Tom, Chuck, Pat and Jenna for being here and celebrating this. Thanks, guys.

And also Cath. We have a great relationship. You've helped out me and my family so many times. I don't know how many conversations you've had with Anne Marie here at the Hall of Fame to make this weekend possible. So thank you very much for everything you've done.

Lastly but most importantly I want to thank my beautiful wife Bec and our three gorgeous kids, Mia, Cruz and Ava. I know how hard it was at times to travel with three young kids, especially on the long flights back and forth from Australia. But you were incredible and always found a way to make it work.

It was such a special time and I loved traveling as a little family around the world and being on that adventure together. I'm so fortunate to have you, Bec. You are the most hands-on mum ever and the best wife and have always supported me with everything. I'm so proud of the three kids and how they've grown up, and so much of that is due to you.

To Mia, Cruz and Ava, thanks for being here today, guys. I know it hasn't been easy to work out all the logistics to be here with all your activities around the world, but it means the absolute world to me. The most special thing about this weekend is being able to spend it with you guys. So thank you.

I just want to thank all the past Hall of Famers for being here this weekend. It wouldn't be the same if you guys weren't here and I didn't have people to look up to that had done it before me, as well. It's been an unbelievable experience for me, the whole buildup the last couple of years, but especially this weekend. I think it's so fitting for me to be inducted here in Newport at such a special place.

Thank you, everyone. Thanks a lot.

BRETT HABER: Ladies and gentlemen, keep it going for official Hall of Famer, Lleyton Hewitt.

What a night it's been. Thank you for your support of this ceremony. Once again, as if you haven't applauded him enough, but I think with that speech he deserves one more round, to our newly minted Hall of Famer, Lleyton Hewitt.

The celebration will continue on into the night here in Newport for Lleyton Hewitt, his friends and family. We look forward to having you back here at the Hall of Fame for the induction of the Class of 2023. Good night from Newport.

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