Lleyton Hewitt 'Has Fallen In Love With The Bahamas'
http://www.tribune242.com/news/2013/oct/25/lleyton-hewitt-has-fallen-love-bahamas/?newsSINCE he was first introduced to the Bahamas by retired professional touring tennis player Mark Knowles, Lleyton Hewitt said he has fallen in love with the Bahamas.
Now, the former Australian world No.1 player who has purchased a home in Old Fort Bay, is excited about being a part of the Bahamian community.
“It’s been a great base for us. My children go to school here and me and my wife (Bec) love it,” he stated. “I obviously travel a lot, but the reason we decided to come here was because we wanted to have a base outside of Europe and close to the United States. We met Mark Knowles, his mother, Vickie (Andrews) and his sister, Samara, they invited us here, we came, looked at it and loved it.”
The 32-year-old Hewitt, at the age of 20, was the youngest player to be ranked at No.1 in the world. He is the owner of three major titles, winning the Wimbledon singles in 2002, the US Open singles in 2001 and the US Open doubles in 2000 with Max Mirnyi.
In total, Hewitt has collected a total of 28 singles career titles, played in 16 other singles finals, added two doubles career titles and appeared in five more doubles finals. He is currently ranked at 59 in singles and has posted a 24-18 win-loss record this year with his latest performance coming in Vienna, Austria, on October 14 where he lost in the round of 32 to Vasek Pospisil of Canada.
“Obviously, I had a lot of success. I’ve been world No.1, won Grand Slams and played on Australia’s Davis Cup teams,” Hewitt said. “Now I’m getting to the last chapter in my career, so I’m just trying to finish as well as I can. I’ve had five surgeries in the last 4-5 years, so I’m just trying to come back from those.
“They were some career ending injuries, but I’m trying to work through those and I feel as long as I feel good out there, I will continue to play. I don’t know how long I will play, but the Grand Slams are work I play for and Davis Cups as well. We’ve gotten back into the World Group at Davis Cup with some younger guys, so it’s still important for me to stay around and try to help these guys become better players.”
Hewitt, wearing a Sands Beer logo on his jersey during the US Open in Flushing Meadows, New York, teamed up to play with Knowles, who was enticed to come out of retirement to play together for the first time.
The duo, however, didn’t get past the first round of the prestigious Wimbledon Grand Slam in London, England. For Hewitt, it was a dream come true to be on the same side of the court with Knowles, even if it was just for one match.
“I spoke to Mark a lot. We get along very well. We both have wives that are about the same age and we both have three children with very similar ages as well, so it’s been a lot of fun,” he said. “We played Wimbledon together this year and it was a lot of fun. We were pretty relaxed and we tried our best.
“He’s in a different phase of his life. He’s moved on, but he was still able to come back and hit the ball, so it was good to get that opportunity to play with him.”
In three months, Hewitt is scheduled to be back home in Australia where he will begin the new years by trying to win the one Grand Slam title that has eluded him - the Australian Open.
“I played in the losing, losing in 2005, so I will see what happens this time around,” he said. “There’s a lot of expectations and pressure playing in front of your hometown fans. It’s not easy, but I always look forward to playing there and trying to put on a good show for the people.”
Although he’s not eligible to play for the Bahamas, Hewitt said he and his family have settled in as residents here and they are enjoying the experience.
“It’s always good when I get back here. I get to put my feet up and enjoy the hospitality that is extended to me and my family,” he said. “It’s been a lot of fun and we really enjoy it here. This is now our home and I try to enjoy every moment of it when I come here.”