Lleyton Hewitt said he was honored to be able to compete against his idols Andre Agassi and Pete Samprass, before taking on Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer. Hewitt turned professional in 1998 and had the opportunity to compete against some of the greatest players in tennis history.
At the 2001 US Open, Hewitt lifted his first Grand Slam title after beating Sampras in the final. In 2002, Hewitt captured his second Grand Slam title at Wimbledon. Then, the appearance of the big three began. Hewitt did not win a Grand Slam title again, but he was honored to play in the same era as the three greatest players in tennis history.
"I feel lucky to have been able to play in different generations. I was able to stand on the same court as my heroes that I looked up to, like Andre Agassi and Pete Sampras, and then go on to compete against three of the greatest tennis players our sport has ever seen: Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic," Hewitt said.
according to Sportskeeda. On Saturday, Hewitt was inducted into the Newport Tennis Hall of Fame. Hewitt got the best results from him very early in his career, as at 20 years old he won his first Grand Slam and reached the top spot.
"The Hall of Fame seemed like a far cry from me ever being a part of. It was never something I thought about as a player, and it was always, I thought, for the people who were my idols growing up and the absolute legends of the game sport," Hewitt said.
Nadal is still going strong
Speaking during a recent interview with 'Talento a bordo,' the 22-time Grand Slam explained what talent meant to him. He stated that players who ultimately win should be called the "most talented."
"Talent is something that I think people confuse a little bit," said Rafael Nadal. "For me, it's not playing pretty or hitting the ball very hard. Some have the talent to hit hard, others to not miss any ball, some to make a great cut and others to move very well.
But in tennis, as in all sports, the ultimate goal is to win. Therefore, for me, the summary is clear: the one who wins is the one with the most talent." At 36, Rafael Nadal is still going strong and is expected to further improve his tally of a record 22 Grand Slam titles.
"Surely one day I will be a former elite athlete, but I will always be an athlete because sport is my passion and I will practice it whenever my body allows it. And I will always be involved with the structure, which is a project that we started a few years ago and that is gaining more and more strength," the Mallorca native said.