Hewitt bids Wimbledon farewell

Hewitt, the 2002 Wimbledon champion, has enjoyed much success on grass and his gutsy displays have won him many fans.

However, his run came to an end when he was beaten in the first round by Jarkko Nieminen in a thrilling five-set encounter. The 34-year-old's exit was given a standing ovation on his exit, and has been lauded by many of his peers and other sporting greats.

 

World number one Novak Djokovic called Hewitt one of the game's great fighters.

“I have lots of respect for Lleyton. He’s one of the greatest competitors we had in sport,” he said. “It’s impressive the way he was playing on a high level, competing, coming back, refusing to stop.

“I could see over the years he’s a nice guy. He’s a family man. But once he’s on the court, he’s a feisty competitor.”

Maria Sharpavoa paid tribute to Hewitt's fighting qualities.

“When you think of players that know how to battle, he’s probably on top of the list,” she said. "Having the spirit of a champion, as he’s had, to be able to still be here after so many years.

“I know he works extremely hard to try to be at the highest level. He has been doing that for years day in, day out. He was never the strongest or the tallest, but he had so many other qualities that got him through. I think that’s really impressive.”

Nick Kyrgios, the man many expect to become Australia's next big star, believes Hewitt's competative nature is almost unrivaled.

"I think he's huge. His attitude and competitiveness I think is second to none.

"Maybe Rafa (Nadal) and him are the greatest competitors of all time.

"When you got him still playing Davis Cup, leading the charge, I think when he's training and you watch that, it's pretty special."

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