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Former world No. 1 and two-time Grand Slam tournament champion Lleyton Hewitt has committed to play in the Campbell's Hall of Fame Tennis Championships, to be hosted July 9 - 15, 2012 on the historic grass courts of the International Tennis Hall of Fame in Newport, Rhode Island. After more than a decade on the pro tour, Hewitt's feisty playing style has kept him as one of the most exciting players to follow. Hewitt was ranked world No. 1 for a total of 80 weeks, and he has finished the season in the top-25 ten times in eleven years (1999 - 2009). In addition to his two major titles, Hewitt won two Tennis Masters Cup titles (2001, 2002), and he captured at least one title each season from 1998 - 2010, with the exception of 2008, for a total of 28 singles titles and two doubles titles to date.
"With his tenacity on court and aggressive playing style, Lleyton always brings a great energy to a tournament. We look forward to welcoming him back to Newport for what is sure to be a great week," said Tournament Director Mark L. Stenning.
This will be Hewitt's second appearance in Newport, where he made it to the second round in 1998- after one of his earliest match wins on the ATP World Tour. Hewitt joins a dynamic and growing field for Newport, which is the only tournament on grass courts in North or South America, and offers the only opportunity to see men's pro tennis in the Northeast before the US Open. The event is hosted immediately after Wimbledon and precedes the summer Olympics, which will also be played on grass courts. In addition to Hewitt, players slated to compete in Newport include the tournament's defending champion John Isner, currently ranked world No. 11; the record-setting, world No. 1 doubles team, the Bryan Brothers; and rising star Milos Raonic, currently ranked world No. 26.
After playing Australian Rules football for most of his childhood, Hewitt began to focus on tennis at the age of 13. Just two years later, he became the youngest qualifier in the history of the Australian Open in 1997 at age 15. He won the first of his 28 ATP World Tour singles titles the following year at Adelaide at 16 years, 10 months old, making him the youngest winner on Tour since Michael Chang in 1988.
In 2001, at the age of 20 years, 8 months Hewitt became the youngest player in the history of the ATP World Tour rankings to finish world No. 1, and he was the first Australian to do so. En route to this feat, he won a career-best six titles that season, including the Tennis Master Cup and the US Open, where he defeated Pete Sampras. The following year, Hewitt held the No. 1 ranking every week of the season, and defeated Tim Henman to capture the Wimbledon title.
Hewitt has been an integral part of Australia's Davis Cup team throughout his career, having been part of the team that won the title in 1999 and 2003 and the teams that reached the final in 2000 and 2001. By the age of 22, he had recorded more wins in Davis Cup singles than any other Australian player, and he currently has a 49/14 record in singles and doubles. Although injured this week, Hewitt will play a mentoring role for the Australian team as they face South Korea in Davis Cup play.
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