A Hometown Hero Farewelled In Front Of Huge Crowd At The World Tennis Challenge


The World Tennis Challenge action continued at Memorial Drive on Wednesday night as the crowd said farewell to our very own Ley Ley (a.k.a. Llleyton Hewitt).

And what an epic send off it was – Lleyton Hewitt (AUS) showed the crowd just what a battler he is and why he’s respected by both his peers and the public for his tenacity on court. His 2hr 13 min battle against Marin Cilic (CRO) was as good as it gets, with both men playing some fantastic tennis.

Cilic took the first set in a tie break 7-6 (7-5) only to see Lleyton fight back to take out the second in another tie break 7-6 (13-11). The third set tie break saw the Croatian take game, set and match 8-6. As the crowd rose to give Hewitt a standing ovation, the hometown hero, who won his first ATP event at the Memorial Drive venue back in 1998, said farewell to the Adelaide fans.

The opening game of the night prior to the Hewitt v Cilic match saw the Iva Majoli (CRO) prove too strong for Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario (SPA) with the Croatians enjoying another win for the night 6-3

The men’s legends – a fast four match between the big servers Philippoussis (AUS) v Ivanisevic (CRO) gave the Australians a win over Croatia with Philippoussis taking match 4-1.

The mixed doubles to end a fantastic night of tennis was hilarious with Cilic taking to the court adding a third player to the Ivanisevic/Majoli team which certainly gave them the edge over Philippoussis/Sanchez-Vicario team. The Croatians increased their advantage when Ivanisevic suggested the umpire go home and took to umpiring – and commentating the game. Needless to say the Croatians took the fast four set match 4-1.

Fun facts:

4171 tennis fans saw Lleyton Hewitt play his final match as a pro-circuit player on the same court he won his first ATP event.

On your bike….
Team Sky – in town for the Tour Down Under called in to enjoy the action, as did South Aussie with Cosi, Andrew Costello and his family.

Where did you find that…
Tennis legend, the late Ken McGregor namesake of the Ken McGregor Foundation which supports talented young players, was unfortunately notorious for not keeping his trophies. It was a wonderful surprise at the annual “WTC Legends’ Lunch” when his children Scott and Sue were presented with his 1950 US open mixed doubles trophy. Tennis SA ‘found’ the trophy with a private collector and arranged for it to be presented to his rather emotional and very grateful children.

Who needs a Grand slam title??
“When I grow up I want to play exhibition tennis” – has to be the tweet of the night

We’re fiercely local
All 20 of our WTC officials are South Australians.

There is still one more night of action to be played and you can find out more/get tickets here.


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