Home » Cruz Hewitt’s epic year in tennis reaches new high

Cruz Hewitt’s epic year in tennis reaches new high

Cruz Hewitt has been selected to make his debut for Australia in the Junior Davis Cup, following in the team tennis footsteps of his illustrious dad Lleyton.

Lleyton is the captain of the senior Davis Cup squad in the ‘World Cup of tennis’ event that has long been one of the favourite parts of his sporting life — and the man who won the Cup twice as a player will be proud his talented 15-year-old son is now carrying on the tradition.

Cruz, the ITF’s 226th ranked junior, will don the green and gold for the first time after earlier this year making his grand slam debut in the Australian Open boys’ singles.

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Cruz be playing alongside 16-year-old West Australian Cameron Burton and 15-year-old South Australian Jeffrey Strydom at the Asia-Oceania qualifying event in Kazakhstan from May 20-25.

The top four nations in the qualifier will advance to November’s finals.

The Hewitt family at Lleyton’s induction into the Australian Tennis Hall of Fame in January. Credit: Graham Denholm/Getty Images

The team will be captained by Sandon Stolle, the former world No.2 doubles player who is himself the son of a famous tennis dad, Fred Stolle, the two-time grand slam winner.

“I look forward to taking my first Junior Davis Cup team away and to continue supporting our high performing athletes,” said Stolle, Tennis Australia’s National Development Squad Coach in South Australia.

“It’s a great experience for these young guys to play for Australia and be part of the green and gold history of tennis.”

The competition is for teams featuring players 16-and-under takes place after a qualifier for the equivalent event for girls, the Junior Billie Jean King Cup, at the same Shymkent venue next week.

The Australian Junior BJK Cup team is 14-year-old Renee Alame (NSW), Ava Beck (15, Victoria) and Tahlia Kokkinis (15, Queensland) and will be captained by Jessica Moore, who played in the senior competition for Australia.

Cruz’s burgeoning career reached a new high when, 27 years after Lleyton became the youngest qualifier to make the Australian Open main draw at just 15, he made his first appearance at Melbourne Park.

He received a taste of what Lleyton experienced when a big crowd packed into Court 3 for the occasion.

Among those in the stands were his former world No.1 father and mum Bec, Lleyton’s parents Glynn and Cherilyn, Australian star Jordan Thompson, and the 15-year-old’s own coach Peter Luczak.

The family shared a special moment in the morning when Luczak stepped aside so Lleyton could have the honour of warming up with his son.

Hewitt got off to a hot start in his match against 17-year-old sixth seed Alexander Razeghi when he won long rallies and broke the American to love, but his powerful forehand began to betray him from the very next game.

A rain delay in the first set put a temporary stop to proceedings before the match resumed and Razeghi raced towards a 6-2 6-3 victory in one hour and 26 minutes, the crowd inside the 3000-seat arena giving both players warm applause.

“Just unbelievably proud, to be honest,” Lleyton told Nine prior to the match.

“He wanted me to go out and warm him up. They asked me late last night if I’d actually go out and warm him up this morning on Show Court 3. Just a really special moment.

“My first ever main-draw match at the Australian Open was actually out on Show Court 3 as well, so just some great memories coming back of me playing here.”

– with 7NEWS