ATP HERITAGE PROGRAMME
ATP Heritage: Lleyton Hewitt, 2001-02
by ATP Staff|
On 23 August, ATP celebrates the 40th anniversary of the Emirates ATP Rankings. We continue our countdown with a look at Lleyton Hewitt, the 2001-02 year-end No. 1. #ATPHeritage
Lleyton Hewitt, a hard worker, outstanding defender and shot selector from Australia, remains the youngest man in history to rise to No. 1 in the Emirates ATP Rankings.
It happened, officially, on 19 November 2001, when he was aged 20 years, eight months.
A few days before Hewitt had beaten his hero, Patrick Rafter, in the round robin stage of the 2001 Tennis Masters Cup [now named Barclays ATP World Tour Finals] in Sydney to reach the summit of men's professional tennis and clinch the year-end No. 1.
Hewitt won his first ATP World Tour title as a 17 year old at Adelaide in January 1998. He had already won the Davis Cup in 1999 and also captured his first major at the 2001 US Open, with a flurry of winners past Pete Sampras.
"Growing up, the three things I wanted to do were win a Grand Slam, the Davis Cup and get to World No. 1," said Hewitt. "In the end, the World No. 1 was the last of the three.
"An even better achievement, I think, was the following year when I held the No. 1 ranking the whole year, and won the Tennis Masters Cup [in Shanghai] when No. 1 was up for grabs again."
In 2002, Hewitt beat David Nalbandian to become the first Australian to win at The Championships, Wimbledon, for 15 years. He finished runner-up at the 2004 US Open (l. to Federer) and 2005 Australian Open (l. to Safin).
The Adelaide native spent a total of 80 weeks at No. 1, before he lost the position to Andre Agassi on 16 June 2003. A winner of 28 singles titles, he is contesting his 17th year as a professional in 2013.
Read more about Hewitt in "No. 1", our special commemorative coffee table book, celebrating all year-end ATP World Tour No. 1s over the past 40 years. Buy Online Through Tennis Warehouse: Europe | Outside Europe
This year, the ATP pays special tribute to 25 former World No. 1s as part of the ATP Heritage programme, marking 40 years since the ranking system was introduced in 1973.