Australian Davis Cup captain Lleyton Hewitt’s son, Cruz, makes winning start at famed junior tennis tournament
Cruz Hewitt, son of Australian tennis legend Lleyton, has won his first-round match at an elite junior tournament in another sign of his promise.
Another Hewitt is starting to make his mark on the world tennis stage.
Australian legend Lleyton Hewitt’s son, Cruz, has won his opening match in the 14-and-under boys’ singles at the prestigious Orange Bowl International Tennis Championships in Florida.
The junior tournament has provided a springboard for many future champions, including Roger Federer, Andy Roddick, Boris Becker, Jim Courier, Monica Seles, Chris Evert and Jennifer Capriati.
Cruz Hewitt beat local player Minato Koido 6-3, 6-4 on Thursday to set up a second-round showdown with No.9 seed Carel Ngounoue, another American.
Cruz’s father – Australia’s Davis Cup captain – is believed to be with him in Florida as he was when Cruz clinched the Australian 12-and-under singles and doubles clay-court titles in Canberra in April.
There is an increasing belief that Cruz has the ability to follow in his father’s footsteps and eventually become a professional tennis player.
Lleyton became the youngest-ever player to qualify for the Australian Open at 15 years and 11 months in 1997.
“(Cruz) improved a lot in the last two years,” Lleyton told News Corp this month.
“He did really well to win the clay-court nationals – he won singles and doubles and didn’t lose a set in the singles, which, for him, was good.
“Obviously, there is a bit of pressure and expectation as well for him going out and playing in an event like that. For him to handle that and get the pace of it was really important.
“In the scheme of things, yes, it is nice to win, but it really means very little at the end of the day when you are trying to become a professional … (it’s) one small stepping stone in his career.
“As long as he is getting the enjoyment of going out there and having fun – he likes hitting with other kids and being around that as well – you don’t want to take that away from them.”
Hewitt regularly brings his son to Davis Cup camps and matches, where he hits with team members and has formed a strong bond with Australia’s top-ranked men’s player, Alex de Minaur.
Cruz Hewitt isn’t the only familiar name in the Orange Bowl 14-and-under boys’ draw, with former world No.1 Lindsay Davenport’s son, Jagger Leach, also advancing to round two.