LLEYTON Hewitt is undoubtedly a tennis legend after winning Wimbledon and the US Open during an illustrious career.
But now his lookalike son is following in his footsteps and dreams of emulating his father's achievements on the court.
Cruz Lleyton Hewitt, 14, was born in December 2008 at the end of a difficult year for his dad with a persistent hip injury that required surgery and his first season on the ATP Tour that did not yield a title.
However, come the end of the year, the Aussie star was celebrating with actress wife Bec Cartwright, whom he proposed to after six weeks of dating and married at the Sydney Opera House, as they welcomed their second child.
Now their teenager is making waves for himself in the tennis world.
In April 2021, aged 12, Cruz won the Australian junior championships on clay in Canberra.
And he has kicked on by lifting his first ITF Juniors title in Fiji last November.
The youngster has added a further two trophies in 2023 under the watchful coaching eyes of former pro Matt Reid and his dad – as well as a brief training camp at the Rafa Nadal Academy.
However, he fell just short at Sydney's IMF last week, falling in the quarter-finals with his proud father watching on in a black tracksuit and sneakers.
The Hewitt family have even moved from Melbourne to their new $2.57million ($4m AUD) home in the Gold Coast as part of their Cruz Mission to help their middle child's development.
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The area has a host of tennis centers including the popular state-of-the-art KDV academy facility, with 20 courts, a hotel, gyms, a swimming pool, and even a golf driving range.
Hewitt Jr., currently ranked No. 327 in the ITF Juniors, is said to be better than his famous father at the same age and is showing strong potential of rising up to the very top of the game.
There is certainly a familiar look to Cruz's groundstrokes, which are almost a carbon copy of the shots that saw Lleyton become the then-youngest world No. 1 at 20 years old in 2001.
And the blonde hair and baseball cap – plus the synonymous Yonex racket – mean Cruz is a dead ringer for the star that burst on to the scene at the turn of the century.
Hewitt Sr., now 42, won the first of his two majors at Flushing Meadows in 2001, beating ex-world No. 1-turn-golfer-turn-poker-player Yevgeny Kafelnikov in the semis and then four-time champ Pete Sampras the next day in straight sets.
The Adelaide-born ace backed that up by claiming the world No. 1 spot after winning the year-end Tennis Masters Cup and in 2002 landed the Wimbledon crown.
He dropped just two sets on his way to glory at the All England Club, defeating Tim Henman and David Nalbandian in the semis and final in straight sets.
Hewitt would surely have won more than 30 career titles including those two Grand Slams and $20.9million in prize money but for the emergence of Roger Federer.
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The Swiss legend, born in the same year as Hewitt, dominated tennis single-handedly from 2004 to 2007 by winning 11 of the 16 majors, breezing past the Aussie in the 2004 US Open final.
Now he balances his family time and helping Cruz with captaining Australia's Davis Cup team, enabling his son to spend time regularly around the country's top stars including Alex De Minaur and Nick Kyrgios.
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