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Cruz Hewitt makes Australian Open junior debut in front of parents Bec and Lleyton Hewitt, family and big crowd


Cruz Hewitt has made his Australian Open debut in the junior boys’ championship, receiving a taste of what dad Lleyton experienced as a big crowd packed into Court 3 for the occasion on Sunday.

Among those in the stands were his former world No.1 father but mum Bec, Lleyton’s parents Glynn and Cherilyn and Australian star Jordan Thompson.

Hewitt, 15, got off to a hot start when he broke 17-year-old sixth seed Alexander Razeghi to love but his powerful forehand began to betray him from the very next game.

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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 Court 3 arena gave both players warm applause throughout the match.

Hewitt, showing some frustration against a left-handed opponent who seemed to have all the answers, began to try different strategies through the middle of the match.

He tapped into some serve-volley tactics, pushed Razeghi around the court and found an extra gear to crack first serves near 190km/h after an hour of play.

Hewitt extended the match when he eked out a hold for 5-3 in the second set despite being two points away from defeat.

His wildcard appearance came 28 years after Lleyton, then a month shy of 15, reached the second round in the same event.

It also kicked off the next stage of the younger Hewitt’s career after already switching between the ITF junior and men’s circuits last year.

He has won three junior titles but is yet to qualify for a main draw of an ITF men’s tournament, having fallen at the final hurdle twice.

Hewitt’s hopes of making a leap received a boost last week when he spent time on the practice court with Thiem one day and de Minaur the next.

Lleyton, Australia’s Davis Cup captain, was on hand to help both through the session.

Cruz Hewitt trained with Alex de Minaur before the Australian Open got underway. Credit: Kelly Defina/Getty Images

The junior Hewitt had a session with Jannik Sinner before the 2020 Australian Open when the Italian star was an 18-year-old ranked just inside the world’s top 100.

Lleyton’s own debut in the 1996 junior championship kicked off two decades of appearances in Melbourne.

The then 15-year-old famously received a wildcard into men’s qualifying in 1997 and upstaged former world No.80 Mark Petchey to reach the main draw.

The Australian was beaten by two-time French Open champion Sergi Bruguera in the first round.

Elsewhere on Sunday in Melbourne, Australian juniors Pavle Marinkov and Alana Subasic both won through to the second round.

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