The next chapter awaits for Hewitt
Watching the last match of Australian tennis legend, Leyton Hewitt, at the Australian Open last night was very emotive. He is such a celebrated athlete here and the Australian Open is his ultimate home of adoring fans.
As he was acknowledging the crowd and lapping up the exuberance and adoration for the last time after his defeat to David Ferrer, I couldn’t help thinking about what awaits him in his life without this level of adrenaline to look forward to. It was incredible to witness how loved he was last night. I was wondering what was going through his head knowing it would be the last time he would experience that incredible feeling.
He seems like a very switched on individual and respected member of the tennis community who has been acting as a mentor to the younger guns coming through for Australia. It remains to be seen how much this will satisfy him going forward. It is a great thing being involved in the sport as a coach, if a real love of the sport really still exists, but a huge adjustment in mentality is required.
Many athletes distance themselves from their sport just after their retirement in order to move on and deal with the loss of their old life in a completely different environment. Hewitt will be doing this whilst still remaining in the tennis world. It would be interesting to interview him in a years time to see if he has found it harder or easier to let go in that environment.
Last night he was the centre of the tennis universe but when he woke up this morning he faced life without the lure of top level sport and top level adoration. We wish him all the best with his next chapter.