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Former No. 1 Hewitt Joins ATP Delray Beach Field Next Week

Posted on February 19, 2009

Two-time Grand Slam champion and 1999 Delray Beach ITC winner Lleyton Hewitt has accepted a wildcard to play in next week's 17th annual ATP World Tour event at the Delray Beach Tennis Center and Stadium.

It will be the first trip back to the tournament for the former world No. 1 since winning the event's inaugural title in Delray Beach as a teenager. Both Hewitt and finalist Xavier Malisse were 18 years old and formed the youngest final in tournament history.

"It's good to go back to Delray Beach; it's been a long time since I've played there," said Hewitt,
who turns 28 on Tuesday. "The surface has changed as well. I won there on green clay courts and it's
going to be good to go back and play on hardcourt. I'm looking forward to it."

Hewitt joins a star-studded field at the Delray Beach ITC that includes 2008 US Open quarterfinalist Mardy Fish, 2006 Australian Open finalist Marcos Baghdatis, 4-time Grand Slam semifinalist Tommy Haas, 2-time French Open quarterfinalist Guillermo Canas and the 7-time doubles Grand Slam champion Bryan Brothers."

"We've waited a long time for Lleyton to return and we're thrilled that it's worked out with his
schedule," said Delray Beach ITC tournament director Mark Baron. "It's great to have a former
champion back with us."

After winning the Delray Beach title -- his second as a pro -- Hewitt went on to move up nearly 100
ranking spots, finishing 1999 at No. 22. By 2001, when he won the US Open and the year-end Masters
Cup, he was No. 1 in the world, a distinction he held through 2002 when he was the Wimbledon
champion and won a second Masters Cup. Hewitt has won 26 ATP titles to go with his pair of Grand Slam wins.

The Adelaide, Australia native had season-ending hip surgery in 2008 and is in his first months
back on the ATP World Tour.

"For me right now, it's about getting as many matches as possible," said Hewitt of his decision to play in Delray Beach. "It's a strong field but hopefully I can win a few matches."

Tickets to see Hewitt and his fellow ATP World Tour stars can be purchased by calling 561-330-6000 or visiting the tournament website at Ticket prices are as low as $15 for early tournament sessions, and $20-$30 for the quarterfinals through finals. Fans can also attend early-week day sessions FREE by participating in one of several promotions that are listed on the tournament website.

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