IT’S usually her brother Lleyton who’s in the spotlight, but Jaslyn Hewitt was a hit with rising Singleton tennis stars at Howe Park on Saturday.
The former professional player visited town, for the first time, in her coaching role for the National Academy.
And, Hewitt was impressed by what she saw.
“We’re all allocated a region,” she told The Argus.
“So, I’m here to see how the youngsters are going; and getting a feel for what the local coaches are doing.
“The kids’ willingness and desire to play in Singleton is good – one girl wanted to have a hit, even though she was wearing a moon boot.
“From what I’ve seen, the players’ skills are alright, too.”
Hewitt represented her country many times at junior level, including competing at the 2000 Junior Commonwealth Games.
In 2005 she reached a career-high singles ranking of 304 and, in doubles, peaked at 322 on the WTA Pro Tour.
Winning against Alicia Molik and Samantha Stosur, she also competed on the WTA circuit against players such as Amanda Coetzer and Klara Koukalova.
Unfortunately, Hewitt’s promising tennis career was cut short, after badly breaking her hand.
But, she’s thrilled to be involved in the game.
“It’s an opportunity to put something back into the sport,” Hewitt said.
“I’d like to improve the next generation of players.
“It’s a great sport.”
One thing she’s also happy to talk about is her much-loved sibling.
“I guess it’s a plus being Lleyton’s sister,” she said with a laugh.
“He’s a great guy, even though he got a bad rap early on in his career.
“However, it’s the same with the likes of Bernie [Bernard Tomic] and Nick [Kyrgios].
“I think he’s the right man to lead the Australian Davis Cup side.
“He’s got the respect of the players; they love him.”
Howe Park head coach Gary Brenton was delighted to host Hewitt’s visit.
“It’s a coup for the club to have Jaslyn here today,” he said.
“She’s a terrific role model for the children – and a great ambassador for the sport.
“And, it’s something the 20 or so kids [here today] will remember for a long time.”