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Tennis star faces sexual abuse charges

ESPN staff
June 24, 2013 « Live County Championship coverage | Chartbeat test »
Allegations have led to Bob Hewitt being suspended from the International Tennis Hall of Fame © Getty Images
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Former Grand Slam doubles champion Bob Hewitt has been served a summons to appear in a South African court to face allegations he sexually abused young girls he coached decades ago, prosecutors told Associated Press.

A summons was served to the 73-year-old Hewitt the weekend before last and he has been ordered to appear at Boksburg Magistrate's Court near Johannesburg on August 16, when he will learn what criminal charges he faces.

Hewitt denied all the accusations when contacted by the AP in a telephone interview. He said he would appear in court but wouldn't say what the charges were as "they had not been made public".

"I'll keep it private," he said. "I'm innocent of all charges and these accusations have caused untold hardship on my family." He added he intended to sue his accusers.

Hewitt has been the subject of a long investigation into accusations relating to his conduct in the 1970s through to the 1990s.

He won 15 doubles and mixed doubles titles at all four Grand Slam events between 1963 and 1979 and is widely recognised as one of the greatest doubles players. He was indefinitely suspended from the International Tennis Hall of Fame last November because of the allegations.

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