February 9, 2015 / 11:54 AM / 4 years ago

Ex-tennis champion Bob Hewitt pleads not guilty to rape of minors

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - Former Grand Slam doubles champion Bob Hewitt pleaded not guilty to two charges of rape and one charge of sexual assault of minors at a court in South Africa on Monday.

A frail-looking Hewitt, 75, attended the first day of his trial at the South Gauteng High Court in Johannesburg where he denied all the charges related to his time coaching children in South Africa in the 1980s.

Australian-born Hewitt, who arrived at court in a cream suit and accompanied by his wife, won nine Grand Slam doubles and six mixed doubles titles in the 1960s and 1970s.

He also reached the semi finals of the men’s singles at the Australian Open three times and won the Davis Cup with South Africa in 1974 after settling there.

Hewitt missed earlier court dates for health reasons. His doctor said last year that Hewitt remains ill after suffering from a stroke in 2010 and a heart attack in 2011.

Reporting by Joe Brock

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