DISGRACED Bob Hewitt had been expelled from the International Tennis Hall of Fame (ITHOF)‚ the US-based institute said on Wednesday.

"The expulsion is a result of a conviction against Hewitt on two counts of rape and one count of sexual assault‚" the ITHOF said.

"The conviction was issued by a South African court in March 2015‚ and the appellate courts have now denied the right to further appeals of the conviction."

Hewitt‚ who had a highest singles ranking of six in the world‚ was best known as a doubles player‚ winning nine doubles Grand Slam titles and a further six in mixed doubles.

"Hewitt‚ who was inducted in 1992‚ was indefinitely suspended from the International Tennis Hall of Fame in November 2012‚" the ITHOF said.

"Upon his suspension in 2012‚ his Hall of Fame plaque and all references to him among the Hall of Famers were immediately removed."

Hewitt’s appeal against his sentence is set down to be heard at the Supreme Court of Appeal in Bloemfontein on May 3.

The 76-year-old was sentenced to an effective six years behind bars by Judge Bert Bam in the Pretoria High Court in May last year. He was also ordered to pay R100‚000 to the Department of Justice to be used in initiatives to curb violence against women and children.

Judge Bam found Hewitt guilty in March last year of raping Theresa "Twiggy" Tolken and Suellen Sheehan and of sexually assaulting a third woman‚ who cannot be named‚ when they were his tennis students as teenagers in the 1980s and 1990s.

Judge Bam granted Hewitt leave to appeal his sentence‚ but refused the same for his conviction.

TMG Digital

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