She said it took years to overcome feelings of shame, guilt and fear she would not be believed. She and other accusers from South Africa, the US and New Zealand who alleged abuse against Hewitt came forward last year to ask the Hall of Fame to remove the former player from its ranks.
Hewitt, 72, an Australian-born former doubles champion, now lives in Addo in the Eastern Cape.
He won 15 Grand Slam men’s and mixed doubles titles – beating Arthur Ashe, John McEnroe and Bjorn Borg.
At vWimbledon, he won the men’s doubles in 1962, 1964, 1967, 1972, 1978, forming his most famous partnership was with Frew McMillan.
He played tennis in the 1960s and 1970s, coached young players in South Africa in the 1980s, and was inducted into the Tennis Hall of Fame in 1992.
The Rhode Island-based Hall has hired a lawyer to investigate the allegations against Hewitt, who now lives in the southeastern South African town of Addo. The investigation could result in the first expulsion from the Hall.
A man who answered Hewitt's mobile phone on Wednesday said Hewitt was unavailable for comment.
The 72-year-old Hewitt played in the 1960s and 1970s, coached young players in South Africa in the 1980s, and was inducted into the Hall in 1992. At the time of his induction, Sheehan said Wednesday, she was trying to block out memories of abuse that started when he began coaching her when she was 9 and lasted until she was 14.
In December, Sheehan asked South African police to open a rape investigation. Peter Van Niekerk, a South African lawyer who represents Sheehan and others, said nesday that a criminal investigation into the allegations against Hewitt has moved slowly. The spokesman for South Africa's prosecuting authority did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the case.
Twiggy Tolken, 44, a South African now living in New Zealand, said Hewitt began abusing her when she was 12, and her family went to the police when she was 13. Her parents later dropped the case because they did not want Tolken to have to face Hewitt in court, she said. But she said she saved letters he wrote her that detailed his advances and warned her to keep quiet so that if anyone else ever came forward, she would "be able to say, 'It also happened to me, and here's the evidence."
"In all honesty, Bob Hewitt needs to go to jail," Tolken said in a telephone interview.
"The Hall of Fame is where it started," Sheehan said. "Now, I want him to be charged. And then, I'm done. Whether I'm ever going to get my day in court, I don't know. But he needs to be charged."
Among others interviewed as part of the Hall's inquiry is Heather Conner, of West Newbury, Massachusetts. Conner, like Sheehan, agreed to be named.
Click here to view the original