Ex-tennis champ Bob Hewitt allegedly told victim 'rape is enjoyable'

Former Grand Slam doubles champion Bob Hewitt (second right) gestures ahead of court proceedings at the South Gauteng High Court in Johannesburg, Feb 9, 2015. -- PHOTO: REUTERS
Former Grand Slam doubles champion Bob Hewitt (second right) gestures ahead of court proceedings at the South Gauteng High Court in Johannesburg, Feb 9, 2015. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

JOHANNESBURG (AFP) - Australian-born former tennis champion Bob Hewitt who is standing trial for rape and sexual assault in South Africa allegedly told one of his victims "rape is enjoyable", a court heard on Wednesday.

The woman told the court Hewitt, 75, assaulted her during a private tennis lesson when she was a teenager in the early 1990s.

"At a private lesson, he was quite jovial... we were discussing tactics, and he said to me 'rape is enjoyable in all cases and if I rape you, you need to lie down and enjoy it'," she said.

"I would try to pull away from him, he would get angry. I could feel him rubbing himself up and down behind me," the SAPA news agency quoted her as saying in evidence to the Johannesburg court.

The former doubles champion, whose wife has attended court with him, is facing two charges of rape and one of indecent assault during the 1980s and 1990s.

He has pleaded not guilty to all the charges.

Hewitt won numerous Grand Slam events during his career in the 1960s and 1970s and was named to the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 1992.

But his name was removed from the hall of fame in 2012, following allegations that he sexually abused girls he coached.

On Monday, another alleged victim told the court he had touched her inappropriately 34 years ago and forced her to perform a sex act on him when she was 12 and 13.

She claimed that he also raped her during a tournament at Sun City.

On Tuesday, a third alleged victim gave evidence that Hewitt raped her in his car under some trees before tennis practice in Boksburg one day in 1982, when she was 12.

Hewitt was born in Dubbo, Australia but spent most of his time in South Africa.

The trial continues.