Bob Hewitt won a total of including 15 Grand Slams in his career (Photo:
Bob Hewitt won a total of including 15 Grand Slams in his career (Photo:

Tennis champion Bob Hewitt has been charged with rape and sexual assault of children.

Hewitt, 73, is accused of raping a girl under the age of 16 in in 1981 in Sun City, South Africa, and another girl under 16 in Boksburg, a city east of Johannesburg, in 1982.

The multiple Grand Slam doubles champion is also accused of sexually assaulting a girl under the age of 18 in Boksburg in 1994.

Hewitt, considered one of the greatest doubles players of al time, has previously denied the accusations. He did not attend the court hearing because of ill health.

Organisations including the Northfield Methodist Church and Women and Men against Child Abuse picketed the courthouse with placards that read "Protect our kids from sexual predators", reported the Independent Online.

During his career, Hewitt won the men's doubles at Wimbledon in 1962, 1964, 1967, 1972, 1978. His most famous partnership was with Frew McMillan. He also triumphed in the mixed doubles in 1977 and 1979.

He won a total of 71 doubles and mixed doubles titles, including 15 Grand Slams.

He retired in 1983, going on to become a TV commentator and fruit farmer.

After being inducted into the Hall of Fame tennis hall of Fame in 1992, he was suspended indefinitely in the wake of the allegations in November 2012.