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Bob Hewitt denies raping woman

The former tennis champ says it would be impossible to have sex with a student without injuring her.

Former South African tennis star Bob Hewitt and his wife Delaille at the Palm Ridge Magistrate's Court where Hewitt faces charges of rape and indecent assault. Picture: Kgothatso Mogale/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - It would be impossible to have sex with a 12-year-old student without her being injured, former tennis champion Bob Hewitt said on Friday.

Sheehan and Theresa Tolken claim the 75-year-old raped them when he was their tennis coach more than three decades ago.

Hewitt is on trial in a High Court sitting in the Palm Ridge Magistrates for allegedly raping and sexually assaulting three women.

He denies all charges.

A third woman has opted to remain anonymous.

Hewitt said: "If I had sex with Tolken, she would've had to go to the hospital straight. I can assure you.

"If the witness claimed she pulled her own panties down, then how can the state say there was no consent," he asked the court.

The former player said letters he wrote Tolken was him just trying to provide fatherly love to her because he felt sorry for her.

He said she didn't have a good relationship with her father.

Tolken claimed Hewitt made her touch him inappropriately and raped her.

Prosecutor Carina Coetzee pointed out that Hewitt wrote the word love eight times in a letter addressed to Tolken.

Hewitt told Tolken that he loved her, that his heart started beating faster when he knew he was going to see her and that he wanted to kiss her.

He has admitted the letters pictured here were inappropriate.

His wife, Delaille, earlier told the court she never found his behaviour towards students inappropriate.

In a bizarre statement on Thursday, Hewitt said comments he made about "rape being enjoyable" were not directed at his female students and he was referring to the matter in tennis terms.

The prosecutor tried to find out why Hewitt would joke about rape, when at the time he had been charged with rape, but Hewitt couldn't explain.

The case will resume next week.