Rio Paralympic finalists Alfie Hewett and Gordon Reid made more British Tennis history today when they guaranteed the first ever British men’s singles champion at the NEC Wheelchair Tennis Masters, the sport’s year-end championship for the top singles players.
World No.2 Hewett produced what he described as his best performance ever to beat two-time defending champion Joachim Gerard of Belgium 6-0, 6-2 in his men’s semi-final at Loughborough Sport Tennis Centre. Hewett’s win ended Gerard’s 13-match winning streak in the NEC Masters dating back to the first day of the 2014 tournament.
”I’ve had a very tough week, both mentally and physically and to have a performance like that I’m quite shocked to be honest. It’s probably the best match I’ve ever played and to do it at this stage of the season and with today being such a big match and going through to the final, I couldn’t be happier,” said Hewett. “You have days when you just feel unstoppable and today was that day and to have guaranteed a British winner on home soil is very special,”
Hewett’s victory came just over an hour after Rio Paralympic champion Reid reached his second successive NEC Masters final by defeating Japan’s three-time champion Shingo Kunieda 7-5, 6-4.
“I’m really happy with the performance today. It was a close match and Shingo was playing really well, so I’m really glad to come through,” said world No.3 Reid, who came from 5-1 down and later three match point downs to beat Argentina’s world No.1 Gustavo Fernandez in Friday’s last day of round-robin pool matches.
Photo courtesy of the Tennis Foundation