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Playing in the Present | Alfie Hewett on becoming World No.2

Playing in the Present | Alfie Hewett on becoming World No.2
© Anna Vasalaki

He’s won his first Grand Slam singles title at Roland Garros, successfully defended his Wimbledon doubles crown with Gordon Reid and made a dazzling debut at the US Open this year.

But just when you think there is nothing left for Britain’s Alfie Hewett to achieve in 2017 he only goes and reaches a new career best ranking, becoming World number two in the men’s open division.

I think it shows just how well I’ve done over the last I’d say twelve yes but I’d also say six months – ever since Roland Garros to be fair.

Ever since then it’s given me a different level to my game and I feel like I’ve consistently performed well.

Alfie Hewett

The British number one has risen up the rankings once again after winning the Bath Indoor singles title at the weekend, his first tournament back since competing at his first ever US Open where he won the doubles title with Reid and finished as runner-up to Stephane Houdet in the singles.

He said: “It’s a great achievement. The start of my year was a bit shaky but I’ve found of this kind of level now, I’ve been getting really good results and to claim another title is big for me as well.

“I think it shows just how well I’ve done over the last I’d say twelve yes but I’d also say six months – ever since Roland Garros to be fair.

“Ever since then it’s given me a different level to my game and I feel like I’ve consistently performed well.”

The next couple of weeks sees Hewett competing in both of the big year-end tournaments

The doubles Masters in Holland this week will see him on court once again alongside fellow Brit and the partner with whom he has won three Grand Slam doubles titles, Reid.

And a week later he will be returning to home turf to try and contest the NEC singles Masters in Loughborough.



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Alfie won the men's singles in Bath

Alfie with ball kids and officials

© Gemma-Louise Stevenson

Playing in the present

Hewett is not a player who focuses too much on ranking and where he sits against the other top players and very much believes if he puts the performances in and concentrates on that then the rankings will take care of themselves.

He said lightheartedly: “Like this week and becoming World number two everyone’s been telling me all week it was a possibility and I’ve been trying not focus on it and that’s all anyone keeps bring up.

“I don’t look at prize money, I don’t look at ranking or anything like that I try to focus purely on the process and the performance stuff to win the matches not the outcome.

“It came into my mind of course, especially near the end of the Bath final, but I’ve been in the situation enough times to know how to get out of it and not think too far in the future and stay in the present during matchplay.”


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Hewett made a dazzling debut at the US Open

US Open - Alfie Hewett (credit Tennis Foundation)

© Tennis Foundation

And when you sit down with Hewett after any match it doesn’t take long to realise that he is an incredibly intelligent player and wise beyond his years when it comes to analysing his performances and staying in the present.

Hinting at perhaps another reason why he’s had the success he has so early on in his senior tennis career and why there is still yet more to come no doubt from this teenage ace from Norfolk.

He continued: “Being in the present moment is something that me and my sports psych have really been working on so much and as much as I moan about points in the past actually it’s just as big to think too much into the future.

“Like taking the first set 6-0 and being ahead in the final at the weekend if I’d thought ‘ah I’ll be World number two if I win this set’ it would have totally distracted me from what I have to focus on and what I need to play my best.

“Because all of the top guys, like Stefan, they’re really great players and you have to play your best tennis to beat them anywhere and on any court.”




About The Author

Gemma-Louise Stevenson

Gemma is a journalist, presenter and commentator with specialisms in para-sport and tennis. She has been following the wheelchair tennis tour for a number of years now reporting from some of the major events, including Grand Slams, for various online, print and broadcast outlets, including the BBC. Gemma has also been commissioned to write a number of books on the sport. It is her ultimate ambition to see the wheelchair, VI, deaf and learning disability versions of the game reported equally and alongside the ATP and WTA tours and to be part of the group of journalists that helps to make that happen. Follow her on Twitter @gstevensonsport

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