London | Hewett makes history at Queen’s
Alfie Hewett made history on Sunday when he beat fellow Brit Gordon Reid 6-2 7-5 at The Queen’s Club in London to win the first Fever-Tree Wheelchair Tennis Championships to have world ranking status.
To give us an opportunity that’s not been there before to play some competitive matches ahead of Wimbledon is fantastic. This is a special event to be a part of at Queen’s Club Alfie Hewett
Meanwhile, Australian Open champions Joachim Gerard of Belgium and Stefan Olsson of Sweden lived up to their top-seeding with a clinical performance to beat Hewett and Reid 6-1 6-0 in the men’s doubles final.
Hewett got the better of three breaks of serve in the first four games of the men’s singles final to take an early 3-1 lead over former Wimbledon champion Reid and maintained his consistency to seize the initiative.
Reid gained the first break of the second set to edge 4-3 ahead. However, Hewett responded and a service hold to love gave the 21-year-old reigning US Open champion a 6-5 lead. A double fault from Reid brought up match point and Hewett calmly manoeuvred himself into place to wrap up victory over the world No.8 with a forehand down the line winner.
World No.3 Hewett said: “I’ve played some really good tennis over the years and I’ve tried to figure out my identity on the court and how I want to play, so to come here this week and try a few things out and for it to pay off is absolutely great!
“To give us an opportunity that’s not been there before to play some competitive matches ahead of Wimbledon is fantastic. This is a special event to be a part of at Queen’s Club.”
Although finishing runner-up on Sunday, Reid is looking forward to trying to reclaim the Wimbledon title he won in 2016. He said: “It’s been a good week. I had a good win yesterday against Stefan Olsson, the defending Wimbledon champion and a good player on grass, so I’m happy with my tennis this week. I’ve got a few things to work on from today’s match, but that’s the reason we’re here to play the games before Wimbledon and get to used to playing on the grass again.”
With Hewett and Reid back on court less than an hour after their singles final, the reigning Wimbledon and US Open champions were never able to find anything near their best tennis, and reigning Australian Open and British Open champions Gerard and Olsson added their names to the historic roll of honour at The Queen’s Club.
With the Fever-Tree Championships hosting the first ever grass-court ranking tournament on the ITF’s UNIQLO Wheelchair Tennis Tour outside of Wimbledon, Sunday’s finalists now turn their attention to completing their preparation for the wheelchair tennis event at The Championships on 11-14 July.
After Wimbledon Hewett, Reid, Gerard and Olsson will be among the world’s leading stars heading to the Nottingham Tennis Centre for the 30th British Open Wheelchair Tennis Championships on 23-28 July.