Melbourne | Alfie and Hewitt reach singles and doubles wheelchair finals

Alfie Hewett and Gordon Reid will contest both the men’s singles and men’s doubles wheelchair finals between them for a third successive year at the Australian Open after Hewett maintained his bid for a first singles title at Melbourne Park when beating Japan’s Takuya Miki 6-1 6-1 today.

I’m going to be up against a fearless competitor who’s pretty much going to go for every single shot that’s in his range, so I’ve got to put the relationships with the past two finals aside and just focus purely on what I can do to stop him playing his best tennis. Alfie Hewett

World No.1 Hewett show-cased the full range of shots in his armoury as he raced to the opening set in just 28-minutes, the backhand that is so often his most potent weapon standing out among a mixture of power, precision and delicate touches.

Hewett’s dominance only increased early in the second set as he reeled off 13 points in a row before an indifferent service game temporarily checked his momentum. But he was soon back on track and wrapped up victory with successive forehand and backhand winners to reach his third successive Australian Open final and his 13th Grand Slam singles final.

After narrow three-set losses in the last two finals, Hewett will bid for his first Australian Open and seventh Grand Slam singles title on Saturday, when he plays Japan’s world No.4 Tokito Oda, a player he beat 6-2 6-2 a week ago to win the Melbourne Open Super Series tournament. Hewett said:

“There weren’t many games today that I didn’t deserve to win and I think it was a fairly strong level from me, which of course I’m going to try and implement in the final. But it’s two different matches and Miki is a different player to Tokito. I’m going to have to play a lot of (different) tactical shots. I played Oda last week, so I know what works well, but I’m sure he’ll be doing his research, too.


Alfie Hewett in action during his semi-final

Cameron Spencer/Getty Images

“I’m going to be up against a fearless competitor who’s pretty much going to go for every single shot that’s in his range, so I’ve got to put the relationships with the past two finals aside and just focus purely on what I can do to stop him playing his best tennis.”

Hewett and Reid, who are both supported by the LTA’s Elite Wheelchair Programme, also faced Japanese opposition in their men’s doubles semi-final, reaching their 14th successive final together at the majors with a 6-4 6-4 victory over Daisuke Arai and Takashi Sanada.

The 15-time Grand Slam winners had to come back from 4-2 down to take the opening set but then ensured the momentum firmly in their favour, opening up a 5-1 second-set lead. However, arguably their biggest challenge was sealing match point and they needed six opportunities before Arai overhit a forehand to end the contest.

Hewett and Reid now face Dutch partnership Maikel Scheffers and Ruben Spaargaren tomorrow (Friday) when they bid to win their fourth successive Australian Open doubles title and their 16th Grand Slam crown together. Reid said:

“Those guys played well today and they had a couple of good patches at the start of the match. After being 5-1 down in the second set they were then pretty much making everything, so credit to them. But we found a way to get through the match and we’re happy with our problem-solving and we’ll try and take that into the final tomorrow.”

Hewett added:

“We got off to a slow start, just getting used to the conditions in the arena. It was definitely a lot windier than it was yesterday. After my singles, as well, we needed to get into a few rallies to find the intensity and they came out extremely pumped and brought a really high level, I thought. From 4-4 in the first set to 5-1 in the second we played the sort of level we both know we’re capable of and just fell off with the intensity towards the end.”

Lucy’s Shuker’s hopes of making it to a third successive Australian Open women’s doubles final with a third different partner came to an end when the British No.1 and her American partner Dana Mathewson lost out to Dutch top seeds Diede de Groot and Aniel van Koot 6-2 6-1.



“I’m going to be up against a fearless competitor who’s pretty much going to go for every single shot that’s in his range, so I’ve got to put the relationships with the past two finals aside and just focus purely on what I can do to stop him playing his best tennis.”

Hewett and Reid, who are both supported by the LTA’s Elite Wheelchair Programme, also faced Japanese opposition in their men’s doubles semi-final, reaching their 14th successive final together at the majors with a 6-4 6-4 victory over Daisuke Arai and Takashi Sanada.

The 15-time Grand Slam winners had to come back from 4-2 down to take the opening set but then ensured the momentum firmly in their favour, opening up a 5-1 second-set lead. However, arguably their biggest challenge was sealing match point and they needed six opportunities before Arai overhit a forehand to end the contest.

Hewett and Reid now face Dutch partnership Maikel Scheffers and Ruben Spaargaren tomorrow (Friday) when they bid to win their fourth successive Australian Open doubles title and their 16th Grand Slam crown together. Reid said:

“Those guys played well today and they had a couple of good patches at the start of the match. After being 5-1 down in the second set they were then pretty much making everything, so credit to them. But we found a way to get through the match and we’re happy with our problem-solving and we’ll try and take that into the final tomorrow.”

Hewett added:

“We got off to a slow start, just getting used to the conditions in the arena. It was definitely a lot windier than it was yesterday. After my singles, as well, we needed to get into a few rallies to find the intensity and they came out extremely pumped and brought a really high level, I thought. From 4-4 in the first set to 5-1 in the second we played the sort of level we both know we’re capable of and just fell off with the intensity towards the end.”

Lucy’s Shuker’s hopes of making it to a third successive Australian Open women’s doubles final with a third different partner came to an end when the British No.1 and her American partner Dana Mathewson lost out to Dutch top seeds Diede de Groot and Aniel van Koot 6-2 6-1.



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