Nottingham | Alfie Hewett takes on world No.1
Great Britain’s Alfie Hewett will take on the world No.1 Gustavo Fernandez in Sunday’s British Open Wheelchair Tennis Championships men’s singles final as he aims to become the first British player to win the title in the tournament’s 28 year history.
Saturday’s play at Nottingham Tennis Centre also saw the men’s, women’s and quad doubles titles decided, but Great Britain missed out on claiming a title as Andy Lapthorne and Antony Cotterill were defeated in the quad final.
It’s going to be a great final. Gus is playing unbelievably right now. He’s world number one, he’s absolutely full of confidence and it’s not going to be an easy match at all. I’ve got to be on it tomorrow from the very first point and really be aggressive Alfie Hewett
Hewett prevailed against compatriot Gordon Reid in an enthralling all British semi-final to reach his first British Open singles final. In a rollercoaster of a match, world No.3 Hewett started strongly to take the first set 6-3, but world No.2 Reid hit back to win the second with the loss of only one game. Reid looked to be on course to take the win at 3-2 in the third but Hewett reeled off four games in succession to see out a 6-3 1-6 6-3 victory.
Hewett will face Argentina’s world No.1 Gustavo Fernandez in Sunday’s final as he aims to become the first British player to win the British Open men’s singles title in the tournament’s 28 year history. The in-form Fernandez defeated 2016 singles champion Stephane Houdet of France 6-3 7-5 in the other semi-final.
Hewett said: “It’s going to be a great final. Gus is playing unbelievably right now. He’s world number one, he’s absolutely full of confidence and it’s not going to be an easy match at all. I’ve got to be on it tomorrow from the very first point and really be aggressive.”
Houdet later turned the tables on Fernandez as he teamed up with compatriot Nicolas Peifer to successfully defend their British Open Men’s Doubles title against Fernandez and the Netherlands’ Maikel Scheffers. Despite going a set down, Houdet and Peifer showed why they are currently the best doubles partnership in the world with a 4-6, 6-1, 6-3 victory.
There had been hopes of British success in the quad doubles final as Lapthorne and Cotterill took the opening set. American No.1 seeds and defending David Wagner and Bryan Barten hit back in the second to take control of the match and seal a 4-6 6-2 6-2 win. Lapthorne will hope for revenge on Sunday as he faces Wagner in the quad singles final.
In the Women’s Doubles, Dutch pair Marjolein Buis and Diede De Groot lived up to their status as No.1 seeds to claim the British Open title with a 6-4 6-3 victory over Dana Mathewson of the USA and South Africa’s Kgothatso Montjane.
Sunday’s final day of play at Nottingham Tennis Centre will see the men’s, women’s and quad singles titles decided, as well as the mixed doubles final. Hewett and Fernandez will open proceedings at 10am. Hewett will also feature in the mixed doubles final alongside Mathewson as they take on Houdet and Great Britain’s Lucy Shuker.