Alfie Hewett will focus on trying to bring his 2022 Wimbledon campaign to a victorious end on Sunday after the 24-year-old and fellow Brit Gordon Reid saw their record-breaking sequence of 10 Grand Slam doubles titles in a row come to an end on Saturday after a 63 61 loss to Gustavo Fernandez of Argentina and Japan’s Shingo Kunieda.
Congratulations to Shingo and Gustavo, I thought they played a brilliant match today, so they deserve to be the winners. Gordon Reid
Hewett will play Kunieda in the first Wimbledon singles final for both players. But after spending almost five hours and 50-minutes on No.1 Court on Friday during the singles and doubles semi-finals, he and Reid were unable to find their best tennis against a partnership they had beaten in three Wimbledon semi-finals and both the Australian Open and Roland Garros finals this season.
After Hewett recovered from a set and 5-1 down to beat Fernandez in a memorable singles semi-final on Friday, the Brits found themselves in the same position in the doubles final, but there was no comeback this time as Hewett and Reid lost their first Grand Slam final since Wimbledon 2019.
Reid, the winner of 21 Grand Slam titles, 19 of them coming in doubles, said:
“Congratulations to Shingo and Gustavo, I thought they played a brilliant match today, so they deserve to be the winners. Under the circumstances, given what happened yesterday and the number of hours Alfie had on court and the lack of hours I’ve had on court recently (due to a wrist injury), this was just one ask too many.
“We’re really proud of the run we’ve had. Unfortunately, circumstances didn’t help us to continue that today. At the end of the day, we gave it our best shot and just came second best to the better team. There’s lots of hunger, we want to keep improving, keep adding to the titles.”
Hewett, who will now bid to add the Wimbledon singles title to his three Roland Garros and two US Open titles, said:
“The last time that we lost a Grand Slam was here in 2019. Obviously yesterday (playing the first men’s wheelchair tennis matches on No.1 Court) was a massive, massive day for myself and for us. In the evening (for the men’s doubles semi-final), it was unbelievable – an incredible day that I’ll always, always remember. Today was challenging to get up and go again, but, you know, we’ll be back, hopefully stronger than ever next year.
“For this amount of spectators to come and watch us today, we really appreciate it. I hope you continue to follow our sport. We’ll there at the US Open and all the rest of the Slams and have a calendar ourselves. So, if anyone’s from Nottingham, next week come and support us (at the British Open Wheelchair Tennis Championships).”
Hewett is not the only Brit who will contest a wheelchair tennis final on Sunday, with Andy Lapthorne partnering the USA’s David Wagner in the Wimbledon quad doubles final. Lapthorne and Wagner will bid to defend the quad doubles title they won in 2021 and for the second year in a row they will face Dutch duo Sam Schroder and Niels Vink, the reigning Paralympic, US Open and Roland Garros champions.