By Oli Dickson Jefford at Wimbledon
Alfie Hewett hopes wheelchair tennis keeps shining on the sport’s biggest stages after being beaten in the doubles final at the All England Club.
Norwich’s Hewett and Gordon Reid, who are supported by the LTA’s Wheelchair Tennis Performance Pathway, were ultimately overpowered in a clinical display by Shingo Kunieda and Gustavo Fernandez, the Japanese and Argentine pairing coming from an early break down to seal a 6-3 6-1 victory on Court 3.
The defeat ended a run of ten straight Grand Slam titles for the British duo, having not lost at a Major since Wimbledon in 2019 before today.
Hewett said: “We’re obviously disappointed not to continue our run in the Grand Slams and get the win today. It was a difficult match.
“They played pretty well. I think we were probably a little bit tired from yesterday. It’s a difficult one to take.”
It is not the end of the 24-year-old’s time in SW19, with a shot of a maiden singles title at the All England Club when he takes on Kunieda in Sunday’s final.
Hewett played both his singles and doubles semi-finals on Court 1 on Friday, with both matches proving to be thrilling contests, and with the chance of glory tomorrow he wants the sport to keep breaking down barriers.
He added; “For us at the moment, being at the top of the sport, we want to just keep pushing and head in the right direction, make it even more professional, make it grow as big as we can because we won't be playing this sport forever. There will be an end day at some point.
“Right now we're in a place where we're doing really well. It's getting a lot more exposure, whether it be at the slams or trying to increase the participation in the ATP or WTA events, I think it's happening. I think we're on the right trajectory towards that.
“I think we're making good in-roads. Hopefully yesterday was a stepping stone in that.”
For more information on the LTA’s British Open Wheelchair Tennis Championships click here