Alfie Hewett successfully defends his French Open wheelchair singles title
Alfie Hewett successfully defended his French Open wheelchair singles title with victory over top seed Shingo Kunieda.
The 6-3, 6-4 win earned Hewett a fifth grand slam singles title and third in Paris, and means he has done the double of singles and doubles crowns at Roland Garros in successive years after collecting the doubles trophy with Gordon Reid on Sunday.
Hewett fully deserved his victory over 24-time Slam singles champion Kunieda, the 23-year-old from Norfolk clinching his first match point after an hour and 46 minutes.
Roland Garros singles champion for a third time 🏆🎾 Can’t put into words what it means right now. To my team, the hours days and weeks spent on the court for this very moment, thank you 🧡 @rolandgarros pic.twitter.com/pKuZqnI190
— Alfie Hewett (@alfiehewett6) June 7, 2021
Hewett rated his comeback victory over Gustavo Fernandez in the semi-finals as the match of his life, and he said: “After playing that sort of match against Gustavo, it would be a shame to not go into today and try and play better tennis.
“I think the quality dipped in and out of that last one but today the quality was one of the best finals I have played, just dealing with the conditions, dealing with the fact that it was a final.
“I have played four or five recently and felt very nervous and tense at the beginning. I felt like I came out of the blocks really well, and that was a big thing I was looking at.”
3⃣ #RolandGarros singles titles
5⃣ Grand Slam singles titles
— LTA (@the_LTA) June 7, 2021
Hewett has spent the last 18 months wondering whether each visit to a grand slam will be the last following proposed changes to the classification system that threaten to halt his professional career.
He revealed after his semi-final victory that he has been given new hope by a possible rethink, and he said: “I felt like I wasn’t too pumped, which even afterwards, normally I’m probably in tears and whatever. I’m quite calm about it. It’s a job well done, and I know I’ll probably have a good reflection later on.
“This is a major, and any title means a lot. To compete at Roland Garros, and with my circumstance as well, whether there is a future or not, every tournament means a lot to me and my family and also to my team, as well.”
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