Joy for Alfie Hewett as he completes US Open double with singles victory
PUBLISHED: 06:26 10 September 2018 | UPDATED: 06:26 10 September 2018
Norfolk’s Alfie Hewett completed the US Open wheelchair double by winning his second grand slam singles title.
The 20-year-old from Cantley, who won the doubles title on Saturday with Scot Gordon Reid, defeated top seed Shingo Kunieda from Japan 6-3 7-5 to add to the French Open trophy he claimed last season.
Hewett said: “I’m very excited. I didn’t really know what to expect today. Shingo’s obviously such a great player. I felt like I’ve been playing my best tennis this week and last week so to get through the travel nightmare and carry that momentum on is something I’m really happy about.
“There’s something here that’s really clicking for me and I need to put my finger on it and take it into the other slams.”
Hewett, who was the beaten finalist here last year, endured a nightmare journey to New York, getting stuck for nearly 24 hours at Chicago airport and ending up sleeping on the floor.
He insisted he will not be repeating the preparation despite the successful outcome, saying: “I’ve had a few people say that, I’d rather not to be honest. It did really affect me, my lower back is locked up but I’m fighter and I’m not going to use that as an excuse. Makes it even sweeter I guess.”
The Norwich City fan reached world number one at the start of the year but had struggled to back up his superb 2017 season, particularly at the slams, where he had only won one singles match in three tournaments.
Having strung three wins together to claim the title, he said: “It’s massive. It’s a great confidence booster for the rest of the year.
“I had such a great 2017 and it’s always that bogey year afterwards where you don’t get the results and people starting doubting you, and you start doubting yourself, asking whether it was just a fluke year.
“I think the last couple of weeks have proved what sort of tennis I can bring when I’m playing at the top of my game.”