Norfolk star Hewett makes history on Arthur Ashe Court at US Open
PUBLISHED: 11:31 08 September 2017 | UPDATED: 11:31 08 September 2017
Norfolk's Alfie Hewett and his Scottish playing partner Gordon Reid made a unique piece of sporting history when they won the first ever wheelchair tennis match to played on Arthur Ashe Court, earning them a place in Saturday's men's doubles final at the US Open.
Two-time Wimbledon champions Hewett, from Cantley, and Reid took the last three games of the opening set and the last five game of the match to win their men’s doubles semi-final against Argentina’s Gustavo Fernandez and Shingo Kunieda of Japan 6-3, 6-2.
The second-seeded Brits will now play top seeds Stephane Houdet and Nicolas Peifer in today’s final, having finished runners-up to the French duo at Roland Garros and then beating them for the second year in a row in the Wimbledon final.
“We knew a few days ago that there were going to be some matches on Ashe, but I found out at 8pm last night – it was a nice surprise. It was an exciting day, we played well as a team. I like the atmosphere here and I’m have a good time,” said Hewett, 19.
Former City College Norwich student Hewett is due to face Kunieda in his opening men’s singles match.
Reid said: “It was incredible to have that opportunity.
“We really cherish that as wheelchair players. Australia at the start of the year having the quad final on Rod Laver and then Wimbledon putting us on a stadium court and now here, not even one of the finals, but one of the first matches was on Ashe. So I think that’s showing the respect that wheelchair tennis is gaining,” he said after he and Hewett reached their third Grand Slam final of the year together.
They also reversed the result of their semi-final against Fernandez and Kunieda at last week’s USTA Championships Super Series in St Louis.
“It really is the stuff that dreams are made of, to play on Ashe. Hopefully, it’s not the last time.
“I thought we played well. There were a couple of dips in it. We did the right things at the right time to win. I think maybe everyone was a little bit nervous playing on the big court and a Grand Slam match, it was an important match, but I think we dealt with it the best,” added Reid, who was men’s doubles champion at the US Open in 2015 partnering Frenchman Stephane Houdet.