Wimbledon to follow on from 'amazing' year for French Open champion Alfie Hewett
After a remarkable year in his blossoming career Alfie Hewett admits his success still hasn't quite sunk in.
Norfolk’s wheelchair tennis star begins preparations for the defence of his Wimbledon doubles title today, still basking in the glow of his French Open singles success.
The 19-year-old, from Cantley, near Acle, also won two silver medals at the Paralympics and a total of eight titles since winning the Wimbledon doubles alongside Gordon Reid last year – taking him around the globe to countries including Australia, Canada, Japan, Brazil, Italy and the USA.
“I think if you had told me a year ago that I would have achieved this I never would have believed you!” the former Acle High School pupil said.
“To think of my journey and just how quickly it’s gone up, to have these achievements at such a young age is something I’m very proud of.
“I do have to pinch myself a few times but I do always think about what’s next and for me that’s Wimbledon, but I do have nights when I have memories of what I’ve done.
“I was looking back on my matches at Rio and just had this flashback from Rio from watching the matches and thinking about how amazing this last year has been.
“But you get so stuck in the moment that you never really have a chance to let it properly sink in. I don’t even think the French Open has even sunk in yet but when I have some downtime I’m sure it will do.”
The former City College Norwich student will again partner British number one Reid in the doubles this year, with his action at Wimbledon to start on Wednesday, July 12 with the singles quarter-finals.
“I’m going down to the National Tennis Centre in Roehampton, to train on the grass there with the Tennis Foundation for a few days,” the world number six explained.
“And then the Tennis Foundation have managed to organise an invitational tournament in Surbiton for the wheelchair players who are going to Wimbledon to have a pre-tournament event – which has never happened before so that’s new for us. I’m looking forward to getting back on the grass, I haven’t been on it since last year so I’m looking forward to it all.”
• Watch some of David Freezer’s attempt to play Alfie Hewett at David Lloyd Norwich above and watch out for more on what it’s like to face a grand slam champion later this week