Hewett wins fifth major singles title after defending French Open
Alfie Hewett secures his fifth Grand Slam singles title after successfully defending his crown at the French Open… the day after winning his second straight doubles crown at the event with Gordon Reid
- Alfie Hewett saw off top seed Shingo Kunieda to defend his French Open crown
- The 23-year-old ranked his semi-final win at the event as the match of his life
- Hewett also defended his doubles title in Paris with Gordon Reid on Sunday
- Hewett’s future in the sport may be numbered amid possible rule changes
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 following their comprehensive 6-3 6-0 win over French pair Stephane Houdet and Nicolas Peifer.
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.
Alfie Hewett backed up French Open singles titles in 2017 and 2020 with another one this year
The 23-year-old outclassed top seed Shingo Kunieda to secure his fifth Grand Slam singles title
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.’
The 23-year-old’s days in wheelchair tennis may be numbered amid proposed rule changes
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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