Hewett retains world Junior Masters titles
Alfie Hewett reinforced his status as the world No. 1 ranked junior wheelchair tennis player this weekend as he completed a successful defence of both his boys’ singles and doubles titles at the Cruyff Foundation Junior Masters in Tarbes, France.
Fifteen-year-old Hewett qualified for Saturday’s boys’ singles semi-finals after dropping just one game throughout his three round-robin matches to finish top of his group. He then beat his doubles partner Chris Herman of the USA 6-3, 6-4 to book his place in Sunday’s final.
After beating Carlos Anker 6-0, 6-0 when they met in the group phase of the competition on Friday, Hewett made another confident start in his final against Anker building a commanding 4-0 lead before wrapping up the opening set in just 19 minutes.
The second set started with some closer exchanges and Anker got his first game of the match on the board to trail 2-1, but Hewett was soon back in command. The Brit raced through the rest of the set and made no mistake on his third match point to close out victory after 46 minutes.
Hewett had already enjoyed success in Saturday’s boys’ doubles final as the Brit teamed up with Herman. Despite a strong comeback in the second set by Anker and Austria’s Nico Langmann, they couldn’t hold on and were defeated 6-2, 7-5 as Hewett won his second successive Junior Masters doubles title.
“It’s been another good week here in Tarbes and I did what I had to do today, so I’m very happy to retain my titles,” said Hewett. “At 5-1 up I had the match points and at that stage the crowd and the atmosphere was great and I think I just got carried away with it all, but I got myself back on track. Obviously I came here as world No. 1 junior and there are people who watched me here last year, so there’s definitely been some pressure to do it again and I’m pleased that I have.”
“After coming back here with Alfie as the defending champion and the world’s top ranked junior there has definitely been a lot more pressure on him this week, and he’s coped with it admirably,” added Ash Smith, the Tennis Foundation’s Performance Development Coach. “Last year he was the underdog and there was no pressure on him, but this year he’s come to Tarbes with a level of expectation, so to have retained both the singles and doubles titles in the way he has is very impressive.”