Hewett clinches hat-trick of Junior Masters titles
by Marshall Thomas
Alfie Hewett claimed his third successive boys’ singles title today at the Cruyff Foundation Junior Masters in Tarbes, France, after a 6-1, 6-4 victory over Martin de la Puente of Spain.
The world No. 1 ranked junior ended the tournament having won both the boys' singles and boys’ doubles titles for three straight years.
While 16-year-old Hewett became the second player on the Tennis Foundation’s Wheelchair Tennis Performance Programme to win the boys' singles title when he first triumphed in Tarbes in 2012, he is the first Brit to win the boys’ title three times after current British men’s No. 1 Gordon Reid claimed back-to-back wins in 2008 and 2009.
Hewett dropped just three points in the first four games of the final as he took a commanding 4-0 lead and despite dropping his serve to de la Puente in the fifth game he soon wrapped up the opening set.
Sixteen-year-old Hewett broke de la Puente’s serve twice en route to a 3-0 second set lead and then regrouped to serve out the match
“I’m really happy to become the first Brit to win the title for the third time after a tough week and I'm delighted to make it a hat-trick of titles in the doubles too,” said Hewett. “It’s a great tournament and always a pleasure to play here. I knew Martin would be a tough opponent after he took me to three sets in our round-robin match, so I just kept myself calm when he came back at me in the second set and I’m very proud to retain the title.
“This is great preparation for my first senior tournament of the year, an ITF 1 Series event in Rotterdam in a couple of weeks.”
Earlier in the tournament Hewett had beaten de la Puente 6-1, 6-7(5), 6-2 in the first of his three round-robin group matches. He went on to defeat American Chris Herman 6-2, 6-2 and beat South Africa’s Thato Tsomole 6-3, 6-1 to finish top of his group. Hewett then won 11 games in succession en route to winning his semi-final against his Austrian doubles partner Nico Langmann 7-5, 6-0.
On Saturday’s penultimate day of play Hewett claimed the boys’ doubles with Langmann. The duo had beaten their South African opponents Sean de Hilster and Tsomole 6-3, 6-3 in their semi-final and clinched the title after defeating Dutchman Carlos Anker and Herman 6-1, 6-3.
In 2013 Hewett won his second boys’ doubles title in Tarbes partnering Herman and Langmann is the third different player with whom the young Brit has won the prestigious doubles titles since 2012.