A year on from Brits winning two doubles titles and contesting four wheelchair tennis finals at the 2017 US Open, Alfie Hewett, Gordon Reid, Andy Lapthorne and Lucy Shuker are all gearing for their return to the final Grand Slam of the year in New York.
Hewett made a memorable US Open debut last year, reaching the men’s singles final and winning the men’s doubles final with partner Gordon Reid. Currently world ranked No. 2, 20-year-old Hewett is feeling confident in the run-up to the grand-slam, having had a successful summer at SW19:
Speaking ahead of the US Open, Hewett commented: “I’m really excited to be heading back to New York – it’s one of my favourite places. The tournament was my first last year and to win the doubles and reach the singles final was a near perfect debut. It’ll be tough to defend that this year as the standard is so high but I’m confident in the way I’m playing. There is such a vibe in the ground and to have the chance to play on the show courts last year made it a great event.”
Reid meanwhile will be contesting his fifth US Open, having reached two singles semi-finals and winning two doubles titles at the hard-court slam. Commenting ahead of the tournament, Rio Paralympic doubles silver medallist Reid said: “ I have had an extensive and successful training block since Wimbledon and am in good shape and feeling ready to compete in the last grand slam of 2018.”
Lapthorne is the only one of the Brits contesting this year’s US Open wheelchair tennis events to have previously claimed a singles title in New York, having won the quad singles crown in 2014. Lapthorne added his first US Open quad doubles title last September, partnering the USA’s David Wagner. The seven-time Grand Slam champion and Rio Paralympic silver medallist has been in fine form of late and cites the US as one of his most-loved slams:
“I’m really looking forward to heading back to New York for the US open one of my favourite events of the year. Having had success in previous years, it is an event I always enjoy. I’m looking forward to competing for the trophy again this year.”
Shuker will contest her fourth US Open after making her debut in New York in 2013. After narrowly missing out on a place in the women’s doubles final last year, the British No.1 and world No. 7 will partner Germany’s Sabine Ellerbrock, as the duo bid to reach back-to-back Grand Slam doubles finals together.
Speaking ahead of the US Open, Shuker commented: I’ve had some good results this year both in singles and doubles and feel I’ve worked hard to achieve those. Playing in the Wimbledon Doubles final this year was a great confidence boost as grass is my most difficult surface. It means a lot to get into any Grand Slam final and if I can make it happen in New York that would of course be an amazing feeling.
The US Open Wheelchair Tennis Championships begin on Thursday 6th September. To keep up to date with results, check our website or follow @TennisFndation.