Alfie Hewett and Gordon Reid once again took British hopes into the ABN AMRO World Wheelchair Tennis Tournament in Rotterdam, Hewett finishing runner-up in the men’s singles and Hewett and Reid also runners-up in the men’s doubles.
Alfie Hewett finished runner-up in his first tournament since becoming men’s singles world No.1 after Gustavo Fernandez of Argentina won Saturday’s ABN AMRO World Wheelchair Tennis Tournament final 7-6(5), 7-6(4) in a fascinating contest between the world’s top two players.
Having won his opening service game Hewett had five break points before finally opening up a 2-0 lead and he went still further ahead at 4-1. However, after eight games Fernandez had broken back to level at 4-4 and the set ultimately came down to a tiebreak, which the Argentinian edged.
Hewett’s never-say-die attitude came to the fore in the second set as he bounced back from 4-1 down to force another tie-break, but Hewett’s second singles final of 2018 ended in a 76(5) 76(4) defeat.
Alfie Hewett will seek to succeed Gordon Reid as men’s singles champion at the World Wheelchair Tennis Tournament on Saturday after beating Reid 6-0, 7-5 in Friday’s all-Brit semi-final in Rotterdam.
Hewett will now play Gustavo Fernandez, the Argentinian player Hewett replaced as world No.1 at the end of last month, in Saturday’s final of the ITF 1 Series tournament.
Hewett had all the momentum in the opening set and, from being on the verge of serving out to love for a 5-0 lead, he was brought back to deuce by world No. 5 Reid, only for the top seed to take the game a couple of minutes later and then the set.
Reid, the champion in Rotterdam in both 2016 and 2017, got his first game on the board to start the second set and held serve for 2-0 before maintaining a two game cushion for 3-1, 4-2 and 5-3 leads. However, Hewett regained the momentum to take the next four games, earning his second win of 2018 against Reid and reaching his second singles final of the season.
Into my second singles final of 2018 here at the @abnamrowtt Really enjoying my time at this class event. Doubles final later with Gio 5pm 🇬🇧 time if anyone wants to watch https://t.co/xTafKksD2A pic.twitter.com/B313jlYHAF
— Alfie Hewett (@alfiehewett6) February 16, 2018
Later in the day Hewett and Reid finished runners-up in the men’s doubles final to Joachim Gerard of Belgium and Stefan Olsson of Sweden. With Reid a three-time former doubles champion in Rotterdam and Hewett having reached the final of the men’s doubles in 2017 partnering Fernandez the to Brits paired up in Rotterdam for the first time this year.
The two-time Wimbledon and reigning US Open champions came back from 3-0 down to force the first set tie-break and exchanged games with their opponents throughout the second set before a second tie-break. However, Gerard and Olsson edged both tie-breaks to gain a narrow 7-6(5), 7-6(5) victory.
After byes in singles and doubles Alfie Hewett and Gordon Reid finally made their tournament bows on the third day of competition in Rotterdam and made it three wins in three matches as they reached the men’s doubles final together and set up an all-Brit semi-final in the men’s singles.
Hewett was first to taste victory at the ITF 1 event as he gained the all-important break at the end of the first set of his quarter-final against Belgium’s Joachim Gerard. After building a 5-1 second set lead Hewett kept his nerve to complete a 6-4, 6-4 victory in his first match since becoming world No.1 at the end of last month. He will now contest the singles semi-finals in Rotterdam for the first time.
With Hewett and Reid both in the top half of the singles draw, fourth seed Reid faced a rematch of last year’s final against Frenchman Nicolas Peifer as he opened his bid for a hat-trick of ABN AMRO World Wheelchair Tennis Tournament singles crowns.
Having beaten Peifer 6-2, 6-1 in the 2017 final, world No. 5 Reid claimed another convincing straight sets win, defeating Peifer 6-3, 6-3 to move one match closer in his quest to become the first three-time singles champion in Rotterdam.
From 4-0 up in the second set, second seeds Hewett and Reid had to fend off a comeback from Frederic Cattaneo of France and Evans Maripa of South Africa before clinching another straight sets win in their first ever doubles match together in Rotterdam. But ultimately the Brits came out on top to wrap up a 6-1, 6-4 victory. They play Joachim Gerard of Belgium and Stefan Olsson of Sweden in Friday’s final.
Since making his debut at the ITF 1 Series event in 2013, current world No.5 Reid has returned from Rotterdam with a title in each of the last five years, winning the men’s doubles in 2013, 2014 and 2015 and back-to-back singles titles in 2016 and 2017.
Hewett made his debut in Rotterdam in 2014 and last year he and Reid met in the men’s singles quarter-finals, while Hewett went on to partner Gustavo Fernandez of Argentina to the doubles final.
Both Brits have first round singles byes this year and could potentially meet in the semi-finals if they come through their opening matches. Hewett’s first match since becoming world No.1 will see him face either Joachim Gerard of Belgium or Takashi Sanada of Japan in the quarter-finals. Reid will play either Nicolas Peifer of France in what would be a rematch of last year’s final, or South Africa’s Evans Maripa.
Meanwhile, Hewett and Reid will pair up for the men’s doubles in Rotterdam for the first time. The second seeds also have a first round bye.