Alfie Hewett produced the kind of remarkable comeback for which he is becoming known to reach the men’s singles semi-finals on Thursday’s third day of Bath Indoor Wheelchair Tennis Tournament. David Wagner and Dylan Alcott also reached the quad singles final and defending champions Lucy Shuker and Diede de Groot earnt their return to the women’s doubles final at the University of Bath Sports Training Village.
British No.1 Hewett, who recovered from a set and 2-0 down to win his first Grand Slam singles final at Roland Garros earlier this year, again dug deep after Belgium’s Joachim Gerard won the first set of their quarter-final in Bath without dropping a game and gained an early break in the second set. Hewett secured a crucial service break of his own to force a second set tie-break and eventually served out the match for a 0-6, 7-6(4), 7-5 victory.
Hewett plays Japan’s Takashi Sanada for a place in Saturday’s final after the chances of an all-British semi-final came to an end with the withdrawal of Gordon Reid.
The other men’s singles semi-final will feature Argentina’s world No.1 Gustavo Fernandez and Wimbledon champion Stefan Olsson of Sweden. Fernandez won his quarter-final against Dutchman Tom Egberink 6-1, 6-1, with Olsson defeating Spain’s Daniel Caverzaschi 6-2, 6-2 to set up a rematch of July’s Wimbledon final.
The first of this week’s ITF 1 Series finalists were decided in the two quad events as world No.1 Wagner of the USA won through to face Rio Paralympic champion Alcott in the quad singles final.
With both players making their Bath Indoor debuts Wagner beat South African third seed Lucas Sithole 6-2, 6-1 and Alcott edged through his all-Australian semi-final against Heath Davidson 6-3, 7-5.
Later in the day the quad doubles semi-finals included a rematch of the Rio Paralympic final as Alcott and Davidson defeated Nick Taylor and Wagner 6-4 6-3 to add to their god medal victory in Rio.
The Australian duo face Brazil’s Ymanitu Silva and Sithole in the final after Silva and Sithole overcame Britain’s James Shaw and Swen’s Anders Hard 6-3, 6-4.
Shuker and de Groot will face Marjolein Buis of the Netherlands and Germany’s Sabine Ellerbrock in the women’s doubles final after the reigning champions beat Britain’s Louise Hunt and Kgothatso Montjane of South Africa 6-2, 6-2. Buis and Ellerbrock won their semi-final against Charlotte Famin and Dana Mathewson 6-2, 6-1.
Dermot Bailey maintains British hopes in the men’s doubles after he and his Belgian partner Jef Vandorpe progressed to the last four due to the withdrawal of Hewett and Reid. The remaining three seeded partnerships, led by reigning champions and second seeds Gerard and Olsson all advanced to the semi-finals with relative ease.
The quad singles and doubles finals, the men’s and women’s singles semi-finals and the women’s doubles final all feature on Friday’s penultimate day of the UNIQLO Wheelchair Tennis Tour ITF 1 Series tournament organised by the Tennis Foundation.