10 July 2018
Three Lions fan Hewett ready to roar at Wimbledon
This week has been all about preparations for Wimbledon – but that hasn’t stopped football fan Alfie Hewett from exchanging some friendly World Cup banter with Scottish wheelchair doubles partner Gordon Reid.
Lifelong Norwich City fan Hewett has been joining the country in getting behind Gareth Southgate’s England during this summer’s football World Cup and will tune in for tonight’s semi-final against Croatia.
While Reid refused to be drawn on who he was supporting, Hewett is proudly tipping the Three Lions to book their place in Sunday’s final against France – a potentially interesting side note to his clash with Frenchman Stephane Houdet when the men’s wheelchair singles gets underway tomorrow.
“I love the football, whenever it is on I go watch it,” said Hewett, who received messages of support from Norwich City on the way to claiming doubles and singles silver at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games.
Alfie Hewett will compete in the men's wheelchair singles and doubles
“I’ve been trying to give Gordon some banter but he’s not really taking it.
“I’m nervous about tonight but excited. The last-16 game against Colombia had me on the edge of the seat, quite literally.
“We will see what happens. I’m quite confident we will go through. They will probably go and lose now!”
As for matters on the tennis court, it will be a busy few days for world number two Hewett at Wimbledon who will compete in the men’s singles – where a semi-final clash with reigning champion Stefan Olsson of Sweden or Nicolas Peifer of France awaits should he work his way past Houdet – and the men’s doubles.
Hewett and Reid are two-time reigning Wimbledon doubles champions and will open their campaign with a semi-final against Shingo Kunieda and Gustavo Fernandez.
Last year, Hewett enjoyed the best season of his career, winning the French Open men’s singles title followed by doubles triumphs at Wimbledon and the US Open.
Hewett became world number one in January
In comparison, 2018 has yet to yield a Grand Slam title, although he did claim the number one spot in late January and reached the men’s doubles final at the Australian Open in the same month.
And after warming up for Wimbledon with an appearance at Queens Club – the Championships hosting wheelchair tennis for the very first time – the 20-year-old believes he is rediscovering his best form at just the right moment.
“This year has been a bit up and down, there has been some highs and some lows. But that’s the past. What I can focus on is this week and what I can do this week,” he added.
“I feel like I’m training well on the grass and probably playing some of the best tennis that I have been this year."
“It was big to be at Queen’s. To get that preparation in before Wimbledon was massive and it’s the first time we’ve had a good chunk on the grass.
“I’m excited. After spending a couple of weeks on the grass now, I just want to get going. I’m feeling the buzz.”
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