Alfie Hewett’s impressive 2017 came to a glorious conclusion on Sunday when the 19-year-old became the first Brit to win the men’s singles title at the NEC Wheelchair Tennis Masters, the sport’s year-end championship, after beating compatriot Gordon Reid 6-3, 6-2.
In the first all-Brit men’s singles final in the event’s 24-year history, 2016 runner-up and British No.2 Reid stormed into a 3-0 first set lead. But with both …players having produced remarkable comebacks earlier in the week to reach the final, British No.1 and Roland Garros champion Hewett reeled off eight games in a row to lead by a set and 2-0.
Rio Paralympic gold medallist Reid broke back to level the second set, but Hewett, who won the silver medal in Rio in the first all-Brit Paralympic men’s singles final, regrouped to reel off the last four games and seal his historic victory after an hour and 18 minutes.
“I feel great. I think it started to sink in a couple of minutes ago with the emotions when I was waiting to go into media. It was a really good performance again today. I wasn’t sure which Alfie would turn up. It was a bit of a struggle at the start of the week and then out nowhere yesterday I played one of the best matches of my life in the semi-finals,” said world No.2 Hewett, who partnered Reid a week ago to win the sport’s Doubles Masters title after their Wimbledon and US Open crowns earlier in the year.
“I came out in the first set and Gordon was too strong for me, but I didn’t panic and I just had to ride the storm. If he’d played like that for two sets he deserved to win. Fortunately for me his intensity dropped and I managed to find my way back into the match. It feels great to make history, but as much as I get the limelight I need to and I want to thank everyone around me – family, friends, support team back in Norfolk and in London, the Tennis Foundation; there are so many people, because if it hadn’t been for them I wouldn’t be here now,” added Hewett, who turns 20 next Wednesday.
“I’m a bit disappointed, of course, and I’m feeling a bit tired today, both mentally and physically. But I’m feeling pretty happy with my week overall,” said Reid. “I had a great start today, but then there was maybe a little bit of confidence lost after a couple of missed shots. But I also think Alfie got a few nerves out of his system and started to relax. But overall it’s been a good week and there are lots of positives to take away, especially coming back like I did in my last round-robin match against Gusti (Gustavo Fernandez), being three match points down. That was the greatest comeback of my career.”
The Progress Tour 2018 is a new and innovative national series of tennis events taking place across the UK throughout the course of next year.
The tour is ideal for any player seeking level based and progressive competition, and is underpinned the Universal Tennis Ratings (UTR) system. It also provides players with the opportunity to learn both on and off court during competition with free workshops/seminars at each event with former pros, and experts in their fields. Players are also given the chance to earn prize money and substantial player support, with a prize fund in excess of £8000 and a whole host of additional prizes.
The tour is aimed at ANY player; young or old, male or female, with a Universal Tennis Rating (UTR) level of 7.5 or upwards and is designed to complement the existing calendar of national and international events in the UK. The first leg of the Tour takes place in Cardiff in early January – enter now to avoid missing out – http://events.universaltennis.com/tournaments/768/
For more details, including the full calendar of events, special guest speakers, prize money and to find out more about UTR in general, please visit and follow www.fb.me/TheProgressTour. For any specific queries, please email Tour Founder/Director Barry Fulcher on email@example.com
The 13th Annual Louise Willgrass Memorial Ladies’ Doubles Charity Tennis Tournament was held at East Anglia Tennis & Squash Club, Lime Tree Road, Norwich, on Wednesday 11th October 2017.
The weather was extremely windy, a great leveller, but otherwise dry, sunny and warm – 18 degrees centigrade!!
Four boxes of six pairs ensured everyone had plenty of tennis before the top two pairs from each group went through to the quarterfinals:
Liz Cubitt/Corrin Tulk (Framlingham/Acle) vs Val Woodhouse/Annie Cowper-Johnson (Cromer)
Sarah-Jane Bullock/Hilary Kerrison (Diss/Beccles) vs Judith Lee/Cheryl Buck (EATSC)
Susanna Cooper/Jo Gowing (Brooke) vs Beverley Barber/Jane Ray (Diss/Beccles)
Jenny Barton/Sara Worley (Wortham) vs Dawn Stocker/Liz Waller (Blofield)
Going through to the semis were:
Liz & Corrin vs Judith & Cheryl
Beverley & Jane vs Dawn & Liz
The final was a hard-fought, one set match with Beverley & Jane prevailing over Judith & Cheryl, 6-3.
Raffle prizes included a handbag from VANILLA, Libby Ferris orchids, Top Spin Tennis Racket Stringing Voucher, goodies from City Farm Shop (at Notcutts), a Lunch Voucher for the E Street Smokehouse (new sister restaurant to the Last Wine Bar) and two vouchers for Wine & Tapas at Jarrolds’ new Deli as well as six cans of tennis balls from Pilch. Plus MANY, MANY gifts from the players themselves.
The raffle was held during a delicious lunch laid on by the club and many thanks must go to the hard work of Hannah, Sharon, Leanne and all the staff; not to mention Derek Perry, our own inimitable referee and sole male attendant!!
The prizes of flowers by Libby Ferris (Grove Road), kindly donated by Lucy Carne of REALITY Estate Agents (Grove Road) were presented by Ben Willgrass, son of the late Louise in whose memory this tournament is played.
The £800 proceeds of the event will be given to Cruse Bereavement Care Norwich, the chosen charity of the Willgrass family. Caroline Morton from the charity thanked the ladies for their valuable contribution to the much-needed work they do helping bereaved people.
PHOTO ATTACHED: L-R: Judith Lee, Cheryl Buck, Ben Willgrass, Jane Ray & Beverley Barber.
Barry has continued to reign supreme in the 35O Seniors category winning yet another national title. Despite seeing his world ranking drop from 2 to 16 due in part to a sustained period of injury, the norwich man reigns supreme in the UK.
This year he has remained undefeated in UK competitions. His first major title of the year was back in January at The British Seniors Indoor Open Tennis Championships. Having won through three previous rounds without dropping a set, he beat Tim Webster in the Final 6-2, 6-3.
In March, he was in Cape Town, South Africa represented GB in the World SeniorsTeam Cup. Partnering another Norfolk stalwart, James Aukland the pair remained undefeated to help the team claim third place.
Most recently, Barry has defended his British Open Clay Court Title at Bournemouth, 27 May – 3 June. After two comfortable wins, he faced Danny Ward in the final. Unfortunately Danny was unable to play due to injury.
For more information on all the draws and results from the British Seniors Clay Court Championships please go to http://www.itftennis.com/seniors/tournaments/tournament/info.aspx?tournamentid=1100038292
In August, Olivia was representing GB in The 2017 World University Summer Games in Taipei. Playing with long-time partner Beth Grey, the pair won a bronze medal for the team. En-route to the final the GB pair defeated Sri Lanka, Australia and Hong Kong (in a tie break third) before losing the semi final to Thailand. The British pair gave there all, but could not quite get past opponents who included a player ranked 120 in the WTA world rankings. Eventually going down 3-6, 7-5, (4-10). The Thai pair went on to win the gold medal.
Olivia was also in action in the Aegon Team Tennis National Championships. Playing for defending champions and top seeds Wilton Tennis Club. The team defeated University of Bath 6-4, DL Raynes Park 8-2 before whitewashing Cumberland TC in the final 8-0. This is the third consecutive year Wilton TC have reigned supreme in the most prestigious club competition on the LTA calender.