LIFE INSIDE THE US OPEN BUBBLE WITH ALFIE HEWETT AND COACH BEN COLLINGWOOD

LIFE INSIDE THE US OPEN BUBBLE WITH ALFIE HEWETT AND COACH BEN COLLINGWOOD

Ben Collingwood, Coach to Alfie Hewett reflects on his US Open experience:

Being inside the bubble for the first tournament back for the ITF Wheelchair tour since the global pandemic, was a once in a lifetime experience. The US Open had all it’s procedures in place to provide a safe and exciting opportunity to bring the best players from around the world to compete for the title.

When myself and Alfie arrived at the hotel we were immediately taken for a Covid-19 test and had to quarantine within our individual rooms until the result came back negative, this took 29 hours. Once the result came back, we were able to travel to the site and get a feel for what the organisation was like this year and also get on the practice courts.

The tournament staff were all included in the bubble so the organisation of the event was water tight to restrict anyone coming in and out of the area. We traveled to and from the site via coaches practicing social distancing by not allowing people to sit next to each other. There were more areas which the USTA had taken precautions; live Hawkeye systems apart from the 2 stadium courts, QR code cafeteria where food was always delivered in takeaway boxes, each seeded player or past champion would get a corporate suite for the week and limitations to the locker rooms.

We also had to take a COVID-19 test every two days, we ended up taking 4 tests during a 8 day period. If one of us would test positive Alfie would be pulled out of the tournament.

As you all would have seen that this was the first tournament back for the wheelchair players since we were sent home from Georgia USA on March 12th. So the expectations of level of tennis was always unknown for all players.

However, Alfie Hewett from coming off a 15 week training block, working at Gorleston Tennis Club, Easton Tennis Centre and David Lloyd Norwich came out strong in his first match against fellow Brit and doubles partner Gordon Reid.

Alfie was then able to follow this up with a 3rd set win over Gustavo Fernandez (world No.2) in the semi finals to set up the final against world No.1 Shingo Kunieda.

As you may have seen, the final was an instant classic for the fans to watch as Alfie found himself 0-2 down in the second set to find a way to win the set 6-3 and again he was 1-4 down and pulled it back to 6-5 in the 3rd. Alfie didn’t quite make it in the tie break however, he showed unbelievable character and heart to claw his way into the match, I hope lots of our Norfolk juniors were watching and learned that you are never out of a match until the final point has been played.

On a whole, we had a very successful week as this will be the only time in each players careers where they won’t be match tight and not been able to compete for 6 months, Alfie takes home the doubles trophy for the 4th time in a row and the R/U singles trophy. We as a team are very proud of his efforts this week and acted like a true champion. Sometimes in sport matches don’t go your way, it’s how you react to these situations that reveal who you really are.

We now head back Norfolk to prepare for the “New” clay season, French Rivera and then the rescheduled Roland Garros. This means Alfie will be straight back on court with me and Coach Donna Andrews, the other critical member of our team.

BEN BARTRAM MOVES TO NO.6 IN WORLD RANKINGS

BEN BARTRAM MOVES TO NO.6 IN WORLD RANKINGS

Ben Bartram, the 14 year old wheelchair tennis player from Norwich has had a successful summer, travelling to tournaments in the Netherlands and Belgium as well as the British wheelchair open in Nottingham.
In the junior world rankings out this week Ben has moved up to number 6 in the world. He also enjoyed some success in his first international men’s tournament, winning the B draw event.

NORFOLK DUO HELP GB WIN SILVER AT WHEELCHAIR TENNIS WORLD TEAM CUP

NORFOLK DUO HELP GB WIN SILVER AT WHEELCHAIR TENNIS WORLD TEAM CUP

The BNP Paribas 2019 Wheelchair World Team Cup was held in Israel between the 13th-18th May.

Norfolk’s Ruby Bishop and Ben Bartram both represented Great Britain in the junior competition.

Ruby was making her debut, while this was Ben’s 2nd appearance.

The GB junior team was seeded 7th in the competition however after some outstanding performances from all players the team reached the semi final where they defeated Brazil. In the final they played Australia which they lost 2-1 in a very long and close match

Congratulations to Ruby Ben and the other players Dahnon Greg and captain Marc

Report by Derek Perry

GREAT BRITIAN MEN CLAIM 2ND WORLD TEAM CUP WHEELCHAIR TITLE

GREAT BRITIAN MEN CLAIM 2ND WORLD TEAM CUP WHEELCHAIR TITLE

Great Britain men claim second World Team Cup wheelchair tennis title to add to silver and bronze medals for Junior and Women’s teams

Great Britain Men’s Team win second title since 2015

Record medal haul for Great Britain Teams

Great Britain Junior team sin silver

Women’s team claim bronze for second year in a row

PRESS RELEASE – Great Britain Men Claim Second World Team Cup Wheelchair Tennis Title

 

HEWETT CLINCHES KOREA OPEN TRIUMPH

HEWETT CLINCHES KOREA OPEN TRIUMPH

Alfie Hewett shone in Seoul as he defeated top seed Joachim Gerard to win the Korea Open men’s singles title for the second time in his career.

The 21-year-old’s march to the title saw him revisit two match-ups from his silver medal-winning singles campaign at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games.

In the semi-finals, Hewett defeated British colleague Gordon Reid, his conqueror in the Rio gold medal match just under two-and-a-half years ago, teeing up another meeting with Belgium’s Gerard.

At the last Paralympics, Hewett triumphed in the semi-finals and the British star has now won ten of his last 12 meetings with former world number one Gerard, sealing a 7-6(6) 7-5 success in Seoul.

The Norfolk native also tasted Korea Open success in 2016.

Hewett’s title win wrapped up a superb tournament for British competitors in Seoul, with Lucy Shuker having clinched her third doubles title in a row on Good Friday.

The 38-year-old, who had previously won the Busan Open and Daegu Open with fellow Brit Jordanne Whiley, defeated top seeds Marjolein Buis and Dana Mathewson, of the Netherlands and United States respectively, 6-4 6-3 alongside partner Kgothatso Montjane.