ALFIE HEWETT BITTER SWEET END TO HIS AUSTRALIAN OPEN BID

ALFIE HEWETT BITTER SWEET END TO HIS AUSTRALIAN OPEN BID

Having won the 2021 Australian Open Doubles title with partner Gordon Reid earilier in the week, Alfie just missed out on claiming the Singles title

Despite an amazing comeback from, 0-6, 0-4, Alife eventually lost out 0-6, 6-4, 4-6 to German Joachim Gerard.  Please see reports below,

Alfie has now won an incredible 14 Grand Slam titles..

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/disability-sport/56096019

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/tennis/56080238

BEN BARTRAM CELEBRATES WORLD NO.1 RANKING

BEN BARTRAM CELEBRATES WORLD NO.1 RANKING

Ben Bartram celebrates a new career landmark this week after the 15-year-old from Sprowston in Norfolk became the third player currently on the LTA’s World Class Wheelchair Tennis Performance Pathway, to attain the world No.1 spot in the junior boys’ ranking.

Bartram’s achievement comes as no surprise as he moved to No.2 in the ranking published by the International Tennis Federation in early December after reaching back-to-back junior singles finals in Turkey. However, with Dutch 18-year-old Niels Vink now too old for junior competition, as of 1
January, Bartram was still overwhelmed by seeing his name at the top of this week’s updated rankings.

One of four players on the LTA’s Wheelchair National Age Group Programme to have attained or equalled career highs inside the top 10 of the new junior rankings, he said: “Words cannot describe how happy I am right now. To have number one next to my name in the rankings is huge and to be able to go to future junior tournaments as number one seed is something I’m very proud of. Looking back five years ago when I first started playing I would not, in a million years, have thought I’d be where I am now. I’d like to say thank you to my coaches and everyone else who does an amazing job at the LTA.”
Bartram follows Rio 2016 gold and silver medallists Gordon Reid and Alfie Hewett in attaining the top spot in the junior boys’ ranking, Reid having become the world No.1 ranked junior 12 years ago this week, with Hewett achieving the same at the start of 2013. 2 / 05/01/2021

After returning from Turkey in late November having won one of his two junior singles finals, as well as having produced some fine performances in senior competition, Bartram competed alongside and against the likes of Reid and Hewett at last month’s LTA Wheelchair Team Battle at the National Tennis Centre, winning four of the five singles and doubles matches he contested just before Christmas.

Among his victories at the NTC he beat two-time Paralympic bronze medallist Lucy Shuker 6-4, 6-2 in singles competition. While he lost to out to French Open and US Open champion Hewett 6-0, 6-2, he completed the event in fine style, partnering Reid to a 6-1, 6-3 doubles victory over Hewett
and world No.3 ranked junior Dahnon Ward in the last of 24 matches held over three days.Reflecting on the Wheelchair Team Battle, Bartram said:
“I think I played very well against Lucy and was very smart with my tennis, I knew when to play the right shots and it shows that all the hard work is paying off. I would say that’s one of my best wins because of how difficult it was and how I kept my head throughout the match and not let Lucy’s
style of play get to me. “When I was younger I looked up to Alfie a lot and still do, especially as we both come from Norfolk. It was great to play against one of my idols. The quality of his shots is just so more consistent, he moves the ball very well and gets me out of position very fast. in the second set I
was playing my own game more, being more aggressive and that ended up getting me two games,which I’m very happy about.”

With Hewett and Reid’s respective achievements as juniors including multiple victories in the annual Junior Masters in Tarbes, France and leading Great Britain teams to two Junior World Team Cup titles, Bartram hopes to continue to follow a similar trajectory. While both major events have been moved to September and October, respectively, for 2021, last year’s Junior Masters
semi-finalist Bartram, added: “I’m looking forward to hopefully just being able to play more tournaments this year and getting back out on court when we can. In terms of the Junior Masters, I definitely want to get to the finals
this year and, of course, I would love to win it, but there are a lot of good players out there. And an upgrade on the World Team Cup silver medal we won in 2019 would be great after last year’s event was cancelled.”

BEN BARTRAM WINS ITF WHEELCHAIR JUNIOR SINGLES TITLE IN TURKEY

BEN BARTRAM WINS ITF WHEELCHAIR JUNIOR SINGLES TITLE IN TURKEY

Ben Bartram has enjoyed a successful week competing at The Alanya Open in Turkey. He won the U/18 Boys Singles title and also reached the Men’s Singles quarter final after knocking out a seeded player.

NLTA managed to catch up with Ben earlier in the week:

What tournament are you playing?

I am currently taking part in a futures tournament in Antalya Turkey called the Alanya Open.

The LTA have awarded you Elite Player status, what does this mean?

I have been granted elite player status which means if there is are more lockdowns in the uk I am still able to travel to different countries only if the country isn’t in lockdown. This also means I am able to train at the National Training Centre located in Roehampton London every Friday and Saturday if the country in lockdown so basically if there is a lockdown I can still play tennis which is absolutely amazing!

What are your ambitions in the game?

My ambitions in the game is to compete at grand slams and contest medals at the Paralympics and become world number 1.

How do you balance your academic studies with all the training and competing?

I’m currently 15 so I am in the year of taking my GCSEs and I’m able to take work home and do homework I also have a laptop which I can use to do work when I’m training so I do not fall behind.

How did you get started in Tennis?

I used to play wheelchair basketball years ago and when I stopped I was really missing sports and wanted to try more so my mum found out about a training session which was called push to podium and since then I haven’t stopped!

What advice would you give to anyone who might like to start playing wheelchair tennis?

My advice to anyone who wants to play is do it it is great fun and really good for your health mentally and physically, you will meet so many great people doing so, some of my best friends play tennis and I’ve known them since I started.

Ben is currently No.5 in UK Men’s rankings and will be playing the Haydarpasha Palace Open, again in Turkey, starting on monday.

Congratulations Ben and good luck next week, NLTA are really proud of your achievements.

ALFIE HEWETT IS SINGLES AND DOUBLES FRENCH OPEN CHAMPION 2021

ALFIE HEWETT IS SINGLES AND DOUBLES FRENCH OPEN CHAMPION 2021

Alfie Hewett won his second Major title in two days after defeating Belgium’s Joachim Gerard 6-4 4-6 6-3 in an epic encounter in the men’s wheelchair singles final.

Just 24 hours after completing the career Grand Slam of doubles titles alongside partner Gordon Reid, Hewett was back out on court at Roland Garros against the World No.4 Gerard of Belgium.

The pair were well matched going into the final – Hewett slightly edging their head to head record 12-10 prior to today’s match – and in an enthralling encounter the match ebbed and flowed over the course of two hours and 45 minutes in the French capital.

With each player winning a set Hewett rallied from 1-3 down in the decider to triumph 6-4 4-6 6-3 and claim his fourth Grand Slam singles title.

ALFIE HEWETT WINS FRENCH RIVIERA OPEN 2020

ALFIE HEWETT WINS FRENCH RIVIERA OPEN 2020

Alfie Hewett and Gordon Reid have completed ideal preparations for the wheelchair tennis event at Roland Garros after winning both the men’s singles and doubles titles between them at the French Riviera Open in Biot in the south of France.

Hewett beat world No.2 and reigning Roland Garros champion Gustavo Fernandez 6-3, 7-6(6) in Saturday’s men’s singles final at the ITF 1 Series event.

On Friday, he also partnered Reid to win the men’s doubles, with Lucy Shuker making it a hat-trick of titles for players on the LTA’s Wheelchair Tennis World Class Programme after she won the women’s doubles title partnering Chile’s Macarena Cabrillana.

Hewett made it two wins from three matches on clay against Fernandez as the 22-year-old British No.1 came from 6-4 down in a second set tie-break to win his second singles title of 2020.

The world No.3, who edged past Reid 7-6(4), 7-6(5) in the semi-finals to end Reid’s own bid for a hat-trick of French Riviera Open singles titles, said:

“I didn’t actually expect to come here and win both singles and doubles, so I’m obviously very, very happy right now. I haven’t dropped a set this week, either, so there are a lot of positives I can take going into next week (the French Open).  

“I think I should be very, very proud of getting a set 6-3 off Gustavo on clay because I’m the only one who’s done that for a long while. He’s very dominant on clay. To win that set as comfortably as I did was quite a surprise. The difference in the second set was a couple of points and I played the points from 6-4 down in the tie-break smartish”

With the French Open wheelchair tennis event starting on Wednesday, Hewett added:

“We’ve got 24 hours in quarantine when we arrive in Paris, so I think there’ll be a lot of sleep and food to come. I’m just pumped to get there now, but I couldn’t have asked for a better prep.”   

Hewett and Reid extended their unbeaten 2020 doubles record to 14 matches and six tournaments after beating Belgian second seeds Joachim Gerard and Jef Vandorpe 6-4, 6-0 in the men’s doubles final in Biot to give Reid extra reason to remember his 29th birthday.

The reigning Australian Open and US Open champions will now attempt to complete a career Grand Slam of doubles titles together, having also previously won three Wimbledon titles.

Reid, already a two-time Roland Garros doubles champion and twice a singles runner-up to Fernandez in Paris, said:

“It’s really good preparation for Roland Garros next week. We’ve just come back from the US Open, where we won the title as well. It was a long break away from events since February, but we’ve come back strongly and we’re confident as a team on court. This has been a really good week for us, we’ve played well and we’re really looking forward to next week.    

“We just have to review this week with our coaches, watch some footage of the matches, see what we did well and what we need to improve on and then just try and continue the success.”  

While Shuker is not among the four Brits who will be bidding for French Open success in the coming week, the British No.2 put aside the disappointment of  a second round singles loss in Biot to earn victory in the women’s doubles as she and Cabrillana made a winning debut as a partnership.

After beating second seeds Katharina Kruger of Germany and Dutchwoman Michaela Spaanstra in a deciding match tie-break in their semi-final, third seeds Shuker and Cabrilllana raced past Japanese fourth seeds Saki Takamuro and Manami Tanaka 6-0, 6-4 in the women’s doubles final. Afer securing her second doubles title of 2020, Shuker said:

“It was a disappointing singles campaign this week but I’m grateful to Maca for the energy, passion and fun on court to bring home my 75th career doubles title. Through all the ups and downs this year, right now it is definitely about being grateful for the opportunities to compete.” 

For news and updates from the wheelchair tennis draws and the fortunes of the Brits at the French Open, follow on Twitter @the_LTA and @WChairTennisGB from Monday, 5 October.

To find out more about the LTA’s work with disability tennis, head to www.lta.org.uk/play or email disabilitytennis@lta.org.uk