cinch Championships 2023: Newly honoured Brits Hewett and Reid ready to challenge for wheelchair titles
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Alfie Hewett and Gordon Reid, both awarded the OBE in the King’s Birthday Honours list, head a four-strong British wheelchair tennis entry for the cinch Championships, with both previous champions at The Queen’s Club relishing the opportunity to start their grass court seasons by adding to their career titles on 23-25 June.
World No.2 Hewett, who won the inaugural men’s wheelchair ranking tournament at The Queen’s Club in 2019, and world No.8 Reid, who won the 2021 singles title, are among three current world top 10 ranked players who will vie for the title this year alongside Belgium’s world No.4, defending champion and 2022 British Open champion Joachim Gerard.
Hewett lost out to Gerard in last year’s singles semi-finals at the cinch Championships before going on to win the doubles title alongside Frenchman Stephane Houdet.
Reid goes into this week’s event having been awarded the one available wild card for the men’s wheelchair event at The Championships, Wimbledon.
Sixteen-time Grand Slam doubles champions Hewett and Reid are joined in this year’s cinch Championships field by Gerard and former world No.1 singles and doubles player Houdet, as well as fellow Brits Dermot Bailey and Andrew Penney.
Bailey will be making his third appearance at The Queen’s Club since 2019, when he was a singles semi-finalist. Eighteen-year-old National champion Penney will contest his second successive cinch Championships after reaching the men’s doubles final last year alongside Gerard before finishing runners-up to Hewett and Houdet.
Completing the field of eight players will be London-based Asif Abbasi and Manojkanth Somasundaram, who play internationally under the national flags of Pakistan and India, respectively. Both players also compete regularly in LTA regional wheelchair tennis tournaments and Abbasi is among the wheelchair players to have qualified for the Play Your Way To Wimbledon Finals in August in the first year that the UK’s largest individual mass participation tennis competition has included a number of disability categories.
For the second successive year the LTA’s premier summer grass court tournaments will include world ranking wheelchair tennis draws for men, women and quad players, with leading Brits Lucy Shuker and Andy Lapthorne among the entries for the women’s and quad draws that will be a feature of the Rothesay International Eastbourne next week, from 29 June to 1 July.