Wimbledon 2023: Alfie Hewett hoping to carry crowd support for wheelchair tennis into Nottingham’s British Open after memorable Wimbledon
• 4 MINUTE READ
Alfie Hewett is hoping that the enormous crowd support for wheelchair tennis at The Championships, Wimbledon will be replicated at the Lexus British Open Wheelchair Tennis Championships in Nottingham next month after the British No.1 earned his 25th Grand Slam title on Saturday at the All England Club and finished runner-up in Sunday’s men’s singles final.
World No. 2 Hewett and Japan’s world No.1 Tokito Oda produced a spellbinding level of tennis in the men’s wheelchair singles final on No.1 Court before 17-year-old Oda became Wimbledon’s youngest men’s champion after a 6-4, 6-2 win over Hewett.
Hewett was unable to deliver the decisive blow against an inspired performance from Oda, despite the world No.2 holding a 4-1 lead in the first set and also moving a break ahead in the second set.
With Hewett trailing 2-3 in the second set he had opportunities to level at 3-3, but efforts were to no avail and 17-year-old Oda went on to become the youngest man in any discipline to win a Wimbledon singles title.
“It was obviously disappointing,” said Hewett, who was beaten by Japan’s Shingo Kunieda last year despite leading by two breaks in the final set.
“The performance today, it wasn’t anywhere near what I am capable of or what I have been playing recently. Credit to Tokito, he rose to the occasion, and executed the plan, served well and returned well in the latter stages of both sets. It was obviously a tough one to take.
Both athletes are now set to be among the star-studded line-up of players contending for the British Open titles at Nottingham Tennis Centre between 1-6 August. Seven-time Grand Slam singles champion Hewett, said, “It’s great for all the British players to have some home support.
"It’s obviously been amazing this week and hopefully we can continue that into the British Open. It’s a great event and it’s great to be on home soil again, off the back of Wimbledon and Queen’s. It's exciting to be able to carry that momentum through and a chance for more British people to come and support us.”
Hewett, who beat Oda in the Australian Open final earlier this year, will be aiming to regain the men’s singles title he won in Nottingham in 2021, when he and fellow Brit Gordon Reid also won their second British Open men’s doubles title in Nottingham.
Almost 2 million BBC Two viewers watched Hewett and Reid win their fifth Wimbledon title and their 18th Grand Slam title together after beating Oda and Takuya Miki on Saturday.
A partisan and largely British crowd of approaching 10,000 people lifted the home favourites to a 3-6, 6-3, 6-0 victory on No.1 Court and Hewett and Reid will also now aim to regain the British Open title they won for a second time in Nottingham in 2021.
Hewett added, “I've had some good success there in Nottingham in recent years, so I’m looking forward to being back on the hard courts and hope lots of people can come and support us.”
Buy your tickets to the British Open
Get your tickets now for the British Open. Tickets are priced at £8 for adults and free for children, with week-long tickets also available.