Alfie Hewett crowned wheelchair champion at Fever Tree Championships
Last Updated: 25/06/19 4:40pm
Britain's Alfie Hewett is no stranger to making history after being crowned the first wheelchair singles champion at the Fever-Tree Championships.
The world No 3 came out on top against his British compatriot and doubles partner Gordon Reid in straight sets 6-2 7-5.
Speaking to Sky Sports after the final Hewett said: "I really thought I played some good tennis and I'm really pleased with my performance.
"I'm not going to get too ahead of myself though because at the end of the day I've only played and won against one top eight player this week and when it comes to Wimbledon in a few weeks I'm going to have to play and beat three to get the title but this week has been a good stepping stone for me."
Finding an identity
From the opening point of the final Hewett looked comfortable and confident on the surface. If he had nerves he wasn't showing them.
"Gordon is a top 10 player, he beat Stefan Olsson yesterday which just shows how strong he is on this surface, so I knew I had no choice but to go in and play my A-game from the start," the reigning US Open singles champion said.
"It's been what three or four years now I've been playing on grass and I haven't really felt like it's my surface and I've had people tell me you know my game style doesn't suit it in the past and so this year I've wanted to change things up a bit.
"I've been working hard off the court and been experimenting to find my identity on the surface and I think I really adapted to the grass this week and to get the title is a huge positive and shows the hard work is working."
The right balance
Hewett has reduced his touring schedule considerably over the last 12 months and after Roland Garros he opted not to stay on in Paris and compete in the French Open Super Series event, instead coming straight back to the UK and concentrating on getting his game-plan right.
He was also keen on finding a balance between competitive match experience and time on the training court with coach Stuart Wilkinson. That is something Hewett feels has helped him at the start of the grass-court season.
"I think it's important to not only give yourself rest but to also give yourself time to prepare before each tournament," he said.
"Obviously French Open was a Super Series and it's the highest grade tournament you can get on the tour apart from a Grand Slam but for me it was also important to me to get ready for the grass."
One shot that the British No 1 has continuously seen opponents frustrate him with is the slice - and on grass they've used it to their advantage in the past as it becomes trickier to return with that particular type of shot coming through a lot quicker.
He added: "It's something that I work on all year round, whether it's for grass or not because it was a weakness and players exploited it but I'm really happy because something's clicked this week especially and I've dealt with a slice far more than I have done in the past so it's a huge positive moving forward."
Hewett and Reid later teamed up in the doubles but they only managed to win one game in a 6-1 6-0 defeat to Belgium's Joachim Gerard and Sweden's Stefan Olsson.
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