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Alfie Hewett: Wheelchair tennis star looks back on Grand Slam success this year and goals for 2024

Tennis ace Alfie Hewett speaks looks back on what has been an incredible 2023; Hewett won three majors in the men's wheelchair singles and three Grand Slams in the doubles with Gordon Reid; tennis returns to Sky Sports with the Brisbane International on New Year's Eve

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Alfie Hewett says it was a 'delight' but 'bitter sweet' to claim his fourth US Open wheelchair singles title against doubles partner Gordon Reid

Twenty-six-time Grand Slam champion, reigning world No 1 in both men's singles and doubles wheelchair tennis, Paralympian and OBE recipient. Alfie Hewett’s list of achievements continues to grow. Sky Sports News' Eleanor Roper sat down with Hewett to reflect on his success in 2023.

Looking back now on 2023, on what has been an amazing year for you, can you pick a highlight? Is that even possible?

"That's so difficult. I mean, I'm obviously very lucky to be in this position and say I've got so many to pick from, but if I had to pick one, it probably would be the Australian Open. Just because I know the despair and the disappointment of losing the two singles finals the last two years."

The 26-year-old clinched his first wheelchair singles title victory at the tournament earlier this year after beating 17-year-old Tokito Oda. His winning streak didn't just stop there, he also secured the doubles title.

He adds: "And it was an accolade that I haven't yet achieved. So, I really desperately wanted it this year, but that for me, is definitely a standout."

Alfie Hewett  kisses his trophy after defeating Tokito Oda of Japan in the men's wheelchair final at the Australian Open
Image: Alfie Hewett kisses his trophy after defeating Tokito Oda of Japan in the men's wheelchair final at the Australian Open

In achieving so much, is there something that you've learned this year?

"To be able to achieve consistency. I put a lot of that down to working on my mentality this year and learning a lot about myself."

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Hewett along with his doubles partner Gordon Reid defeated Takuya Miki and Tokito Oda in the wheelchair doubles final at Wimbledon this year for the fifth time. Although he has yet to win his first singles title, coming in second place to Tokito Oda.

It'd be good to ask you about Wimbledon. You've talked a bit about belief when it comes to the grass, and it kind of baffles me thinking about someone like you struggling with belief when you have achieved so much?

Hewett replies: "Obviously, coming so close in the last two years. I felt like this year of course it was devastating to not get over the line, but actually it installed another layer of belief because there was this little voice in my head telling me that last year was just a fluke and me reaching the final was a one off.

"But then going there this year and having two really strong performances in the quarter-finals and semi-finals."

Gordon Reid and Alfie Hewett collected their OBE together earlier this year
Image: Gordon Reid and Alfie Hewett are the men's wheelchair doubles pairing to beat going into 2024

He adds: "But then the final obviously didn't go my way, but I don't put that down to me not understanding the grass. It was psychological in the moment. So that's another thing that you have to learn."

Held in Paris next year, the Paralympics start on August 28 and end on September 8. Having achieved so much this year, Hewett, a three-time Paralympic silver medallist, says that's his focus for 2024 and he's ready to tick off gold from his list!

"It comes around once every four years, and I've got three silver medals, which I'd love one of them to turn into gold at some point. Wimbledon is also going to be another special occasion which I'll be firmly on, but also just try and keep growing the sport as best as I can."

To top it all off, Hewett along with his doubles partner Gordon Reid also received OBEs this year for services to tennis. A "special day" and one of the highlights of his career.

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Highlights of the US Open final between Gordon Reid and Alfie Hewett at Flushing Meadows in New York

"I had all my family come down from Norfolk. There's about 20 of us that came down."

How many people are you allowed to take?

"Well, three inside Windsor. So, I had my mum, my dad and my grandad there with me, which obviously special because they were a big part, they are a big part of what I do now still."

He adds: "To meet a royal, you don't want to mess up. You don't want to mess up your lines or go down the wrong way or something like that. Hopefully we can keep pushing the sport in the future and it's still an amazing thing."

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