Alfie Hewett eyes World Team Cup success after Rome triumph
- Credit: Laura Baccara
Alfie Hewett is eyeing World Team Cup gold for the second time in three years after the Cantley wheelchair tennis star won his first ITF Two Series men's singles title on the UNIQLO Wheelchair Tennis Tour.
The 17-year-old beat his latest world top-10 ranked opponent when winning his second singles title of the year at the Internazionali d'Italia at Foro Italico in Rome.
Emerging victorious in the select field of eight players, world number one junior Hewett came from a set down to beat home favourite Fabian Mazzei 3-6, 6-6-1, 6-3 and then defeated fellow Brit and second seed David Phillipson 7-6(2), 6-2 in the semi-finals.
The former Acle Academy pupil sealed the title with a 6-3, 6-4 victory over Dutch world number nine Tom Egberink for his third career win against a senior world top-10 ranked opponent.
Since last October he has beaten France's current world number six Nicolas Peifer and Takuya Miki of Japan among others, results that bode well for his next challenge of representing Great Britain in the men's World Group at the BNP Paribas World Team Cup for the very first time.
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'I played some great tennis in Rome and am very happy with the victory and beating another top-10 opponent,' said British men's number four Hewett, who has been rewarded with a rise of two places in this week's world ranking to equal his career best of 17.
'I am very grateful to the Tennis Foundation and UK Sport for all the ongoing support to help me achieve all that I've been able to, especially as we move further along the road to Rio 2016 and the beginning of the ranking qualification window.'
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Hewett has also reached a career best doubles ranking of 12 after partnering Phillipson to finish runner-up in the men's doubles in Rome.
Hewett has been selected by the Tennis Foundation to represent Great Britain alongside Gordon Reid, Marc McCarroll and Phillipson in the elite field of 12 nations in the men's World Group at the World Team Cup, the wheelchair tennis equivalent of the Davis and Fed Cups. The week-long event begins on Monday.
This year's event takes place in Antalya, Turkey, at the same venue where Hewett led Great Britain to victory in the junior event at the 2013 World Team Cup.