Alfie Hewett feeling confident Great Britain can win World Team Cup bronze medal
- Credit: Akira Ando
Alfie Hewett has again impressed for Great Britain in Japan but was unable to prevent a defeat to the host nation at the BNP Paribas World Team Cup.
The 18-year-old will now try and help Great Britain win bronze in Tokyo tomorrow, after an admirable effort in the earlier rounds.
The City College Norwich student beat world number six Gustavo Fernandez 7-6 6-3 to help GB secure a semi-final spot with a 2-1 victory over Argentina.
GB weren't able to repeat the success against Japan today though, with Hewett beaten by two-time Paralympic gold medallist Shingo Kunieda, taking the former world number one to a deciding set for the first time but losing 6-3 4-6 6-1.
With team-mate Marc McCarroll having dropped the opening singles rubber to world number nine Takashi Sanada, it meant defeat for GB.
'It was a really intense match, I had chances and I'm gutted not to have taken them but I have to look at the positives,' said Hewett.
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'The support I had was great and I drew energy from them to win the second set. I think in the third set the effects of my match (against Fernandez) showed and I started to struggle.'
The former Acle High School pupil went into the tournament ranked 13th in the world in singles and up to a career-best doubles ranking of sixth, and was looking to again help GB win the World Team Cup, as he did in Turkey last year.
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Instead GB face Australia in today's bronze medal play-off, with Hewett adding: 'I think we can take Australia in the bronze medal match, there's no reason we can't win. A bronze medal would be above the expectations we set ourselves when we came out here so I'm looking forward to it.'
GB's quad team will play Australia for a fifth World Team Cup title tomorrow, after they managed to beat Japan 2-0 at the Ariake Colosseum today.
The junior team will also play for bronze tomorrow, against the Netherlands. Having already bettered their seeding to reach the junior semi-finals, 14-year-old Ruairi Logan slipped to a 6-4 6-2 loss to Conner Stroud as Britain took on 2015 champions the USA, with Josh Cooper having to retire with injury at the end of the first set of his singles semi-final.
Great Britain's women's team return to action tomorrow in the first of their play-off ties for ninth place, when they take on Morocco.