Alfie Hewett stars as Great Britain reach World Team Cup semi-finals

Alfie Hewett, left, helped Great Britain's men win the World Team Cup in Turkey last year and is try

Alfie Hewett, left, helped Great Britain's men win the World Team Cup in Turkey last year and is trying to repeat that success in Japan. Photo: Mathilde Dusol - Credit: Archant

Norfolk wheelchair tennis star Alfie Hewett defeated world number six Gustavo Fernandez as Great Britain reached the semi-finals of the BNP Paribas World Team Cup in Japan.

The City College Norwich student was the standout performer as GB beat Argentina in Tokyo, to set up a semi-final against the host nation.

Hewett, from Cantley, near Acle, beat Fernandez 7-6 6-3 to put the tie beyond Argentina's reach, after Marc McCarroll had earlier beaten Agustin Ledesma 6-4 6-3.

Despite Dermot Bailey and Paul Stewart losing the doubles rubber 6-1 6-1 the British team had already done enough to secure their place in the semi-finals.

'I'm delighted, it's my first win over Gustavo and I was really pleased with my performance. With it being a team event, watching Marc (McCarroll) play his match got me pumped and got me up for it and sparked something in me,' said 18-year-old Hewett.

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'I think that was one of the toughest matches I've played in my career both mentally and physically. He's someone who won't give you anything; you've got to earn your points. Even at 4-2, 40-15 down he never gave up.

'It's another top 10 player that I've beaten which gives me a massive confidence boost. In the past I've struggled with keeping my cool in pressured moments but I'm working with a new sports psychologist and I have ways of coping now.

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'I can get quite emotional and animated so keeping my cool on the big points was crucial.'

Hewett went into the tournament ranked 13th in the world in singles and up to a career-best doubles ranking of sixth, looking to again help GB win the World Team Cup, as he did in Turkey last year.

Britain's quad and junior teams also booked their places in the semi-finals in Tokyo yesterday.

The quad team of Andy Lapthorne, Jamie Burdekin and Antony Cotterill beat Israel 2-1 to win their group after earlier 3-0 wins over Canada and South Africa.

The juniors beat Japan 3-0 to make the semi-finals at the expense of fourth seeds Belgium who they beat into third in their group, although the women's team endured a tough day against hosts Japan, losing all three matches in the tie.

The men's and quad teams both face Japan in the semi-finals tomorrow, with the juniors playing the USA. Britain's women will play for places nine to 12 over the next two days, starting against Morocco.

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