Cantley’s Alfie Hewett becomes second British player to win Cruyff Foundation Junior Masters boys’ singles title
Cantley's Alfie Hewett became just the second British player to win the Cruyff Foundation Junior Masters boys' singles title on Sunday as the world's top tournament for wheelchair tennis players aged 18 and under came to a thrilling climax in Tarbes, France.
The 14-year-old Acle High School student upset Argentinian top seed Augustin Ledesma to take the title 2-6, 6-2, 7-6 after a closely-fought match in front of 3,000 spectators.
Hewett remained unbeaten in all three of his round-robin matches before defeating Dutchman Carlos Anker 6-2, 6-1 in the semi-final en route to emulating current senior British No 1 Gordon Reid, the first British player to win the boys' title in Tarbes in 2008 and 2009.
With Ledesma almost four years older than Junior Masters debutant Hewett, and 85 places higher in the senior world rankings, the Argentinian looked to be on course for victory after taking the first set in impressive fashion 6-2.
But Hewett made a remarkable start to the second set, taking a 5-0 lead before finally levelling the match on his third set point.
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He proceeded to break at the start of the third set and, although Ledesma then reeled off five games in succession, Hewett dug deep to force the final set tie-break and take the title.
The junior world No 3 had earlier claimed the first part of an excellent double, partnering Ledesma to beat Rody de Bie and Jeroen Staman 7-6, 2-6, (11-9) in Saturday's doubles final.
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'When I came into the tournament I never thought I'd win a title because of the level of my opponents, so I'm feeling slightly overwhelmed right now,' said Hewett.
'In the first set Augustin played a very solid game, seemed to get everything back and forced me into making too many errors, so at the start of the second my plan was to get everything back into court and it worked. To come home with both titles and become only the second British boy to do it is incredible.'
Hewett first played the sport at a Tennis Foundation Wheelchair Tennis Development Camp in 2005, when he was just seven years old, and went on to become the youngest Briton to earn a senior world ranking in 2010.
The Tennis Foundation's Wheelchair Tennis Camps for 2012 get under way at South Ribble Tennis Centre, near Preston, on February 18 and 19 with the first of a series of two-day camps that will also visit Swindon, Welwyn Garden City, Stirling, Edinburgh, Swindon, Nottingham and Sunderland.