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Family’s joy as Norwich tennis ace Alfie Hewett is crowned Wimbledon champion

PUBLISHED: 13:40 11 July 2016 | UPDATED: 13:43 11 July 2016

Alfie Hewett celebrates victory in the men's wheelchair doubles on day twelve of the Wimbledon Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, Wimbledon. Picture: Anthony Devlin/PA Wire

Alfie Hewett celebrates victory in the men's wheelchair doubles on day twelve of the Wimbledon Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, Wimbledon. Picture: Anthony Devlin/PA Wire

PA Wire

Norwich has its first ever Wimbledon champion – after an impressive performance from Alfie Hewett in the men’s wheelchair doubles final.

Alfie Hewett, pictured as a seven-year-old after being diagnosed with Perthes Disease and starting to use a wheelchair.
 At the time his family spoke of his love for sport, winning medals and trophies when still competing in able-bodied events. Alfies aunt, Vanessa Hooper, was preparing to do a parachute jump to raise money for a new active users day 
chair for sport at the time. 
Picture: Angela SharpeAlfie Hewett, pictured as a seven-year-old after being diagnosed with Perthes Disease and starting to use a wheelchair. At the time his family spoke of his love for sport, winning medals and trophies when still competing in able-bodied events. Alfies aunt, Vanessa Hooper, was preparing to do a parachute jump to raise money for a new active users day chair for sport at the time. Picture: Angela Sharpe

The 18-year-old partnered British number one Gordon Reid in an epic final against the French pairing of Stephane Houdet and Nicolas Peifer, winning the tie 4-6 6-1 7-6 (8-6).

Hewett’s grandad, David Hooper, has played a key role in helping Alfie with transport so far in his career and was thrilled to see his grandson’s efforts come to fruition.

“It’s the best moment ever since Alfie started playing tennis. To win at Wimbledon is something that he’s always wanted to do and now he’s achieved it,” the 69-year-old, from Lingwood, said.

“His next aim is going to be for the singles but before that he’s got Rio [the Paralympics] so this is all a big build-up to that.

“I’m over the moon for the boy. He played very professionally in the doubles final and just showed what he’s capable of doing.

“He played the two top guys in the world and held his own. I was speaking to Houdet, who’s the number one in the world, and he said that Alfie won that match because of his aggression and style of play, because everyone else was playing safe.”

The Norwich-born rising star received widespread praise for his efforts, in a match which was shown live on BBC Two on Saturday.

City College Norwich principal, Corrienne Peasgood, said: “What a fantastic achievement! Alfie has shown an incredible amount of hard work and dedication to reach this point in his tennis career while simultaneously managing to meet the demands of his two-year course in Sports and Exercise Science with us. He is a fantastic role model and we are all incredibly proud of his achievement. Congratulations from all of us at City College Norwich!”

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