Great Yarmouth star Alfie helps Great Britain to historic victory
- Credit: Archant
Great Yarmouth's Alfie Hewett helped Great Britain's men's wheelchair team secure an historic first World Group title at the BNP Paribas World Team Cup in Antalya, Turkey.
The cup was secured when Hewett and Gordon Reid gained straight sets wins in their singles rubbers to give Great Britain a 2-0 victory over France.
Great Britain ends the International Tennis Federation's flagship wheelchair tennis team event, the sport's version of the Davis and Fed Cups, with two medals after the GB women's team won bronze with a 2-0 win over Germany.
Seventeen-year-old Hewett, who has made his Great Britain senior debut last week, produced a tremendous performance in the opening singles rubber to beat world number 11 Michael Jeremiasz 7-5, 6-1 for his first career victory over the former world number one.
Top Brit and world number three Reid then swapped the lead several times with Nicolas Peifer in the first set of the second singles rubber, but took command of the tie-break and claimed a 7-6 (5), 6-2 victory to win Britain's first gold medal in the World Group in 30 years of World Team Cup participation.
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Last year Reid, Marc McCarroll and David Phillipson, three-quarters of this year's team, won GB's first men's bronze medal since 1989, again captained by Karen Ross.
'Making the transition from juniors to seniors and still being able to perform on this stage, it's a very special moment,' said Hewett, who has won his second gold medal in Antalya after leading Great Britain's junior team to victory in 2013.
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'I said at the beginning of the week I thought we could win and it has been great to have maintained that belief and to perform to our potential.'
'It feels amazing going into Roland Garros knowing we are World Team Cup champions,' said Reid. 'It has not sunk in yet. Thanks to Karen and all the team who have helped support us this week. It feels great and I think we deserved to win it.'
'It's been a great team effort,' added McCarroll. 'Gordon and Alfie both stepped up today and performed really well. We couldn't have done this week without the help and support of the Tennis Foundation, UK Sport and the National Lottery. Massive thank you and well done also to Karen, who has captained the team to make history this week. It has been such an honour representing our country at this brilliant event.'
'I'm immensely proud of the performances of all of our 13 players this week and to end on a history-making performance from our men caps off a memorable week,' said Geraint Richards, the Tennis Foundation's Head of Disability Player Performance
'Alfie has played incredibly well on his senior debut for Great Britain after leading the GB junior team to victory here in Antalya just two years ago, and all four GB men's team members have done their country proud and secured vital wins, with Gordon producing another big performance under pressure today.'