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Alfie Hewett confident of claiming Queen’s title

Alfie Hewett confident of claiming Queen’s title

Hewett beat doubles partner Reid 6-3 6-1 to set up a decider against defending champion Joachim Gerard. 

The pair then put their singles rivalry aside to breeze into the doubles final, beating Asif Abbasi and Manojkanth Somasundaram 6-0 6-0 to reach the final, where they will face Gerard and Stephane Houdet. 

The first order of Sunday’s play, however, will be the singles and Hewett is relishing the chance to claim back the title he won in 2019. 

He said: “I think I am still learning at the moment. I have only played three matches on grass now this year, but I am enjoying it and I feel like I am in a good place physically. 

“I am looking forward to a good challenge. He is probably one of the strongest players on grass because of his big serve and his long levers. 

“I’ve got to serve well and do what I can on the returns and be a little bit creative on ball three.” 

In the men’s singles, Carlos Alcaraz is determined to head to Wimbledon as world No.1 after he sealed a first-ever grass court final with a straight sets victory over Sebastian Korda at Queen’s. 

Alcaraz will usurp Novak Djokovic at the rankings summit ahead of the third Grand Slam of the year if he beats Alex de Minaur in the final, after the Australian beat Holger Rune 6-3 7-6(2). 

De Minaur has been in superb touch all week in West London on the surface that he favours the most, while Alcaraz admitted earlier in the tournament that he is still adapting to grass. 

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But the 20-year-old Spaniard, who also revealed he has been watching videos of Roger Federer and Andy Murray to improve his grass court game, was thrilled with his performance against the big-serving Korda, who knocked out British No.1 Cameron Norrie in the quarter-finals. 

“No doubt my best [performance] on grass,” he said. “I’m feeling great, I’m playing great. This is my third tournament on grass and I can feel the love from the crowd here. 

“It’s impossible to win these kinds of matches without the energy they bring to me. I am really happy to play my first final on grass, even more here at Queen’s. 

“I’m getting better every match that I play. Right now, I feel like I have been playing for ten years on grass. That is something crazy for me. I didn’t expect this and I am really happy about that. 

“At the beginning of the week, I didn’t know I could recover the No.1 [spot]. When I won yesterday, in the press conference they told me and it is extra motivation.  

“It is in my mind and I am going to go for it. Being top seed at Wimbledon, being the No.1, is the dream.” 

If Alcaraz is to head to make the short journey from W14 to SW19 top of the pile, he first must get past De Minaur, whose speed across the court makes him well-suited to the fast-paced action on grass. 

It proved to his benefit in the last four, as he beat world No.6 and second seed Rune in straight sets. 

The Australian took control of the match after breaking twice in the first set, before seeing out the contest with a second set tiebreak. 

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It continued De Minaur’s superb form so far in West London, with the 24-year-old easing past Andy Murray and Diego Schwartzman before battling past Adrian Mannarino to reach the last four. 

And the world No.18 reiterated his love for the surface and expressed his desire to cap off an excellent week with a second ATP 500 title of his career following victory at the Mexican Open earlier this year. 

He said: “I just love being here, love playing on this court. I am very happy. 

“I play pretty decent on the grass and I am having an amazing week. I reckon this is my best match so far. 

“It is a pretty special tournament, so here’s hoping I can go one better tomorrow.” 

For the latest action on the British summer grass court season, check out the LTA website

  • June 25, 2023