Cantley’s Hewett makes sensational Doubles Masters debut

Cantley wheelchair tennis star Alfie Hewett made a sensational UNIQLO Wheelchair Doubles Masters debut on Tuesday when he partnered South Africa’s Evans Maripa to a straight sets victory the over top seeds and defending champions in Mission Viejo, California.

Hewett and Maripa, playing in what is only their third tournament together, beat Belgium’s Joachim Gerard and Stephane Houdet of France 6-1, 6-4 in the first of their three men’s doubles round-robin matches.

They now face the all-British partnership of Marc McCarroll and David Phillipson and Dutch duo Tom Egberink and Maikel Scheffers in their remaining two matches, with the top two players in their pool then going forward to Friday’s semi-finals.

“That’s probably the best I’ve ever played in a doubles match,” said 17-year-old world No.1 junior Hewett, one of four Brits on the Tennis Foundation’s Wheelchair Tennis Performance Programme contesting the men’s doubles in Mission Viejo. “We had nothing to lose and everything we tried paid off. It’s a great achievement and we will now be looking to maintain our level for our remaining matches.”

Hewett made his Grand Slam debut in the men’s doubles at Wimbledon in early July when he partnered Gerard. Later that month he won his first Super Series title when partnering fellow Brit Gordon Reid to win the men’s doubles at the British Open in Nottingham and subsequently earned his first senior world top 10 ranking when going to No.9 in the men’s doubles rankings.