Norfolk star Alfie Hewett produces a Masters class
PUBLISHED: 19:13 01 December 2017 | UPDATED: 19:13 01 December 2017
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Norfolk’s Alfie Hewett and Scot Gordon Reid remain on course for what could be another historic all-Brit title decider after both players prevailed in two remarkable must-win round-robin matches at the NEC Wheelchair Tennis Masters at Loughborough Sport Tennis Centre.
Hewett will face Belgium’s two-time defending champion Joachim Gerard in the semi-finals after securing his first career win in 10 attempts over French world number three Stephane Houdet. Hewett recovered from 3-1 down in the second set and then saved two match points before coming from 4-2 down in the final set to earn a 2-6, 7-6(8), 6-4 victory.
“It was the same thing, the same fighting and digging that I had to produce in that first match on Wednesday against Stefan Olsson to get me into the match today,” said Hewett, from Cantley.
“From a set and 3-1 down it wasn’t looking promising. I don’t think the win itself was the reason I was so emotional. It was the effort. I said before this match that it was all or nothing. I wanted to come off that court being dragged off because of how hard I’d worked.
“At the end of that third set you saw me going for it. Mainly because I didn’t have much in the tank. But previously in our three set matches I’ve tried to rally with him, so I did something different today and thankfully it paid off. So we’ve got the chance of an all-Brit final.”
Reid pulled off the most incredible comebacks of his career to beat world number one Gustavo Fernandez of Argentina 6-3, 1-6, 7-5 to book his place in today’s men’s singles semi-finals.
From 5-1 down in the third and final set and then facing three match points two games later Reid battled his way to a memorable victory that sets up a last four contest against Japan’s three-time NEC Masters champion Shingo Kunieda.
“I just tried not to think about the score, which isn’t always easy when it’s so close. If you think about the score that’s when the nerves can kick in and that’s when you can lose your focus,” said Reid who took the opening set in just 35 minutes before losing nine games in a row in the second and third sets.
“I just kept telling myself what I was trying to do and trying not to let him dictate the points. It’s really satisfying for me to know I’ve stuck in the match and shown really good heart and fight and I’m going to need that for the next match.
“If that’s not the top comeback of my career it’s definitely up there. I can’t think of any other match in which I’ve come back from that situation. Maybe I’ve done it a couple of times in doubles and I’ve definitely lost matches from that situation so it’s nice to be on the other end of it.”