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Wednesday, November 30, 2022

US Open: Alfie Hewett wins sixth singles Grand Slam title to deny Shingo Kunieda historic success

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lfie Hewett denied Shingo Kunedia the calendar Grand Slam as he won the US Open wheelchair singles final in straight sets.

The British star secured his sixth Slam title, winning 7-6 6-1 at Flushing Meadows in a result that left Kunedia falling one match short in his bid to complete the set in 2022. He would have been the first man to ever do so had he beaten Hewett.

It gave Hewett his third US Open title to go with three French Open crowns, while he has also won 15 doubles titles with Gordon Reid.

There was disappointment on Saturday for the British pair, as they were beaten in the men’s doubles final to be denied a sixth straight title in New York.

However Hewett, who lost to Kunieda in the final in Australia and at Wimbledon earlier this year as well as at the past two US Open finals, put that behind him to get over the line against his regular foe.

“It’s very satisfying,” the 24-year-old said.

“To have that epic in Wimbledon, and then to be just so close and not get over the line then, it certainly motivated me. I struggled a little bit with illness afterwards, but every day and every minute of every day I wanted to get back on that practice court for this, really.

“You could see that in the first set, especially, because I really wanted it. Helped calm my emotions down a little bit in the second set but it was great.

“I’m not a nasty person. I didn’t really want to take it necessarily away from him. I feel bad for him because he’s such an incredible ambassador for our sport.

“It doesn’t come around often that you get three majors in one year. He’ll know that that was his chance, but unfortunately he came up against me today. It’s probably the hungriest I have ever been for a Grand Slam.”

Additional reporting by PA Sport.

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