As Alfie Hewett prepares for his Gentleman’s Wheelchair singles match against Frenchman Nicholas Peifer at The Championship at Wimbeldon, Italian tennis and lifestyle clothing brand Australian L’Alpina are delighted to announce they have become his new exclusive clothing and apparel sponsor.
Hewett, 2016 Rio double silver Paralympian, 2017 French Open wheelchair singles champion, 2016 Wimbledon wheelchair doubles champion and world No.6, and joins former Davis Cup player James Wards as the latest tennis star to join the ranks of Australian L’Alpina sponsored players.
UK Australian L’Alpina Managing Director Peter Coulstock comments: “We are delighted to be sponsoring Alfie. At still only nineteen years of age, Alfie has achieved an outstanding amount of success. We hope that our clothing and apparel sponsorship will support him further and help him to achieve greater things in his career going forward. We wish him the best of luck at The Championships this year.”
The nineteen year old hails from Norfolk and was born with a congenital heart defect, Tetralogy of Fallot. Alfie underwent open-heart surgery at six months old and was diagnosed with Perthes Disease at the age of six. Alfie started playing wheelchair tennis in 2005 after attending a Tennis Foundation training camp. He played his first tournament in 2008 and was selected to represent Great Britain at the ITF’s European Junior Wheelchair Tennis Camp.
On his new sponsorship deal, Hewett said: “I am so proud to be sponsored by Australian L’Alpina. The company has a long and prestigious reputation and heritage in professional tennis and it’s amazing to be one of the names amongst the likes of Ivan Lendl, Goran Ivanisevic and Paolo Lanzini.”
Hewett will debut his new Australian L’Alpina kit at The Championships at Wimbledon during the Gentleman’s Wheelchair Grand Slam. The Briton, who has formed a formidable partnership with World No.2 Gordon Reid, is going into this year’s The Championships at Wimbledon in very good form after becoming the first British wheelchair player in history to win the French Open.
After trying on his Wimbledon whites for the first time at the National Training Center in Roehampton, Hewett said: “I’ve just tried them on for the first time, I like them. They give me full range of movement and I the style and the fit. I saw James Ward in the first week of Wimbledon, I watched his match, just so I could see what it looked like on him and envisage myself in that position. I’m a big Norwich fan as well, so the green stripes do me very well.”
Hewett was visibly excited as he said: “I really like the kit, it’s very comfy to play in, I have all range of movement, so it feels nice and Australian L’Alpina have given me a lot of kit in different colours and I have had a lot of good feedback from it.”
On defending his Wimbledon Doubles title with Gordon Reid, Hewett said: “We won the doubles last year, so we’re going there to defend our title and that will be tough. Everyone will be gunning for us, but once again, we’ll be at our home grand slam so the support will be great. He’ll have his friends and family and I’ll have my friends and family, so hopefully people from Britain will come out and support us. That’s one of the best parts of this event is knowing that we’ll get some great support. We’ve been working hard, we’ve had a few tough losses recently, but we’re ready to go.”
On his first round match up against Nicholas Peifer,, Hewett said this: “I’ve avoided the top two seeds which is good. Nicholas and I have had some close matches in the past and anything can happen on grass, so I’m looking forward to it.”
Despite being considered a dark horse for the Singles title, Hewett and partner Gordon Reid are favourites to retain their Wimbledon Doubles title from last year. Hewett told us that the pressure in the Doubles matches are much greater at Wimbledon than anywhere else.
The Norwich City season ticket holder has had a good rivalry with Argentine Gustavo Fernandez in recent months, beating his compatriot in the Rolland Garros final only weeks after losing to him in straight sets.
Hewett had this to say on his recent match-ups against Fernandez: “Anything can happen, it’s a tough surface, and movement is exposed. Both of our movements will be key to winning the match I have to focus on my first match against Nicholas (Peifer), if I win and he wins, then I think we’ll play each other in the semi’s, so a rematch of the Rolland Garros final will definitely be interesting.
Australian L’Alpina are an Italian brand with a heritage that goes back as far as 1946. Originally founded in 1946 by Leardo Gabrielli, the L’Alpina brand of clothing soon grew to dominate the fashionable tennis scene in the late 50s and early 60s and was the benchmark for contemporary styling and practicality. The popularity of the brand, with its unique Kangaroo motif lead to the range of clothing extending from the tennis court to the leisure market and the ‘Australian’ brand was born.
The retro styled L’Alpina range of clothing is still being designed and made in Italy and is exclusively available in the UK from Australian clothing.