No. 1 Shingo Kunieda’s bid for an 11th Australian Open title ended Monday with a straight-sets loss against Briton Alfie Hewitt in the men’s wheelchair singles semifinals.
By defeating the defending champion 6-3, 6-4, world No. 3 Hewitt avenged his loss to Kunieda in the U.S. Open final in September.
World No. 1 Kunieda, who eased past Australian wild card Ben Weekes in his opening match to reach the semis, said he expected to “be tested” by Hewitt.
Kunieda won the first three games of the opening set but dropped serve in the fourth, as Hewitt seized the momentum and closed out the set by winning six straight games.
Kunieda was broken six times in the match and won only 44% of points on his second serve.
The 36-year-old, who claimed his 24th Grand Slam singles title against Hewitt at the U.S. Open, had lost just twice in 12 tournaments at Melbourne Park before this defeat.
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