Kunieda, retired player, bests world No.1 Hewett to claim victory at Miami Open

At the age of 40, Shingo Kunieda retired from wheelchair tennis after an illustrious career that saw him amass 28 singles and 22 doubles Grand Slam titles, in addition to four Paralympic gold medals. Despite his retirement, Kunieda proved that he still had what it takes to compete at the highest level when he emerged victorious in the men’s singles at the first-ever Miami Open Wheelchair Invitational.

Facing off against current world No. 1 Alfie Hewett of Britain in a thrilling best-of-three sets final, Kunieda ultimately came out on top. Reflecting on his unexpected win, Kunieda expressed his disbelief at his success. He mentioned that he had taken a break of around one-and-a-half years before making his triumphant return to defeat the top-ranked player in the world, Hewett. Kunieda’s last competitive match had ended in defeat to Hewett at the 2022 U.S. Open final, making his victory at the Miami Open even more remarkable.

In a dual role at the tournament, Kunieda not only participated as a player but also served as its director. His presence and leadership helped make the inaugural Miami Open Wheelchair Invitational a memorable and successful event for all involved.

By Sophia Gonzalez

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