Japanese wheelchair tennis sensation Tokito Oda made history by becoming the youngest man ever to win at Wimbledon in any discipline after defeating British player Alfie Hewett in the men’s wheelchair final on Sunday.
Key details: Oda, 17, took his second straight Grand Slam title on Sunday when he defeated Hewett, 25, with a final score of 6-4 and 6-2 on court No. 1 at the AELTC Wimbledon Qualifying and Community Sports Ground in London.
Speaking in front of the crowd, Oda admitted that it was difficult “playing someone from their home country,” adding that he did not expect “this level of support” from the crowd and “to play on these courts.”
History-making win: Oda is now the youngest male player to win a Wimbledon championship in any discipline at 17 years and 69 days. Before Oda, the youngest tennis player to win a Wimbledon championship was Boris Becker, who won in 1985 at 17 years and 228 days.
Meanwhile, the previous title holder for the overall youngest male tennis champion was Hall of Fame tennis legend Michael Chang, who won the French Open in 1989 at 17 years and 109 days.
“I’m still 17. So, I want to open a champagne, but I couldn’t,” Oda said. “So I have to drink sparkling water.”
His second win: The Wimbledon championship on Sunday came on the heels of Oda’s Grand Slam win in June, when he also beat Hewett in the French Open with a final score of 6-1 and 6-4. Like his recent win, the French Open award also made Oda the youngest man to win a Grand Slam singles title tournament in any discipline.
The youngest ever: Although Oda is now the youngest man ever to win a Wimbledon title, the mantle of the youngest tennis player to win a championship ever since the beginning of the Open Era in 1968 goes to Swiss tennis legend Martina Hingis, who won the Australian Open in 1997 at 16 years and 117 days.
The road ahead: Besides winning the entire Grand Slam, which entails winning all four major championships — the Australian Open, the French Open, Wimbledon and the U.S. Open — in the same season, Oda is also looking forward to competing in the Paralympics in Paris in 2024.
“My goal is winning the whole Grand Slam and winning the Paralympics,” he said. “My tennis is not perfect right now, so I want to play more things. I’m thinking I want to play more aggressive and playing faster.”