Alfie Hewett has become the men's singles wheelchair tennis world number one for the second time ©Getty Images

Britain’s Alfie Hewett has overtaken Shingo Kunieda’s position as the world number one men’s singles wheelchair tennis player following the release of the International Tennis Federation’s (ITF) latest rankings.

Kunieda, who represents Japan, is considered one of the greatest wheelchair tennis players of all-time thanks to a career record of 493 wins and 62 losses, 50 career titles, 26 Grand Slam titles and three Paralympic golds in the singles discipline alone.

His doubles record is just as impressive, where he has a career record of 340 wins to 82 losses, 21 Grand Slam victories and one Paralympic gold.

Hewett usurped his rival after adding the Cajun Classic Super Series title in Baton Rouge in the United States to the Melbourne Wheelchair Open Super Series and the ABN AMRO World Wheelchair Tennis Tournament One Series titles he previously won during this season’s ITF Wheelchair Tennis World Tour.

The 24-year-old, who became the sport’s youngest ever world number one in the men’s singles rankings in 2018, also finished runner-up at the Australian Open.

“The game has moved on massively since I was world number one in 2018,” Hewett said.

"I’ve had to adapt in terms of my game, my mentality, my behaviour, my emotions.

"I don’t think at the time I appreciated how hard it was to achieve something like that. I want to try to stay there a little bit longer this time.

"It’s not going to be easy, I’m aware of that, but I’m just taking it one tournament at a time and I’m going to enjoy every week and every moment that I’m able to say I am No.1 in the world.

"The hard work does continue, there is no rest now - it’s just getting on with the rest of the season.

"It’s been a great year so far and so maintaining some strong performances with similar outcomes is the target for me."

Early in his career, Hewett, who is coached by Donna Andrews and Ben Collingwood, was world number one in the junior world rankings and he has since become a five-time Grand Slam singles winner, including the 2021 French Open title which he is set to defend in May at Roland Garros in Paris.

He also partners compatriot Gordon Reid in wheelchair tennis men’s doubles where they have become one of Britain’s greatest tennis pairings with 14 Grand Slams.

Last year, the pair completed the calendar Grand Slam by winning the Australian Open, French Open, Wimbledon and the US Open.

Michael Bourne, the Lawn Tennis Association’s performance director, added: "The continued success of Alfie and our other leading elite wheelchair tennis players is a key part of our goal for Britain to become one of the most respected nations in the world for player development, and for British tennis to now have officially the best men’s singles wheelchair tennis player in the world is something everyone involved in our sport can celebrate."

Hewett’s accession means Britain’s stature within wheelchair tennis continues to rise.

Reid, Lucy Shuker and Andy Lapthorne are ranked inside the top five in the world in both singles and doubles across the men’s, women’s and quad divisions.

Roby Bishop, Ellie Robertson, Ben Bartram, Dahnon Ward and Andrew Penney are also included in the top 10 of the boys and girls wheelchair tennis world rankings.