Alfie Hewett, pictured, and Evans Maripa enjoyed a big win on day one in California ©Getty Images

Alfie Hewett and Evans Maripa caused a shock on the opening day of the UNIQLO Wheelchair Doubles Masters when they upset top seeds and reigning champions Joachim Gerard and Stephane Houdet.

Britain's Hewett, the world's number one junior, and South African Maripa were playing only their third tournament together but triumphed 6-1, 6-4 at the Marguerite Tennis Pavilion in Mission Viejo, California.

As a result of the win, the sixth seeds put themselves in pole position in pool one of the end-of-season tournament. which issues invitations to the top eight men's doubles pairings in the world.

“That’s probably the best I’ve ever played in a doubles match,” said Hewett.

“We had nothing to lose and everything we tried paid off.

"It’s a great achievement and we will now be looking to maintain our level for our remaining matches.

“It is an amazing first experience here.

"It is one of the nicest and most pleasant tournaments so far.

"We started thinking we could beat them and we believed in ourselves.

"We came close to beating guys in the top ten in the past, so we thought we could do it.”

Defending champions Yui Kamiji and Jordanne Whiley began the women's tournament at the UNIQLO Wheelchair Doubles Masters with victory
Defending champions Yui Kamiji and Jordanne Whiley began the women's tournament at the UNIQLO Wheelchair Doubles Masters with victory ©Getty Images

Elsewhere in pool one, there was a victory for Dutch duo Tom Egberink and Maikel Scheffers who saw off the all-British partnership of Marc McCarroll and David Phillipson 6-4, 6-4.

In pool two, Wimbledon champions Gustavo Fernandez of Argentina and Nicolas Peifer of France defeated Sweden’s London 2012 gold medallists Stefan Olsson and Peter Vikstrom 7-5, 6-2.

Last year's runners-up Michael Jeremiasz of France and Gordon Reid of Great Britain also got off to a winning start, defeating Japan’s Shingo Kunieda and Takuya Miki 7-5, 6-3.  

In the women's tournament, a re-match of last year's final saw defending champions, Japan's Yui Kamiji and Britain's Jordanne Whiley, beat another Brit Louise Hunt and Germany’s Katharina Kruger 6-2, 6-0 in pool one.

Dutch combination  Jiske Griffioen and Aniek van Koot, the 2012 Doubles Masters champions, also dropped just two games in their opening pool two match, defeating American pair Emmy Kaiser and Kaitlyn Verfuerth 6-0, 6-2.

The tournament is due to continue tomorrow, with the quad doubles set to start.

Four pairings will compete in the quads, with six in the women's event.

Related stories
November 2015:
 List of confirmed entrants for UNIQLO Wheelchair Doubles Masters revealed
April 2015: Mission Viejo to host UNIQLO Wheelchair Doubles Masters through to 2016