Gordon Reid and Alfie Hewett added to their growing list of historic achievements on Friday at the US Open when they set up the first all-Brit men’s singles wheelchair tennis semi-final at a Grand Slam.
Reid and Hewett will go head-to-head in Saturday’s semi-final, with a British player from the Tennis Foundation’s Wheelchair Tennis World Class Programme guaranteed a place in the men’s singles final in New York for the first time. Later in the day Reid and Hewett will be on the same side of the net when they contest the men’s doubles final.
One year and one week on from meeting in the Rio Paralympic men’s singles gold medal match, the two Brits both won three-set quarter-finals in New York as world No. 2 Reid reached his second US Open singles semi-final since 2013 and world No.3 Hewett booked his place in the last four on his debut at the final Grand Slam of the year.
Reid made his US Open debut in 2013 with a quarter-final victory over Belgium’s Joachim Gerard and Gerard was on the other side of the net again on Friday as Reid earned a 6-7(5), 6-4, 6-1 victory.
Despite earning an immediate break of serve Reid narrowly dropped the first set tie-break, but he came from behind to serve out the second set to love. Thereafter he dominated the deciding set to seal victory after two hours and 15 minutes.
“I’m very happy to come through a tough match against Jo today. Sometimes, to get the win it’s more about the desire rather than the quality of the tennis and that was the case in the final set today,” said Reid.
“There were definitely positives to take forward from the match into the semi tomorrow against Alfie, which will be a great occasion and one that I can’t wait for.”
Hewett came from 3-1 down to level both of the first two sets of his quarter-final against former world No.1 and six-time US Open champion Shingo Kunieda of Japan at 4-4. Hewett saved four set points in the opening set before going on to serve out the second set and force the decider.
The 19-year-old Roland Garros champion then forged into a 5-2 lead in the deciding set before wrapping up a 4-6, 6-4, 6-3 victory.
“I’m really happy to be in my first US Open singles semi. Shingo played well and it was hard to break him down. He’s a great competitor and athlete, so it was always going to be a tough match,” said Hewett.
“I found a way to get back into the match after losing the first and being 3-1 down. I’m happy how I fought, I didn’t feel like it was one of my best matches, but I dug deep so I’m very pleased with that.”
Reid and Hewett also meet top seeds Stephane Houdet and Nicolas Peifer in Saturday’s men’s doubles final as they bid to follow up their victories over the French duo in the last two Wimbledon finals.
Photo courtesy of the Tennis Foundation