Alfie Hewett and Gordon Reid came away with the Rio Paralympic Tennis Event men’s doubles silver medal on Thursday’s penultimate day of competition as they prepare to go head-to-head for the gold medal in the men’s singles on Friday.
Wimbledon champions and second seeds Hewett and Reid recovered well after dropping the opening set to French top seeds Stephane Houdet and Nicolas Peifer, breaking serve to lead 2-0 in the second set and taking the set with another break of serve.
However, Houdet and Peifer regained the momentum in the final set and eventually clinched the gold medal 6-2, 4-6, 6-1.
ParalympicsGB’s fourth medal of the Paralympic Tennis Event will become an unprecedented six medals on Friday when third seed Reid and 13th seed Hewett also become the first Great Britain players to contest a Paralympic men’s singles final.
“The overriding feeling right now is disappointment but that’s because we gave ourselves a chance to win the gold and couldn’t quite keep the momentum going in the third set,” said 18-year-old Hewett, who is playing in his first Paralympics.
“If we’d been going home with one silver medal each, that would have been amazing but we both know we’re picking up another one tomorrow, so we’re going to enjoy every minute of it. We’ve never been in this situation before in a high profile match but we’ll prepare exactly the same and treat it like any other match and may the best man win.”
“The fightback in the second set took a lot of our energy and the French are such an experienced pair. Our coaches and everyone behind the scenes at the Tennis Foundation have worked so hard to get us to this point so this medal is for them as well,” said Reid.
“Tomorrow might not ever happen again with two Brits in the final, so we’ll enjoy the occasion and the fact we’re contributing plenty of medals from wheelchair tennis to the ParalympicsGB tally, which makes us very proud.”
Photo courtesy of the Tennis Foundation