Gordon Reid completed a career Grand Slam of men’s doubles wheelchair tennis titles on Friday after partnering Joachim Gerard of Belgium to win the Australian Open crown 6-3, 3-6, (10-3) against Alfie Hewett and Argentina’s Gustavo Fernandez.
With two Australian Open titles secured so far for players on the Tennis Foundation’s Wheelchair Tennis World Class Programme, Andy Lapthorne will bid for another on Saturday. Lapthorne takes on Dylan Alcott of Australia in the quad singles final, when he will bid to add to the quad doubles title he won on Thursday. The match will take place on Rod Laver Arena.
With Brits on either side of the net in the men’s doubles final, second seeds Reid and Gerard made a confident start and took a 4-0 lead before Hewett and Fernandez managed to recover one of the breaks against them.
After beating Paralympic champions and top seeds Stephane Houdet and Nicolas Peifer in their semi-final, Hewett and Fernandez made the early breakthrough in the second set, turning a 2-0 lead into a 5-2 advantage and forcing the match tie-break. However, Reid and Gerard went through the last seven points of the match tie-break without reply to win their first Grand Slam title together.
“I’m very happy to finish this Australian trip on a high after some disappointing results and performances at times. It was a last minute decision to play with Jo but one that has paid off,” said Reid after the fifth Grand Slam doubles title of his career. “I don’t think any one of us played our best tennis in the final today, but we upped our level when it mattered in the match tie-break. It’s also a great feeling to complete the career doubles Grand Slam.”
Reid had previously won the Roland Garros and US Open doubles titles in 2015 and added the Wimbledon doubles crown to a second title in Paris in 2016.
“It was a tough final. The momentum kept switching as the match went on,” said Hewett. “We started a bit slow again and they pressured us into making errors. But once again it was a real positive that we fought back. We just didn’t have the composure or consistency to keep it up in the match tie-break. It was a really great atmosphere to play in and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my first Australian Open experience. I’m looking forward to going back home and working on everything I have learnt this week.”
Lapthorne was awarded a walkover in his scheduled third and last quad singles round-robin match against Heath Davidson after the Australian withdrew due to injury.
World No.3 Lapthorne will now bid to go one better than in 2013 when he reached his first Australian Open quad singles final.
Photo courtesy of the Tennis Foundation