In the wake of becoming Great Britain’s first ever Paralympic Games men’s singles gold medallist, Glasgow wheelchair tennis star Gordon Reid has realised another historic landmark after being confirmed this week as the first Brit to reach world No.1 in the men’s singles world rankings.
Reid, 24, completed his third Paralympics on Friday with a 6-2, 6-1 win over his doubles partner Alfie Hewett in the gold medal match in Rio. A day earlier Reid and Hewett finished as silver medallists in the men’s doubles behind French top seeds Stephane Houdet and Nicolas Peifer.
Between them Reid and Hewett contributed three of the record six medals won at a single Paralympics by players on the Tennis Foundation’s Wheelchair Tennis World Class Programme selected for the ParalympicsGB team.
But with Reid having arrived in Rio world ranked No.3 it was his 7-5, 6-2 victory over top seed Houdet in the men’s singles semi-final that was the first important part of toppling Houdet at the top of the world rankings. Hewett also beat Belgian world No.2 Joachim Gerard in the other semi-final before Reid’s win in Friday’s gold medal match.
“It’s such an amazing way to round off an incredible year for me. After winning Wimbledon titles and then the success I’ve had out here in Rio, it means everything to be world No.1 before I even fly back home,” said Reid, who also started off 2016 by claiming his first Grand Slam singles title at the Australian Open before finishing runner-up at Roland Garros.
“It’s always been a career goal of mine and it shows you’re the most consistent player on the tour. The moments when you win on the court are the most special but this feels pretty good too, especially being the first British guy to do it in my division.
“The hard bit now will be staying there! But I’ll keep working hard and make sure I give it my best,” added Reid.
If Reid was to maintain his place at the top of the world rankings to be year-end world No.1 in singles he would have the distinction of having been year-end No.1 in men’s doubles and men’s singles in successive seasons.
A major part in the Scot maintaining his place atop the rankings will be the NEC Wheelchair Tennis Masters at Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre on Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park on 30th November to 4th December.. Reid finished third at the year-end championship for the world’s top eight singles players in 2014.
Photo courtesy of the Tennis Foundation