Gordon Reid became the first Briton to win a men’s wheelchair singles Grand Slam title after claiming the Australian Open crown with a straight-sets victory over Belgium’s Joachim Gerard.
The 24-year-old Scot had already become the first Briton to reach a men’s wheelchair singles Grand Slam final after defeating Japanese top seed Shingo Kunieda and Argentina’s Gustavo Fernandez earlier in the week.
But the world number five went one better after beating Gerard, ranked one place higher than him, 7-6, 6-4 in Melbourne.
Reid recovered from set point down to take the opener on a tie-break with a forehand winner, and then broke Gerard to love to move into a 5-4 lead in the second before calmly serving out for a memorable victory.
“It’s amazing, I took a couple of seconds to sink in that it was actually match point and it was just pure joy,” said Reid.
“I heard everyone go crazy and it was joy and a bit of relief.
“When I started 12 years ago I just wanted to get active and healthy again.
“I never dreamt that I would be here but as time went on I realised I was actually quite good at it.
“These have definitely been the toughest three matches of my life which makes it even more satisfying.”
Despite his triumph, Reid had to be content with runners-up honours in the men’s doubles as he and partner Kunieda lost 6-3, 3-6, 7-5 against France’s Stéphane Houdet and Nicolas Peifer.
Contesting his third successive Australian Open and sixth successive Grand Slam men’s doubles final, Reid and Kunieda traded the first two sets with the French duo before racing into a 5-0, 40-15 lead in the third.
But having seen two match points come and go, the French Open champions were on the wrong end of a remarkable turnaround as Houdet and Peifer reeled off seven successive games to win after three hours and eight minutes.
Meanwhile in the women’s singles, Dutch top seed Jiske Griffioen overcame compatriot Aniek Van Koot 6-3, 7-5 to complete the successful defence of her crown.
The pair then teamed up in the women’s doubles final but lost 6-2, 6-2 against The Netherlands’ Marjolein Buis and Japan’s Yui Kamiji.
The quads wheelchair singles final also took place today as Australia’s Dylan Alcott beat the United States’ David Wagner 6-2, 6-2.
- By Daniel Etchells
- This article was republished with permission from the original publisher, www.insidethegames.biz