Alfie Hewett and Gordon Reid earn record-equalling 10th Grand Slam doubles title at the Australian Open
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Britain’s Alfie Hewett and Gordon Reid claimed their second successive Australian Open men’s doubles wheelchair tennis title together as they secured a record-equalling 10th career Grand Slam title with a 7-5, 7-6(3) victory over French second seeds Stephane Houdet and Nicolas Peifer at Melbourne Park.
Hewett and Reid kick-started their title defence with a close match against World No.1 Shingo Kunieda and seven-time Grand Slam champion Gustavo Fernandez. After racing to an early one set lead, Kunieda and Fernandez shifted up a gear to get a grasp back on the match, but that wouldn't prevent the Brits edging a nail-biting match tie-break.
Little separated the two partnerships throughout the men’s doubles final, but Reid held serve comfortably for a 6-5 lead in the opening set and Hewett put away a forehand drive volley on the first of their two set points in the next game.
Hewett’s forehand continued to win crucial points towards the business end of the second set, but it was a sublime Hewett backhand down the line that finally put the seal on an historic victory.
Hewett, who plays Belgium’s Joachim Gerard for the singles title on Wednesday, said:
“It feels amazing, To go back-to-back, it's an awesome feeling, especially with the situation at the moment, not knowing how many opportunities we're going to have to compete this year.
“Gordon really kept us together in this match. His level was consistently high. His movement around the court was really, really good. I was a bit wobbly at times, I came in and out. But as a pair, we were really clinical when it mattered.”
For Reid it was a third Australian Open doubles title since 2017 as he and Hewett joined Laurie and Reginald Doherty as Britain’s most successful Grand Slam doubles partnership of all time, the brothers having won their 10 Grand Slam titles between 1897 and 1905. Reid said:
“The first I heard of it (the record) was Alfie telling me after the match point, which was a surprise to me. Obviously it's been an amazing ride. When we first started playing with each other Alfie was just a young kid coming up, finishing school. I think I was No.1 in the world doubles at the time. It was a bit of gamble, to be honest, at that stage. But obviously one that I'm happy I took. It's paying off nicely for us now.”
LTA Wheelchair Performance Coach Martyn Whait, has worked with Hewett and Reid on a daily basis throughout their rise to becoming Britain's joint most successful doubles team and says there is much more to come from the duo.
"We know that when they are both on their games, they are unbeatable. Alfie is a very passionate player and Gordon is a very analytical player, so they combine really well. They settled well into the match and caused pressure in rally situations to help them get the win.
"I think they have another level they can go to – I think we’re coming to the end of the analysis of areas of improvement and it’s more about them bringing it to the court. In the past they could have been quite up and down in matches but now you know they are going to put in a shift, move well and ask questions of the opposition. There’s definitely more to come."