Reid and Whiley win wheelchair titles at Queen’s Club and Birmingham
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Gordon Reid produced a brilliant performance on Sunday to beat top seed and World No.3 Gustavo Fernandez 6-2, 6-2 to lift his first wheelchair singles title at the cinch Championships at The Queen’s Club in London.
A ground-breaking three days of grass court wheelchair tennis later ended with a second British champion after Jordanne Whiley partnered Japan’s Yui Kamiji to win the women’s doubles title at the Viking Classic Birmingham, where top seed Kamiji also claimed the singles crown at the first ever women’s wheelchair grass court ranking tournament outside Wimbledon.
Reid, runner-up to fellow Brit Alfie Hewett in 2019, claimed his second singles title of 2021 as the 2016 Wimbledon champion beat Argentina’s 2019 Wimbledon champion Fernandez in an hour and 18 minutes. The victorious World No.6 Reid, said: “It’s a great feeling. Tactically I got it spot on today and executed the game plan pretty convincingly.
“I served pretty steadily and returned the right spot, so everything combined to give me a good chance to do well. I Iike to slice my backhand, it becomes more effective on the grass and causes a lot of damage. That’s one shot that worked really well today.”
Reid won the last four games of the first set and secured the early break in the second set before completing a clinical performance with a deep cross court backhand that Fernandez was unable to return with any accuracy.
“Just being around here in the grounds and seeing the boards with all the title winners over the years and there are some iconic names on there stretching back a long time, so it’s great that the wheelchair event is here and we are part of a great event with so much history,” he said.
“It’s amazing to have my name on the boards as one of the winners now.”
Fernandez also finished runner-up in the men’s doubles, partnering Dutchman Tom Egberink after Belgium’s Joachim Gerard and Sweden’s Stefan Olsson, the 2019 champions at both The Queen’s Club and Wimbledon, recovered to make it back-to-back titles as they wrapped up a thrilling encounter 1-6, 6-7(4), (10-6) after a deciding match tie-break.
There was another pulsating conclusion to the historic women’s singles final in Birmingham as World No.2 Kamiji saved match points in a final set tie-break against World No.3 and 2019 Wimbledon champion Aniek van Koot of the Netherlands to prevail 6-1, 1-6, 7-6(6).
Kamiji, who had beaten Whiley 7-5 in the final set of their semi-final on Saturday, said: “It was very tough and she (Van Koot) is a very good slicer, so it was very difficult to win the points.
“I tried many things, so I’m happy with my performance today and, of course, it’s a good stepping-stone going into Wimbledon.
“During the doubles final Jordanne reminded me that we had only lost two-times together on grass. It’s very nice to play with her all the time, but especially on grass and in her home country and home town.”
Birmingham-born Whiley and Kamiji won their 22nd career doubles title together as the 11-time Grand Slam champions defeated Montjane and van Koot 6-3, 6-3.
“I’ve never played a tournament in Birmingham before, so it’s nice to be back home and hear the accent,” she said.
“I feel like this is really good prep for Wimbledon. I don’t feel like I played that well today, if I’m honest, but it’s a massive confidence boost because we got the win.
“In the singles, as well, I put up a good fight because at Roland Garros a couple of weeks ago I lost 6-1, 6-2 to Yui. So it’s a big confidence booster and I’m just looking forward to Wimbledon now.”