Sunday, 12 September 2021 17:42

Alfie, Emma, Gordon — US champions all!

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HELENSBURGH'S Gordon Reid and partner Alfie Hewett made history on Saturday in New York after their fifth successive US Open title together saw them become the first ever wheelchair tennis partnership to complete the calendar Grand Slam in mens doubles.

And they celebrated a glorious day for British tennis, with shock British winner of the US Open ladies singles, Emma Radecanu.

Gordon and Alfie took just an hour and 14 minutes to beat Argentina’s Gustavo Fernandez and Japan’s Shingo Kunieda 6-2, 6-1, repeating their win over the same partnership in the 2019 final, which the Brits won in a deciding match tie-break.

Gordon, who also won the 2015 US Open mens doubles title before the start of his unprecedented success with Alfie, said: “It's an amazing feeling. To do it together as a team is something we take a lot of pride in.

"There’s a little bit of regret we couldn't make it the Golden Slam, only winning the Tokyo Paralympic silver medal. We were three points away from doing that. To come here and finish the year strongly together and go home with all four at the same time, it's a good feeling.” 

Alfie added: “I'm extremely, extremely happy and proud as a team to walk away with a Grand Slam. It's not an easy task to be able to go out there and do.

“We've taken each one as it's come. It's got closer and closer. As Gio said, we're still hurting from last week at the Tokyo — what's so impressive is how quickly we bounced back.”

Their victory brought them their eighth successive Grand Slam title together and took their tally of career doubles titles as a partnership to 13.

In June this year they became the most successful British doubles partnership ever at the Grand Slams after sealing their second French Open title at Roland Garros to surpass a record previously set by brothers Laurence and Reginald Doherty between 1897 and 1905.

The world’s top-ranked doubles players, they were quick to recognise the support they have received from LTA support staff, in particular coach Martyn Whait and sports psychologist Sarah Cecil, to help build their formidable partnership.

“Those guys have been instrumental in the success we've had over the past 18 months to two years," Alfie said. "They’ve really helped us come together. They've been a big part of what's going on.

“All the hours spent out on the court, Martyn, for example, going through endless amounts of stats, analysis, looking up pairs in detail, coming up with plans for us. Sarah, from a psychology point of view, building a partnership, us as a team, they’ve really, really put in the work.”

Their next target is the sport’s year-end Doubles Masters in Orlando in November, and Gordon said: We've committed a lot of time, a lot of hours behind the scenes with the guys back home, to building our team and improving, especially over the last two or three years. Obviously getting the titles is what we're trying to achieve. Moments like this is what we do that for.”

  • Photo copyright Garrett Ellwood/USTA.