Reid eases to title with win over doubles partner

Hewett defeated in wheelchair tennis singles final as van Koot and Griffioen also get gold in women’s doubles 16 Sep 2016
Gordon Reid - Rio 2016

Gordon Reid - Rio 2016

ⒸRio 2016
By Andrew Cross | for the IPC

“I’m really happy with the way I’ve come out here (Rio) and played my own tennis and trusted my own game, and played, maybe, one of the best matches of my life today."

Gordon Reid won Great Britain’s first wheelchair tennis men’s singles Paralympic gold medal on the final day of action at the Olympic Tennis Centre.

In the first-ever all-British final, Reid claimed gold on Friday (16 September) with victory over his doubles teammate Alfie Hewett 6-2, 6-1.

“I’m really happy with the way I’ve come out here (Rio) and played my own tennis and trusted my own game, and played, maybe, one of the best matches of my life today,” said Reid, beaming with his gold medal.

“I don’t think it’s really sunk in at all at the moment.”

Reid won his first singles Grand Slam at the start of the year at the Australian Open and then claimed his second at Wimbledon, where he also partnered Hewett, in his first Grand Slam, to become the All England doubles champions.

Hewett said he was delighted with his silver medal and he was already looking forward to trading it in for a gold in four years’ time.

“Yeah roll on Tokyo! There’s no better way than going into that with two silver medals, so one step next time – two gold medals,” said the 18-year-old.

“For me, I was always going for gold in the Tokyo (Paralympics) singles, so to have this kind of experience now, when I get to Tokyo this won’t be new to me and it will be something that I’ve already experienced.”

Aniek van Koot and Jiske Griffioen won the women’s doubles gold medal match in what might be Griffioen’s final appearance at a Paralympic Games. The multi-medallist and major winner grinded out a tough win alongside van Koot as the pair won in straight sets 6-4, 6-2, over compatriots Diede de Groot and Marjolein Buis.

In the 31-year-old’s fifth Paralympics she claimed two gold medals after winning singles gold on Thursday evening.

After a battling opening set, where she and van Koot won it on their seventh set point, the right-hander was on course for her second gold in 24 hours.

The tussle continued as both pairs broke each other’s serve on several occasions before van Koot and Griffioen held their nerve to win their service game. That gave them the platform to go on and take the gold after an hour and 49 minutes on court – and possibly Griffioen’s final medal.

“Beforehand I said this will probably be my last Paralympics because it’s my fifth, but I don’t know,” explained Griffioen.

“I’m going to think about things and, for sure, I’m going to keep playing for now, but Tokyo is a long time away for me.”

After missing out on the gold medal, Joachim Gerard was delighted to win the men’s singles bronze medal match. The jubilant scenes of raw emotion at the end of the match showed just what it meant to be a Paralympic medallist.

The big Belgian took on France’s Stephane Houdet, who had won doubles gold the night before, and outclassed the 2012 silver medallist finesse and power as he hit 50 winners on the way to a 6-4, 6-2 victory.

After winning the first set, Gerard took control of the second in two brilliant games and dominated as he stepped up his level with several beautiful backhand winners. However, Houdet would not give up the battle as he hit three huge serves to claim his second game – 150kmh, 146kmh and a massive 158kmh.

But the game later saw the outcome decided and the delight was painted across the 27-year-old’s face as he celebrated his first Paralympic medal.