- Alfie Hewett & Gordon Reid won back to back Australian Open titles
- The Brits were the top seeds
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – Alfie Hewett & Gordon Reid claimed the Australian Open Wheelchair title. The Brits were the defending champions in the event.
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Alfie Hewett & Gordon Reid entered the Australian Open and were the top seeds and defending champions. In the semi-finals the Brits were against Gustavo Fernández & Shingo Kunieda. Hewett & Reid completely dominated the first set, losing only one game. Fernández & Kunieda regrouped in the second set though, and the Argentine/Japanese pair managed to break serve to level up. The match tiebreak was very close, but it was the Brits that edged through into the final 6-1, 4-6, 10-7.
The final saw the Brits against the second seeds Stéphane Houdet & Nicolas Peifer. The Frenchmen were up for a battle, and the first set proved to be so. Both pairs were going toe-to-toe, however, eventually the Brits managed to secure a break of serve and get ahead. The second set was much the same, although this time the Frenchmen held on and forced a tiebreak. Hewett & Reid were in total control in the tiebreak and went on to claim the title 7-5, 7-6(3).
The title gave the pair 10 grand slam doubles titles as a pair, equalling the British record set at Wimbledon by Laurence & Reginald Doherty between 1897 & 1906.
As reported by BBC Sort, Reid told the press afterwards
“It’s been an amazing ride, When we started playing with each other Alfie was just a young kid coming up, finishing school, and I was number one in world doubles at the time.
“It was a bit of a gamble to be honest, at that stage, obviously one I’m happy that I took, and it’s paying off nicely for us now”
Hewett was equally happy, saying “To win back to back is an awesome feeling, especially with the situation at the moment, not knowing how many opportunities we’re going to have to compete this year.”
Andy Lapthorne was the second seed in Australia in the singles. The Brit drew Sam Schröder in the semi-final. Unfortunately, the Dutchman was too strong for Lapthorne and broke in both sets to claim the victory 6-2, 6-3. However, the doubles was a better hunting ground for the Brit. Lapthorne paired up with David Wagner and were the second seeds.
The semi-final saw the Brit/American against Koji Sugeno & Nicholas Taylor. The seeds dominated the first set, losing only one game. Lapthorne & Wagner kept the pressure on in the second set, securing the break of serve required to take the spot in the final in straight sets 6-1, 6-4.
In the final Lapthorne & Wagner were against the top seeds Dylan Alcott & Heath Davidson. The Aussies took the first set easily, breaking the Brit/American serve. However, Lapthorne & Wagner fought back and took the second set to level up the match. The title would be decided by a match tiebreak. In a very close breaker it was ultimately the top seeds that edged the match to take the title 6-2, 3-6, 10-7.
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There were no British participants in the Ladies wheelchair singles, however, Lucy Shuker was in the doubles with Kgothatso Montjane and they were the second seeds. The Brit/South African were against Angelica Bernal & Macarena Cabrillana. Shuker & Montjane dominated the first set, dropping only one game. The second set was closer but it was the seeds who made the final in straight sets 6-1, 6-4.
The final saw Shuker & Montjane up against the top seeds Diede de Groot & Aniek Van Koot. The Dutch held their nerve in the first set, and broke the serve of the Brit/South African to take the lead. The second set unfortunately was dominated by the top seeds. Shuker & Montjane were outplayed by the Dutch and it was the top seeds who took the title 6-4, 6-1.
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