10 July 2019
Reid eyeing fast start in pursuit of dream Wimbledon final with Hewett
Gordon Reid knows there is no margin for error when he takes on world number one Shingo Kunieda if he is to keep the dream of facing doubles partner and friend Alfie Hewett in the Wimbledon men’s wheelchair singles final alive.
Reid will play Japanese ace Kunieda on lush green grass for the first time, after beating him last month to reach the French Open final, and knows he will need to bring his A-game if he is to progress.
The men’s wheelchair singles at Wimbledon begins at the quarter-final stage unlike the Paralympic Games, where Reid beat Hewett to win gold in Rio in 2016, leaving no room for error when the Championships get underway.
“There’s only eight players in the draw for us at Grand Slams so it is the very elite that we face at Wimbledon,” said Reid, who already has one eye on Tokyo 2020.
“At the Paralympics we might have one or two rounds to ease ourselves into the tournament but here it is straight in and you have to be on it from the first point.
“The feeling of coming here and being involved in this tournament, the history and the atmosphere that comes with it, that never changes from year to year.
“The perfect summer for me is to win a couple of titles here at Wimbledon and then head off to the British Open in Nottingham, win a few more there before going to Tokyo for a simulation camp ahead of the Paralympic Games next year.”
Gordon Reid and Alfie Hewett have won the Wimbledon doubles title for the past three years
Hewett and Reid have won the Wimbledon men’s wheelchair doubles for the past three years and have been US Open champions for the last two but have been drawn against top seeds Stephane Houdet and Nicolas Peifer for their opener this time around.
Despite being perpetually pitted against each other in the singles, Reid is adamant that there is never any animosity when the Brits partner up at Wimbledon and believes this year will be no different.
“It is something we have done for a long time now and in the last three years Alfie has stepped up and we are competing at singles too now,” said the 11-time Grand Slam winner.
We have so much respect for each other and when we play on singles courts we do everything to win and then once we play doubles we try just as hard to win together.
And partner Hewett agrees: “There is no rivalry or bad atmosphere between us and we definitely respect one another.
“People want to think that we don’t talk to each other before these tournaments but that is rubbish.
“We have had so many good performances together that there couldn’t possibly be any bad blood even when we are drawn together.”
Joint the ParalympicsGB movement
The ParalympicsGB movement
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