Monday, 20 May 2019 16:13

Gordon helps team to World Cup

Written by Marshall Thomas

BRITAIN'S mens wheelchair tennis team, including Helensburgh's Gordon Reid, became world champions on Saturday after winning the BNP Paribas World Team Cup title, beating France 2-0 in the final.

Alfie Hewett and Gordon Reid both produced sensational straight sets victories in Ramat Hasharon, Israel, to claim what is Britain’s second ever mens title.

The success of the British team of Hewett, Reid and Dermot Bailey follows on from the silver medal won by the Great Britain junior team and the bronze medal won by the women’s team on Friday. This was Britain’s best ever performance at a World Team Cup in the event’s 35 year history.

Saturday’s victory for the mens team had more than an air of familiarity about it as Hewett and Reid also won both singles rubbers against France when Great Britain won the title for the very first time in 2015.

This time both players produced clinical first set performances before holding on in their respective second sets, Reid beating Nicolas Peifer 6-1, 7-6(3) before Hewett defeated Stephane Houdet 6-0, 7-5.

Hewett and Reid are also both former members of Great Britain junior gold medal-winning teams at the World Team Cup, in 2013 and 2007 respectively. 

Reid set Great Britain well on the way to victory in the final, winning six games in a row to take the opening set.

The Rio Paralympic champion said: It feels great. It’s been a long time since the last one and we’ve come close a couple of time since, so it’s amazing to get over the line today and to do it in convincing style, too.

"Nico wasn’t really giving me any rhythm today and was pretty unpredictable, so I was happy with how I moved around court and how I approached it, how I focussed and how I stepped it up towards the end.”

The World Team Cup is held on an annual basis and is the ITF’s flagship wheelchair tennis team event — the wheelchair tennis equivalent of the Fed Cup and Davis Cup competitions. Teams from 23 nations qualified to compete in this year’s finals.

Players in the 14-strong British squad for the tournament are part of the LTA’s Wheelchair Tennis World Class Performance Programme.