Sunday, 09 June 2019 18:10

Gordon loses Paris final

Written by Marshall Thomas

HELENSBURGH'S Gordon Reid is looking ahead to an exciting summer of wheelchair tennis after the 11-time Grand Slam champion and Saturday’s French Open runner-up contested his first men’s singles final at one of the four majors since Wimbledon in 2016.

The world no.8 lost to no.2 Gustavo Fernandez 6-1, 6-3 as he met the Argentinian in the final in Paris for the second time since 2016 — a year in which the Brit also won his first two Grand Slam singles titles and became Britain’s first Paralympic mens singles gold medallist.

Despite missing out on a third Grand Slam singles title, the former Australian Open and Wimbledon champion is now focussed on a string of major events this summer.

At the end of an encouraging week that saw Reid beat world No.1 Shingo Kunieda in the semi-finals, he said:There are a lot more positives to take away than negatives this week. Obviously, you come into every tournament trying to win it and when you don’t do that it’s disappointing. Today I played some good tennis, I just didn’t do it consistently enough to win the title.

“These are the kind of matches you want to be involved in. That’s what you train for and work hard for. So it’s good motivation and inspiration for what’s to come. It’s given me a lot of confidence this week and hopefully I can take that on to the grass now."

Gordon and fellow Roland Garros semi-finalist Alfie Hewett are among a field of eight players for the wheelchair tennis event at the Fever-Tree Championships at Queen’s Club from June 21-23.

He added:It’s the first time we’ve had an official world ranking tournament at Queen’s this year and that’s really exciting. Last year’s exhibition singles and doubles tournament was great, but it’s exciting to have a ranked tournament this year.

“Of course, Wimbledon is the highlight of the year for us British players, so I can’t wait to be back there, hopefully. And then we’re back on hard courts in Nottingham for our home Super Series, the British Open Wheelchair Tennis Championships.”

Gordon will need a wildcard for Wimbledon before he can aim for more Grand Slam success and he and Hewett can target a fourth men’s doubles title.

But in the more immediate future the focus for him and some of the other leading Brits on the LTA’s GB Wheelchair Tennis World Class Performance Programme is the BNP Paribas Open de France, the fourth wheelchair tennis Super Series event of the year.

The tournament begins on Tuesday in the Parisian suburb of Antony, some 20 minutes by car from Roland Garros.