Thursday, 08 October 2020 11:32

Gordon out of French Open singles

Written by Marshall Thomas

HELENSBURGH'S Gordon Reid failed to book a place in what would have been his third French Open mens singles semi-finals in four years on Wednesday’s first day of wheelchair tennis action at Roland Garros. 

Gordon's bid to set up an all-British semi-final against doubles partner Alfie Hewett ended in a 6-3, 6-3 loss to Argentinian defending champion and world no.2 Gustavo Fernandez, the player he met in both the 2016 and 2019 finals in Paris.

The British no.2 and world no.5 was unable to recover from 3-1 down early in his quarter-final, and although he managed to keep pace with Fernandez for the first four games of the second set his challenge faded.

Gordon said: I think there were two or three games in the middle of that first set where I played exactly the way I’m looking to play against these top guys. I think I just need to do those things a little bit more consistently.

"It doesn’t need to be anything complicated or anything risky, it just has to be that my base level has to stay a little bit higher for longer.”

Thursday ended with Gordon and Alfie stretching their unbeaten doubles record for the season to 15 matches as they beat Frederic Cattaneo of France and Gerard 6-3, 7-6(2) in their semi-final. The Australian Open and US Open champions will now face Japan’s Shingo Kunieda and Fernandez in today’s final.

An immediate break of serve helped propel the top seeds to the first set, but they had to recover from 4-2 and 5-3 down to force the second set tie-break.

Three quick points put the British pairing in control of the tie-break and, with four match points in their favour, Gordon approached the net and put away a short crosscourt forehand that proved too much for Cattaneo. 

Gordon, already a two-time French Open doubles champion with Kunieda in 2015 and 2016, said: “Alfie had a tough match earlier, it was a bit windy and the ball was moving a little bit slower, so yes it was tough.

"They played pretty well, but we did really well to step up a gear in the second set from 5-3 down and started to play a little bit more like we know we’re capable of.

“We’re all going to know each other and know what to expect in the final. There’s not going to be any surprises, I think, and our main focus is to try to play the style that we train for and that we put the work in for.

"The main thing for us is to move well, to communicate well and to move forward on to the ball. because that’s when we play our best tennis.”