BRITAIN'S elite wheelchair tennis players — including Helensburgh's Gordon Reid — fought out a richly deserved draw as the inaugural LTA Wheelchair Team Battle came to a dramatic close on Thursday at the National Tennis Centre in Roehampton with teams the Lionhearts and The Knights locked together at 12-12.
Only once during Thursday’s eight contests did more than one point separate the two teams, with British men’s no.1 and world no.3 Alfie Hewett getting the better of British no.2 and reigning Paralympic champion Gordon 6-2, 7-6(2) to see the Lionhearts take the lead 11-9.
However, with both players later involved in the last of the event’s 24 matches to be completed, Gordon and world no.2 ranked junior Ben Bartram put together six games in a row to wrap up a 6-1, 6-3 win over Alfie and Dahnon Ward to ensure The Knights levelled the overall team score.
Gordon, who beat Alfie 6-4, 6-4 in their first singles head-to-head on Wednesday, said: “I think it’s been a great idea. It’s nice to get all the players from the LTA’s wheelchair programme together, which doesn’t happen very often.
"It’s great to be able to watch some of the younger guys coming through and seeing them play so well. Hopefully we can have more of these in the future.”
Fifteen of the LTA’s Podium and Podium-potential players and rising stars from the LTA’s National Age Group Programme assembled for the three days of men’s, women and quad singles and doubles matches, with a selection of mixed doubles contests adding to the excitement on each day of play.