Sunday, 14 February 2021 14:59

Good start for Gordon

Written by Marshall Thomas

HELENSBURGH'S Gordon Reid booked his place in the Australian Open singles semi-finals during today’s opening day of wheelchair tennis action at Melbourne Park.

Gordon needed six match points before joining Alfie Hewett in the singles semi-finals, overcoming the effects of illness to secure a 5-7, 6-4, 6-4 victory over Argentina’s world no.2 Gustavo Fernandez.

The world no.5 fell 3-1 behind in the final set before stringing four games in a row to lead 5-3. However, it was not until Fernandez had reduced Gordon’s lead to 5-4 that the Rio 2016 mens singles gold medallist earned the first of six match points, finally drawing Fernandez into a backhand error to prevail after two hours and 30 minutes.

Having also beaten Fernandez in the quarter-finals of the 2020 Australian Open, the burgh man will now attempt to defeat Belgian Joachim Gerard, the same player he beat in last year’s semi-finals.

Drawn in the opposite half of the men’s singles draw to Alfie, Gordon said: “I’ve had a stomach bug in the last few days and I didn’t have a lot left in the tank in the third set, so I’m just happy that I stuck in there and made it difficult for him.

“I don’t think I did anything too wrong. He raised his level, made more balls and caused me a lot of pressure. I had to try and reset for the third set, hang in there, and I started the set well.

"I was really happy with the way I fought. It meant a lot to me to get that win today. It was a gutsy final set — it wasn’t always pretty, but sometimes you’ve got to do that when you’re not feeling 100 per cent." 

Tomorrow’s second day of wheelchair tennis action will also feature the mens doubles semi-finals, with Gordon and Alfie beginning their mens doubles title defence with a contest against Fernandez and Shingo Kunieda.

Unbeaten in doubles competition in 2020, when they completed a career Grand Slam of titles together, the Brits saw their winning sequence come to an end against Fernandez and Kunieda last week at the Victorian Wheelchair Open, the first of two Australian Open lead-in tournaments.

Now they begin their quest for a British record-equalling 10th Grand Slam doubles title together.