Saturday, 04 September 2021 14:57

Gordon beats Alfie for bronze

Written by Marshall Thomas

HELENSBURGH'S Gordon Reid ended his Tokyo 2020 Paralympics with victory in the all-British mens singles bronze medal match against doubles partner Alfie Hewett.

The Rio mens singles gold medallist claimed Paralympics GB’s fourth wheelchair tennis medal after overcoming Rio silver medallist Alfie 6-4, 3-6, 7-5 after two hours and 22 minutes.

The 32nd career meeting between two Brits saw the burgh man claim the crucial break towards the end of the opening set, while Alfie gained the initiative as he forged 4-2 ahead in the second set before forcing the decider with a calmly delivered forehand winner from mid-court.

A difficult match for both players saw Alfie battle back from 3-0 and 5-2 down in the final set, but just as it looked like a final set tie-break was on the cards, Gordon created an opening and put away a backhand winner.

He said: “The thing we said to each other then following the doubles match was that the last thing we wanted to do was come here and play against each other on the same court. But that’s sport, that’s the way it is. That’s tennis – there’s no draws in tennis, there has to be winners and losers.

"To be honest, it doesn’t feel like I am a winner today at the moment. But I am sure once the emotions settle down I will be proud of the fact I have won another singles medal and have the full collection, so it is quite a cool thing to do.

“At the end of the match I just said I was sorry that we had to do that. After yesterday, the doubles final and all the emotion that we went through together as a team, and the way we felt afterwards, we both said last night that playing against each other the next day was the last thing we wanted to do.

"Obviously there has to be a winner, but I said it was the most difficult match I had ever played in my life.”

The pair now move straight on to the US Open in New York, where Alfie will bid for a sixth career Grand Slam singles title and Gordon will bid for a third career Grand Slam singles title. Together they will bid for a fifth successive US Open men’s singles crown and bid to extend their record as Britain’s most successive doubles partnership at the Grand Slams to 13 titles.

  • Photo by courtesy of Paralympics GB.