Bath | Britain’s Reid and Hewett book their places in the quarter-finals
We’ve been asking for it and today they finally gave it to us.
Gordon Reid and Alfie Hewett both came through their second round singles matches at Bath Indoor easily in straights sets.
I’m feeling pretty good out there - it was a good start to the week. I’m feeling pretty fresh after a break and I’m feeling confident so we’ll see what happens next. Gordon Reid
Reid kicked off proceedings on day two with a 6-2 6-1 win over Jef Vandorpe, one of Belgium’s up and coming players.
He said: “It was a good match. He (Jef) was a good player to play against as he gets a lot of balls in the court and he makes you play so it was a good match to get me ready for the next round.”
And not long after Alfie Hewett raced his way to a 6-0 6-0 victory over Romania’s Mihai Gaita.
Hewett said: “I knew he was an opponent that was going to be tough for me to mentally stay in the game so that was one thing I was trying to do today was keep focused and I think I did that very well.”
There was also more British success in the men’s draw as Dermot Bailey, who bowed out of the men’s singles earlier in the day with a straight set loss to World number one Gustavo Fernandez 6-0 6-1, progressed through to the men’s doubles quarter-finals alongside Vandorpe after a 6-2 6-1 win over Gaita and Silviu Culea.
Bailey and Vandorpe will play Hewett and Reid next for a place in the men’s doubles semi-finals.
Louise Hunt kept British hopes alive in the women’s draw with her doubles quarter-final win alongside Kgothatso Montjane over fellow Brit Lauren Jones and Mirjami Olsson 6-0 6-0.
Hunt and Montjane will now go on to play top seeds and defending champions Britain’s Lucy Shuker, who bowed out of the singles draw today to Montjane 7-5 4-6 6-1, and the Netherlands Diede de Groot.
In the quads division David Wagner’s journey to claiming yet another singles title this year continues after a straight set victory over Britain’s Antony Cotterill and will now go on to face Lucas Sithole in the semis.
Wagner said: “I feel like it was a pretty good match for me. I feel like every time I play Ant I’ve got to play my best because he’s moving up and playing very well.”
In the bottom half of the draw Dylan Alcott and Heath Davidson ensured we would see that all-Australian semi-final by coming through their quarter-finals in straight sets against Ymanitu Silva and Richard Green respectively.
And in doubles Britain’s James Shaw, partnering Anders Hard, continues on his road to hopefully defending his doubles title here in Bath after they came through their quarter-final against Gary Cox and Petter Edstrom 6-0 6-1.
Reid: ‘I’m feeling pretty good out there’
This was the first meeting between Reid and Vandorpe but in tennis you can never underestimate a player you’ve never gone head-to-head with before, especially given than Vandorpe, although still competing at junior level, is also ranked among the top 30 men’s senior players in the world.
Reid said: “He’s got a lot of potential. A lot of the time you find with the younger guys they feel that they need to come on and hit a ball at 100 miles per hour and hit a winner off every ball against the top guys and he didn’t do that.
“He must have confidence in his own game to get into the rallies in the way that he did but then that type of play suits me as well.”
After the US Open Reid has been working hard in training to perfect his game ready for the year end singles Masters, which take place in Loughborough in just a few weeks time.
He said: “I’m feeling pretty good out there – it was a good start to the week. I’m feeling pretty fresh after a break and I’m feeling confident so we’ll see what happens next.”
And next for Reid is taking on Takashi Sanada in his quarter-final tomorrow.
On facing the World number nine from Japan Reid said: “He’s a strong player and hits the ball pretty hard and flat.
“Historically I have pretty good results against him mostly, but I think he likes playing indoors so it’ll be a tough challenge – I’m looking forward to it.”
Hewett: ‘I’m feeling confident and strong now’
Hewett and his opponent Gaita had only met once before ahead of todays match-up – but that was back in 2013 at the Nottingham Indoor.
On that occasion it was Hewett who came out on top as well however the Romanian did manage to get one game off the British number one.
But today Hewett wasn’t even going to let him have that winning in straight sets 6-0 6-0 in just over half an hour.
Hewett said: “Some of those matches like today actually can end up getting closer and closer if you’re not on it, because at the end of the day you’re facing a good player who can hit a ball.
“But when I brought my game to him it was tough for him to get into the rally and I knew that so I was just making sure I kept a high level of intensity and focus.”
Next up for Hewett is a familiar foe in Belgium’s Joachim Gerard, who also won his second round match in straight sets 6-0 6-0 against Mark Langeveld.
On his match today Gerard said: “I got the win and I feel great but it was not so easy for me today I think he’s (Lageveld) a good player.
“If I’m honest I’m not really happy about my serve today as I didn’t make a good first serve percentage and when your serve is not so good your opponent can take your serve and break you, like Roger Federer yesterday in the Masters he lost the second set and his serve was only 42% but in the other two sets it was something like 80% and he won them.
“I know that if I want to be safe moving forward I need make more first serves that’s for sure.”
We’ve witnessed ten previous meetings between Hewett and Gerard in the past and regardless of who came out on top all have been exciting to watch.
Gerard said: “It’s never easy against the Brits but it’s always pleasure to play a home player in a tournament.”
Hewett said: “Jo’s obviously a very experienced player and a great player. I played him at The British Open in the summer and it was a close one but I didn’t feel like I played my best there.
“I’m feeling confident and strong now and I’m going to take it to him because he’s a very powerful guy and I’m hoping for an intense match but obviously to win it would be great.”
And whilst Gerard leads the head-to-head 7-3, their two meetings in 2017, both of which were also three setters, have ended in victory for World number three Hewett.
When asked whether we should brace ourselves for another three set epic in Bath Hewett said: “If that’s what it needs.”
So prepare yourself everyone.