Brits Alfie Hewett, Gordon Reid and Jordanne Whiley all added to their collections of multiple Wimbledon doubles titles on Saturday, as four of five players on the LTA’s Wheelchair Tennis Performance Pathway tasted victory on the penultimate day of The Championships.
It’s a great feeling, we’ve worked hard behind the scenes and Wimbledon is always that title we want to bring home for ourselves, for the people around us and to the home crowd. We’re just proud. It’s been a long couple of years waiting to get back out there and we did ourselves proud today Alfie Hewett
Hewett and Reid extended their tally of Wimbledon men’s doubles titles to four after the most successful all-British doubles partnership in Grand Slam history beat Tom Egberink of the Netherlands and Joachim Gerard of Belgium 7-5 6-2 to win their 12th Grand Slam title together.
After winning three back-to-back titles between 2016 and 2018, Hewett and Reid took an early 2-0 lead in this year’s final but were forced to save two set points at 4-5 down before taking the opener. However, after securing another 2-0 lead in the second set they didn’t look back, wrapping up their seventh Grand Slam title in a row in an hour and 48 minutes, much to the delight of their adoring home fans. Hewett said:
“It’s a great feeling, we’ve worked hard behind the scenes and Wimbledon is always that title we want to bring home for ourselves, for the people around us and to the home crowd. We’re just proud. It’s been a long couple of years waiting to get back out there and we did ourselves proud today.”
Reid, who won the inaugural Wimbledon men’s singles title in 2016 and now aims to add a second singles title on Sunday, when he plays Gerard, said:
“It was awesome to be back in front of the home crowd again. With the rain earlier and the women’s final scheduled (on Centre Court), maybe we didn’t have as big a crowd as we had hoped, but we had the die-hards out there and they were making plenty of noise and getting right behind us. We really enjoyed that. I think we did an amazing job of digging that first set out from two set points down and then taking control of the second set.”
While Hewett and Reid now have four Wimbledon doubles titles, Jordanne Whiley and her Japanese partner Yui Kamiji have five after they beat Lucy Shuker and South Africa’s Kgothatso Montjane 6-0 7-6(0).
In the first Grand Slam women’s doubles wheelchair final to feature Brits on both sides of the net, Whiley and Kamiji raced to the first set 6-0, the only two game points against them throughout the entire set coming in the sixth game.
Montjane and Shuker made a much better start to the second set to establish a 3-1 lead, but it went to a tie-break and Whiley and Kamiji dominated the close stages to win their first title at The Championships since the fourth of their back-to-back titles in 2017, when Whiley was 11 weeks pregnant with son Jackson. After their 12th Grand Slam title as a partnership, Whiley said:
“It’s amazing. I had forgotten how long it had actually been since we won the title here. It was really special today. The last time I won here with Yui I was pregnant and today he (son Jackson) is here doing a lap of honour on the court with the trophy, so that was really nice.”
“They changed it up a bit in the second set. They got together and started putting us under pressure, but at the same time we made more errors and I think we got a little bit nervy.”
With Whiley contesting her seventh Wimbledon doubles final and fellow Brit Shuker contesting her fifth, Shuker still has plenty of positives to take forward after she and Montjane beat Dutch top seeds Diede de Groot and Aniek van Koot in Friday’s semi-finals. She said:
“The first set was pretty poor today, I think it was over in about 30 minutes, which is a bit of record for us. But we turned it around and showed the style of tennis we can play, it’s just a shame we didn’t get that second set to take it to a third. We’re both super-proud to get the win over the top seeds and the world No. 1 pair. I’ve never beaten them in my entire life, as a pair, so to get that we were so happy,”
The penultimate day of this year’s Wimbledon Championships began with Friday’s quad doubles champion Andy Lapthorne winning his quad singles third place play-off match against American David Wagner 4-6 6-3 6-4.
Lapthorne, who partnered Wagner to win their second successive and seventh career Grand Slam doubles title together, said:
“I don’t feel like I fully did myself justice out there today, but the job is done and I secured the ranking points and the prize money that come with it. After yesterday it was tough to get up again, physically and mentally, for today. But it’s been a good year and I’ll come back next year and try harder. That’s two (Grand Slam titles) in a row in doubles and hopefully I can keep it going at the British Open, the Paralympics and in America (at the US Open).”