Alfie Hewett and Gordon Reid equalled the record for most Grand Slam men’s doubles titles won by a pair in the Open Era today after the British second seeds beat Dutch duo Maikel Scheffers and Ruben Spaargaren 6-1, 6-2 to seal their fourth successive Australian Open wheelchair title and their 16th major title together.
It feels really good to get the win today in such a short space of time because last week when we played them it was three and a half hours. Alfie Hewett
Contesting their 14th successive Grand Slam final, second seeds Hewett and Reid raced to a 4-0 lead over Scheffers and Spaargaren before wrapping up the opening set in 27 minutes as Spaargaren sprayed a forehand wide of its intended target.
A week ago Hewett and Reid, who are supported by the LTA’s Elite Wheelchair Programme, beat Scheffers and Spaargaren in a deciding match tie-break in the semi-finals of the Melbourne Open Super Series tournament, but they showed no signs of being taken to such extremes this time. They won 12 points without reply for a 5-1 second set lead before Reid served out the match on the third championship point after a double fault on the first.
Reid, who now has 22 major titles to his name across singles and doubles after an injury-hit 2022 season when he and Hewett still won two majors together, said:
“It’s never easy but if we can play like we did today and go on court with the mindset and the intention we had today then it certainly can be slightly easier that we sometimes make it. We’re really pleased and there are lots of positives to take away. Obviously, there are always things that we can try and improve on as well, which is another thing we’ll take out of the day, but overall we’re really happy. As a lefty, a slider out wide is my favourite serve, so it was good to finish on one of those.”
Hewett, who will now play Japan’s Tokito Oda on Saturday as he bids for a first Australian Open singles crown, said:
“It feels really good to get the win today in such a short space of time because last week when we played them it was three and a half hours. I think that shows the improvements we’re making as a team and we’re just trying to find our levels again and Performances like today really help the confidence and we can build on that. We’ve got ambitions to kick on and it’s 18 months until the (Paris 2024) Games. For me, personally, it’s just great to have him (Reid) back. I played with quite a few different players last year, so I missed him a bit.”
Hewett and Reid’s latest major title sees them equal the record of 16 Grand Slam men’s doubles titles as a pair won by American twins Bob and Mike Bryan. When winning their third Australian Open and third French Open titles in 2022 they created a new record of 10 successive Grand Slam doubles titles as a pair, beating the previous record of eight won by Martina Navratilova and Pam Shriver.