Alfie Hewett and Gordon Reid won their fifth successive Australian Open men’s wheelchair doubles title on Friday as Andy Lapthorne completed another tremendous day for British wheelchair tennis and players supported by the LTA’s Elite Wheelchair Programme as he partnered the USA’s David Wagner to their fifth Australian Open quad doubles title in 10 years.
It’s 10 years this week since we one our first one and we’ve somehow managed to do it again, so big thanks to David. I lost my uncle about three or four days before I came out here, so that one’s for him. Andy Lapthorne
Both partnerships had to come through two matches in a day after Thursday’s rain in Melbourne caused their semi-finals to be postponed, with Hewett and Reid defeating Daisuke Arai and Takashi Sanada 6-3 6-3 in the second successive Australian Open semi-final between the two pairings.
The men’s doubles title decider saw the record-breaking partnership of Hewett and Reid contest their 17th final in 18 Grand Slams as they took on Takuya Miki and Tokito Oda, the same Japanese partnership they beat in three sets in front of 10,000 fans in the 2023 Wimbledon final. But this time Hewett and Reid completed victory in straight sets, wrapping up their 19th Grand Slam title together 6-3 6-2.
Hewett, who will now play Oda in Saturday’s men’s singles final, said: “Some of the points in that match really displayed the best of wheelchair tennis. The best bit about it is you feel the love and the excitement from the crowd as well. Like, you can tell they’re getting into the match.”
With the Brits supported by many of their regular teams of supporters from Norfolk and Scotland as they earned their two victories on Margaret Court Arena and Kia Arena, Reid added:
“There were some relatives and some Scots out there. Some of them have just flown over yesterday for this match. Obviously it was great to have them there. My parents are out here as well. It was my dad’s first time at the Australian Open. Hopefully he enjoyed himself today and enjoyed that match.”
Lapthorne’s victory alongside Wagner in the quad doubles final was especially poignant after he missed an uncle’s funeral during his bid for a 17th career Grand Slam title and his ninth Grand Slam title alongside Wagner.
The Anglo-American duo beat second seeds Australian Heath Davidson and Canada’s Robert Shaw for just the second time in six matches as they took their semi-final 6-3, 6-2 before later returning to Margaret Court Arena to beat South Africa’s Donald Ramphadi and Guy Sasson of Israel 6-4, 3-6, (10-2).
“It’s 10 years this week since we one our first one and we’ve somehow managed to do it again, so big thanks to David. I lost my uncle about three or four days before I came out here, so that one’s for him.
“(During the match) I played probably one of the best 10-15 minutes of tennis that I’ve ever played at a Grand Slam, in terms of just not missing a ball and feeling really confident.”