Melbourne | Reid, Hewett and Whiley into finals
Brits Gordon Reid, Alfie Hewett and Jordanne Whiley will all contest Australian Open finals after another successful day at Melbourne Park on Thursday for players on the LTA’s GB Wheelchair Tennis World Class Performance Programme.
While Reid booked a place in his second Australian Open singles final, he and Hewett earned a return to the men’s doubles final and Jordanne Whiley and Yui Kamiji secured their place in their first Grand Slam doubles final since Wimbledon 2017. Andy Lapthorne also retains hopes of making it to the quad singles final heading into Friday’s last day of round-robin matches.
Reid will face world No.1 Shingo Kunieda of Japan in Saturday’s men’s singles final after the 2016 champion beat Belgian world No.4 Joachim Gerard 6-4, 7-5 in his semi-final.
World No.7 Reid, who added the Wimbledon title and Paralympic gold following his Australian Open title in 2026, said:
I’m really happy. To get to the final here I’m really, really excited about that opportunity to play in another Grand Slam final. At points today the match wasn’t the prettiest and at points it was great. In doubles me and Alfie played fantastic, so I think there are a lot of positives to take from today.Gordon Reid
Extreme heat in Melbourne meant play was suspended at 2-2 in the opening set, but Reid returned to court to finish the set strongly, breaking Gerard’s serve to love.
Reid, who beat Gerard in the 2016 Australian Open final to win his maiden Grand Slam singles crown, raced through the opening games in the second set for a 5-1 lead. Gerard fought back to level the match before Reid earned three match points on the Belgian’s serve and put away a forehand winner to secure victory after an hour and 28 minutes.
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Hewett’s hopes of making it an all-British singles final faded after the world No.3 returned to court after the heat delay, trailing Kunieda 5-3. Kunieda earned another break at the start of the second set, ultimately wrapping up a 6-3, 6-3 win.
However, there was a victorious outcome to Hewett and Reid’s men’s doubles semi-final after they claimed the last five points of a first set tiebreak against Argentina’s Gustavo Fernandez and Kunieda and earned a commanding 5-1 lead in the deciding match tiebreak to wrap up a thrilling encounter 7-6(2), 3-6 (10-5).
After beating Fernandez and Kunieda in the semi-finals for the second time in three years, US Open champions Hewett and Reid will now play French top seeds Stephane Houdet and Nicolas Peifer for the title.
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Whiley’s first Australian Open since 2016 will see her and Kamiji bid to add a third women’s doubles title at Melbourne Park after the 2014 and 2015 champions beat second seeds Sabine Ellerbrock of Germany and South Africa’s Kgothatso Montjane.
After returning to international wheelchair tennis after maternity leave only last February, Whiley marked her son Jackson’s second birthday on Thursday with a 6-1, 6-4 victory for her and Kamiji as the duo pursue a tenth Grand Slam title together.
Whiley and Kamiji will now play top seeds Diede de Groot and Aniek van Koot in Friday’s final and will hope to avenge defeat to the Dutch pairing in last year’s Wimbledon semi-finals. Whiley said:
I’m really happy to be back in my first final at a Slam only 11 months after being back (I competition) properly. Me and Yui have had some close matches with Diede and Aniek at Wimbledon and the British Open, but I feel tomorrow will be more of an even match up against them because my fitness levels are back up there.Jordanne Whiley
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Lapthorne retains hopes of booking his place in the quad singles finals, despite losing his second quad singles round-robin match to Australian Dylan Alcott. Two-time US Open champion Lapthorne, who has moved to No.1 in the world rankings for the first time this week, slipped to a 7-5, 6-1 loss to defending champion Alcott.
However, with his third and last round-robin match to come on Friday against Alcott’s countryman Heath Davidson, Lapthorne will be looking to win that convincingly to earn another possible meeting with Alcott in Saturday’s final.
Lapthorne remains a five-time Australian Open quad doubles champion after his bid for another title partnering American David Wagner ended against the combination of Alcott and Davidson. With Lapthorne and Wagner aiming to lift their fourth title together in Melbourne since 2014, their latest challenge faded as Alcott and Davidson prevailed 6-4, 6-3 on Margaret Court Arena.
Singles was disappointing but I’m looking forward to coming back stronger tomorrow. The important thing is I still have a chance to get into that singles final. And in doubles, of course, it’s always disappointing to lose. But we go onto to the next one and I know where I have to improve.Andy Lapthorne