Alfie Hewett and Gordon Reid joined fellow Brit Andy Lapthorne in adding to their respective hauls of French Open wheelchair titles on Saturday as Hewett and Reid beat Spain’s Martin de la Puente and Argentina’s Gustavo Fernandez 7-6(9) 7-5 to earn their fourth successive men’s doubles title at Roland Garros.
It means everything to us to play in an atmosphere (like this) and feel like the crowd are into the match. That’s why we love it and that’s why we do what we do Gordon Reid
Lapthorne claimed his second French Open quad doubles title in three years after partnering South Africa’s Donald Ramphadi to a 1-6 6-2 (10-3) victory over second seeds Heath Davidson of Australia and Canada’s Robert Shaw.
Hewett and Reid wrapped up their 17th Grand Slam doubles title together after a men’s doubles final as entertaining as it was long, making it six wins over De la Puente and Fernandez in six head-to-heads.
Reid, who is now a six-time Roland Garros and 23-time Grand Slam champion after winning the 2015 and 2016 men’s doubles in Paris partnering Japan’s Shingo Kunieda, said:
“It was a great level of tennis today. The first set could have gone either way. All the hard work, this is what it’s for. It means everything to us to play in an atmosphere (like this) and feel like the crowd are into the match. That’s why we love it and that’s why we do what we do.”
After finishing runner-up in the men’s singles final earlier in the day, Hewett leaves Paris this year as a 24-time Grand Slam champion. The British No.1 said:
“I just want to thank our team that help us day in and day out to be able to play this sort of tennis. We’ll be looking to carry this momentum through into the summer ahead.”
Having beaten the Dutch top seeds in a deciding match tie-break in their semi-final, Lapthorne and Ramphadi followed a similar route to the title, breaking at the start of the second set and carrying the momentum into the match tie-break to establish a 7-0 lead. The first of six match points ended with Shaw sending a forehand long over Lapthorne and Rhampadi’s baseline.
Lapthorne, now the winner of 14 Grand Slam doubles titles, was generous in his praise for Ramphadi in just their second match together as a partnership. He said:
“(It’s) amazing. Donald’s first Slam win on his birthday. A new partnership, a whole different vibe and he’s a great guy to play with, a great guy to be around. I was just trying to be solid in the 10-point breaker. I hate those things. But he stepped up and won it for us. All credit to him.”
Hewett’s bid to follow up his 6-3, 6-1 Australian Open men’s singles final victory over 17-year-old Tokito Oda ended with the Japanese second seed turning the tables on three-time Roland Garros singles champion Hewett.
Top seed Hewett struggled to gain any traction as Oda maintained a high level of aggression and accuracy throughout the match, eventually winning 6-1, 6-4 to now succeed Hewett as the sport’s youngest Grand Slam men’s singles champion and youngest men’s singles world No.1.