Great Britain’s men’s wheelchair tennis team claimed their second BNP Paribas World Team Cup title since 2015 on Saturday after beating France 2-0, with Alfie Hewett and Gordon Reid both producing straight sets victories in Ramat Hasharon, Israel.
It really shows the great work the LTA have done to be able to develop not just a good men's team, but a good quad team, a good women's team and a good junior team. You can’t don well at this event with just one good player in a team. That’s why every year we are in and around the medals now. Alfie Hewett
The success of the British men’s team of Hewett, Reid and Dermot Bailey follows on from the silver medal won by the Great Britain junior team and the bronze medal won by the Great Britain women’s team on Friday. Overall, this week’s record medal haul surpasses the achievements of 2012, when Great Britain teams one won silver medal and two bronze medals.
Saturday’s victory for the men’s team had more than an air of familiarity about it as Hewett and Reid also won both singles rubbers against France when Great Britain won the title for the very first time in 2015, This time both players produced clinical first se performances before holding on in their respective second sets, Reid beating Nicolas Peifer 6-1, 7-6(3) before Hewett defeated Stephane Houdet 6-0, 7-5.
Hewett and Reid are both former members of Great Britain junior gold medal-winning teams at the World Team Cup. Following his latest triumph at the event reigning US Open champion Hewett said:
“The last couple of years have been tough for us. We have a great team and we have the potential to win it every single time, but we haven’t pulled through those finals in the last two years. We didn’t lose a singles match the whole week and that just shows how high our level has been. That first set for me today was probably the best set of tennis I’ve ever played. But it’s not just one performance that wins the title and it was a top performance from Gordon today and Dermot’s played some really good matches too.”
Reid set Great Britain well on the way to victory in Saturday’s men’s final, winning six games in a row to take the opening set: The Rio Paralympic champion said:
“It feels great. It’s been a long time since the last one and we’ve come close a couple of time since, so It’s amazing to get over the line today and to do it in convincing style, too. Nico wasn’t really giving me any rhythm today and was pretty unpredictable, so I was happy with how I moved around court and how I approached it, how I I focussed nd how I stepped it up towards the end.”
Representing Great Britain in the men’s event at the World Team Cup for the fourth time, Bailey now also has a gold medal to add to his oe bronze and two silver medals.
“It feels amazing. After the last couple of years, when we’ve lost in the final, to finally get over that final hurdle feels brilliant. The team spirit has been great, the atmosphere in camp has been brilliant and that’s all led to the level of the performances we had from Alfie and Gordon today. Everything’s just clicked.”
Reflecting on the success all the British teams have had this week, Hewett said:
“It really shows the great work the LTA have done to be able to develop not just a good men’s team, but a good quad team, a good women’s team and a good junior team. You can’t don well at this event with just one good player in a team. That’s why every year we are in and around the medals now.”
Players in the 14-strong British squad for the tournament are part of the LTA’s Wheelchair Tennis World Class Performance Programme.
To find out more about the LTA’s work with disability tennis, head to www.lta.org.uk/play or email firstname.lastname@example.org.