Gordon Reid booked his place in his fourth Roland Garros men’s singles semi-final on Thursday when the world No. 5 and 2016 finalist produced a confident performance to beat 2017 champion and world No. 1 Alife Hewett 6-4, 6-4 in an enthralling all-Brit men’s singles quarter-final in Paris.
Reid will now play Shingo Kunieda of Japan in Friday’s semi-finals at the second Grand Slam of 2018.
With one break of serve and one hold of serve apiece Reid and Hewett were locked together after 15 minutes of play and they continued to exchange games until the very end of the opening set. A second break earned 2016 Australian Open and Wimbledon champion Reid the set after 49 minutes, with the Rio Paralympic champion having earned just two points more than Hewett over the course of the ten games.
Reid struck first in the second set to take a 4-2 lead , but as he served for the set at 5-3 Hewett saved three match points, the second with a backhand winner and the third with a well-placed forehand winner before the defending champion pulled a game back. However, Reid earned three more successive match points on Hewett’s serve in the next game and floated a backhand over the net that Hewett failed to reach to wrap up victory after an hour and 30 minutes.
“We were both a little bit nervous and maybe the quality wasn’t very high at the start. But once I settled into the match, I felt I returned pretty smartly and I started to cause him problems on my serve and that helped me dictate the rest of the point,” said Reid, who also reached the semi-finals in Paris in 2013 and 2014 before reaching the 2016 final.
“It’s tough to play each other because we know each other’s games so well. We put a lot of time in to understanding each other’s strengths and weaknesses to help improve our doubles. That always makes it difficult, when you then have to play against each other in a singles court. But we are used to it and have done it enough times now.”
“It was a close match. I think it was quite even. It was a few points that really decided it. At the end of the day, Gordon played the bigger points better than I did.” said Hewett. “We’ve got the rest of today off, so rest and tomorrow we have our doubles, so we’ll so prepare the same we always prepare and really want to get that title this year.”
“I love playing against Shingo every time I get an opportunity to get on the court with him because for me, he is the best player that has ever played the sport. Obviously, it’s going to be a really tough match, he is on great form at the moment, he is very confident. It’s going to be very difficult, but I think if I can produce my best tennis, I will have a chance,” said Reid.
Two-time Wimbledon champions and reigning US Open champions Hewett and Reid play Frederic Cattaneo of France and Stefan Olsson of Sweden on Friday in a bid to reach their second successive Roland Garros doubles final together.
“Alfie and I, we haven’t won this tournament together yet. I’ve had some success here in doubles in the past, but it would be great to have that all-British success,” added Reid