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By Oli Dickson Jefford at Wimbledon
Wheelchair tennis star Gordon Reid banished fitness concerns with an encouraging display in his first match at Wimbledon this year.
Glaswegian Reid, who is supported by the LTA’s Wheelchair Tennis Performance Pathway, champion in 2016 and runner-up last year, was handed a nightmare first round draw against doubles partner and good friend Alfie Hewett, the second seed in the draw this year.
And in a tense encounter out on Court 14, Reid was beaten 6-2 3-6 6-4 by his compatriot in two and a half hours.
It was touch and go if the 30-year-old would even be at SW19 this year after sustaining a tendon injury in his left arm just four weeks ago.
However, despite defeat and a medical timeout, Reid was pleased with his display and with the fact that he was not in pain on court.
He said: “I thought it was a good match, a good level from both of us, especially I think after that first set. I found my way into the match and got used to the conditions a little bit more.
“Alfie’s obviously a great competitor and a strong player, so I’m happy with the way that it went considering the circumstances. It was a really tight one down to the last couple of games, just couldn’t get over the line in the end.
“I wasn’t feeling the wrist, but because the tendon is broken in half now, the muscle that would normally be pulling on that tendon goes into spasm sometimes. I felt that a bit in the second set, that’s why I got the physio on to loosen it up a little bit.
“In general the wrist felt pretty good, so I’m happy with that as well.”
With his singles campaign now over Reid’s attention now turns to doubles, where he and Hewett will be going for an 11th straight Grand Slam title together.
“It was a pretty tough match out there, both of us will be feeling that now,” added the Scot.
“We’ll do our best to recover. Alfie has his singles semi-final tomorrow morning and then I’m looking forward to being on the same side of the net as him tomorrow.
“This is the one we want more than any, so I’m really excited. I didn’t expect to be here at all with the wrist situation a couple of weeks ago so I’m just trying to make the most of it, enjoy it, and it’s always good fun being on the doubles court with Alfie.”
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