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HomeNewsWheelchair tennis stars Whiley and Reid shine in St Louis

Wheelchair tennis stars Whiley and Reid shine in St Louis

  ReidMAINBRITAIN’S wheelchair tennis stars players clinched sensational victories at the US Open in St Louis.

Jordanne Whiley made history by becoming the first British woman to win a wheelchair tennis Grand Slam singles title.

And Gordon Reid claimed his second Grand Slam doubles title with French partner Stephane Houdet on a thrilling last day of competition.

British No. 1 Whiley, playing in her first women’s singles Grand Slam final, beat defending champion and world No. 3 Yui Kamiji (Japan) 6-4, 0-6, 6-1 in a match of fluctuating fortunes.

Whiley saw an early break advantage disappear in the first set, only to regroup and take the last two games to seize the initiative.

Kamiji raced through the second set, but Whiley returned from a comfort break before the final set with a renewed focus and stormed into a 5-0 lead.

Whiley then had her first five match points before Kamiji pulled a game back, but another thrilling final game eventually saw the Brit clinch a famous victory on her ninth championship point.

“It really hasn’t sunk in that I’ve done it – I’m a singles Grand Slam champion! It was so strange playing Yui as she’s my best friend and we’ve achieved so much in doubles together but it means I know her game so well,” said Whiley, who will now go to a new career best singles world ranking after starting the US Open word ranked No.5.

She added: “I felt bad seeing her crying at the end but that’s tennis and I knew I could win it. I kept telling everyone that I could do it in singles as well and now I’ve finally proved it! Everything is clicking nicely ahead of Rio and now I can’t wait to play at the Singles Masters in December and I want to win that too in front of a home crowd.

“I’m going to treat myself to some pizza tonight but then it’s back home and I’ll keep working hard and build on this success with the support of the Tennis Foundation and UK Sport.”

Top seeds Reid and Houdet extended their unbeaten sequence as a partnership to 19 matches with a 6-3, 6-1 victory over the all-French duo of Michael Jeremiasz and Nicolas Peifer in the men’s doubles final.

Runner-up in the men’s doubles in New York in 2014, Reid joined forces with Houdet this year to gain the crucial breakthrough midway through the opening set in Sunday’s final. They then won the last five games of the match to make it two titles in two weeks after winning the final Super Series title of the season last week in St Louis.

Reid said: “It feels pretty amazing to be a two-time Grand Slam champion in 2015! We played some great tennis tonight in tricky windy conditions and our tactics were spot on. We moved the ball around the court and it’s great that Stephane and I remain undefeated together as I really enjoy playing with him.

“It’s tough because we were due to play yesterday so there’s been a lot of waiting around but we stayed focused and it was worth it to leave with a trophy! Our level of tennis in the second set was really high quality and I felt like we were making plenty of space for ourselves.

“Big thanks to my coach Karen and to everyone at the Tennis Foundation and UK Sport for their ongoing support as I couldn’t do it without them,” added Reid, who was contesting his fifth straight Grand Slam doubles final.

“We’ve had some brilliant crowds here this week and I hope everyone back home comes along to watch us when we play in the Olympic Park in December for the NEC Masters title as we keep trying to pick up more ranking points towards Rio 2016 qualification.”

PICTURED: Gordon Reid and Stephane Houdet

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