GORDON Reid wondered if he’d ever pick up a tennis racket again when he contracted Transverse Myelitis – a disease affecting the spinal chord – aged 13.
Yesterday he began a memorable day for Scottish tennis when he took his first grand slam singles title.
The 24-year-old from Alexandria, West Dunbartonshire, edged out Belgium’s Joachim Gerard. But it was disappointment in the later wheelchair doubles final when he played alongside Japan’s Shingo Kunieda in Melbourne and lost to French pair Stephane Houdet and Nicolas Peifer.
Reid had enjoyed the support of a vocal group of school friends in Melbourne, but one in particular – Gary Peak – carried special significance.
“Gary’s literally been there the whole journey, so it’s amazing to have him here cheering me on,” Reid said. “He was there the day what happened happened. It was the Friday night. I stood up off my bed and my legs just gave way.
“The next day I woke up and was fine but then over the day I lost all feeling from the waist down and I had really bad pains. Gary was the one sitting with me all day as it happened, keeping me company. He was there until the ambulance took me away to the hospital. I didn’t even really think about that but it’s pretty special to have him here,” Reid added.