Scot Gordon Reid and his wheelchair doubles partner Alfie Hewett knew they were on song for their third Wimbledon title when the crowd started singing a Peter Andre song at them.
“Oh woah woah, Alfie and Gordon, I want to get close to you,” was the chant on No 3 Court as the pair made it a hat-trick of wins in the event, beating Belgium’s Joachim Gerard and Swede Stefan Olsson, 6-1, 6-4.
Afterwards they hailed an “incredible” win and thanked the support for helping them clinch victory. “We reckoned the crowd last year were going to be hard to beat but I think this was even better,” Reid said. “They were really loud and and that was awesome for us.”
Englishman Hewett rated the match the best he’s played in. The double-act had a brief wobble in the second set but battled through it. He quipped: “There are definitely a few tight shoulders out there so I will be stopping by the hospital to pick up some new ones!”
Reid was asked how the wins compared. “I think they’re all special,” he said. “Every year to come back and win it gets tougher. People kind of expect us just to win it but that’s not the case. There are a lot of strong guys out there. This match and the one the day before proved that.”
Hewett admitted they were suffering the after-effects of a gruelling semi-final. “I felt quite tired when I woke up this morning,” he said. “The body was quite sore so I went to the physio and we had to re-group.”
The latest triumph comes at what Reid said is an “exciting” time for wheelchair tennis. “It’s great when we get the chance to showcase the sport and hopefully inspire kids who are disabled. It’s important we get the chance to play on stages like this and we’re grateful for it. The Grand Slams are the best opportunity to present the sport. You saw how many people were out there enjoying the match.
“Hopefully the match being on TV will encourage those with disabilities to play tennis or another sport and get healthy. That’s really important to us because we were both in that situation ourselves at one point.”
The pair will savour this win but the partnership will continue to develop. “I think we keep getting better every year,” added Reid. “There’s not too many teams that are actually sticking together each tournament at the moment and I think that’s something which has really helped us over the years. We’ve got a strong bond on court. I think we make ourselves very hard to beat. Hopefully we can continue to improve.”