Australian Open 2016: Gordon Reid wins wheelchair singles title

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Gordon Reid wins wheelchair singles title

Gordon Reid has won his first Grand Slam singles title by beating Joachim Gerard 7-6 (9-7) 6-4 in the wheelchair final at the Australian Open.

But the Briton, 24, could not add the doubles title as he and partner Shingo Kunieda lost in three sets to Stephane Houdet and Nicolas Peifer, despite having led the final set 5-0.

The Scot had beaten Kunieda of Japan in the quarter-final of the singles.

"Winning a Grand Slam was never the goal when I started," said Reid.

Reid, who contracted Transverse Myelitis - a disease affecting the spinal chord - aged 13, was backed by a vocal group of friends and speaking after his singles triumph he said he would be "buying them drinks all night".

Gordon Reid
Reid started playing wheelchair tennis 12 years ago

Fellow Scots Andy and Jamie Murray are also in Australian finals this weekend, with Jamie into the final of the men's doubles on Saturday and Andy playing Novak Djokovic in the singles on Sunday.

"It's great to have their support," said Reid. "I saw Andy and Jamie in the locker room just after my match and I got a big congratulations from them."

Reid, seeded fifth, saved a set point in a tense tie-break before breaking Gerard to love to take a 5-4 second set lead and served out for a memorable victory.

In his third successive Australian Open and sixth successive Grand Slam doubles final, Reid and Kunieda traded the first two sets and raced into a 5-0, 40-15 lead.

However, the French top seeds managed to complete a remarkable comeback victory to prevail 6-3 3-6 7-5.

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Britain's number one wheelchair tennis player Gordon Reid started playing tennis "on his feet running around" as a six-year old in Helensburgh

"It's been a long week with some long days after some of the rain delays and originally we were supposed to play our doubles final yesterday," said Reid.

"I had an even longer three set match earlier in the week in my singles semi-final against Gustavo [Fernandez] and although we are bitterly disappointed we gave everything."

Reid and Kunieda won the French Open doubles titles last year, with Reid adding the US Open title with Houdet after losing out in the Wimbledon final with Michael Jeremiasz.

Nicola Sturgeon
Nicola Sturgeon MSP, the First Minister of Scotland, congratulated Reid on Twitter

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