Wimbledon: Gordon Reid in good spirits before titles defence

Gordon Reid

Gordon Reid says he is feeling "pretty good" before the defence of his Wimbledon wheelchair tennis men's singles and doubles titles.

Scot Reid, 25, also won gold (singles) and silver (doubles) at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games to cap off an excellent season.

"I'm sitting at number one in the rankings," he told BBC Radio Scotland's Sportsound programme.

"And I've got a couple of titles under my belt this year."

Reid and Belgian Joachim Gerard beat Gustavo Fernandez and Alfie Hewett in the Australian Open doubles final in January.

Last year, Brits Reid and Hewett were successful together at Wimbledon and also reached the final in Rio.

With Japan's Shingo Kunieda, Reid has won the French Open doubles twice and he also won the US Open doubles with Frenchman Stephane Houdet in 2015.

'A little bit of extra pressure'

And Reid likened his position to that of fellow Scot Andy Murray, who is defending men's singles champion at Wimbledon.

"I feel pretty good," said Reid, who reached the quarter-finals of this year's Australian and French Opens.

"The Australian Open and Roland Garros didn't go to plan, really, in the singles. It's a bit like Andy - maybe not the best start to the year and the best year so far but I'm still sitting at number one in the rankings like him and going back to a place where I've got great memories from last year.

"Hopefully, I can use this to kick on and have another strong end to the season.

"It's always a great feeling going back to the place where you won the titles the year before, especially when it's something so special as Wimbledon.

"Maybe feel a little bit of extra pressure because, especially in the home country, everyone just all of a sudden expects you to defend it and you're supposed to win it no matter what.

"At the same time, you should take confidence from the fact that you did so well there the year before."

Reid also feels boosted by the invitational event he will take part in before Wimbledon.

"For the first time ever, we've got an invitational tournament at Surbiton on the grass there from Thursday till Saturday and then I'll just head across and start training on the grass at Wimbledon before we start on the second Thursday," he added.

Gordon Reid
Reid beat Stefan Olsson in last year's Wimbledon singles final

"Every year, the grand slams are holding us in higher recognition and they're putting more into the wheelchair events at slams.

"I think there's plans next year to try and create a grass-court season with more international ranked tournaments.

"We have the same differences to cope with, the way the ball comes through the court and the tactical changes to adapt to grass.

"But, for us, the movement side of things is an even bigger part of it.

"When we push our wheelchairs on a hard court, we could roll for 20 metres without touching the wheels again, but then when you're on grass, you push your chair and you'll stop about a metre in front of you because there's just no momentum.

"The grass is so heavy under the tyres. Physically, it's a lot more difficult for us and it's much more demanding playing on grass."

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