Gordon Reid ready for the grass-court season
By Gemma-Louise Stevenson
Last Updated: 19/06/19 5:42pm
Queen's Tennis Club will host the first ITF wheelchair tennis tour grass court ranking tournament outside of Wimbledon this week and among the contenders for the title is Britain’s Gordon Reid, this year's French Open finalist.
He went further than any other Brit at Roland Garros this year and has followed that up a week later with a strong showing at the French Open Super Series event where he got to the semi-final stages in singles.
Now Reid is ready to tackle the grass court season head on and he's very excited for the upcoming competition at the Fever Tree Championships after being part of the exhibition event there last year.
"It was a really good event last year and a pleasure to be asked to be involved in that," said Reid, speaking to Sky Sports.
"The ITF have definitely made the right decision to make it a ranking event this year and I and also Alfie [Hewett] are really excited to get another opportunity to play on home turf again."
Grass Court Form
Reid has a great game for grass, he's a left-handed player so the spins he can get on the ball can easily see him frustrate an opponent during match play on this particular surface.
As we saw at the French Open, he's not afraid to come into the net and has good movement around the court, so his ability to vary the shots during a point is going to come in useful.
And let's not forget he was crowned the first ever Wimbledon wheelchair men's singles champion back in 2016, and remains the only player to have beaten Sweden's Stefan Olsson, the wheelchair tour's very own grass court master, on the surface during competitive matches in the past three years.
"I think the tennis that I played in Paris and the performances I produced were excellent and there are a lot of positives to take from them moving forward into the summer," added the 27-year-old.
"If I play like I have been recently I'm giving myself a good chance to be able to really make an impact on grass and maybe beat Stefan again like I did three years ago in the Wimbledon final - he's a great player on the surface though and there's a reason why he's unbeaten for so long on it, so I will always have to go in prepared to play my best tennis against him if we do end up going head to head at some point."
With an official grass court event now at Queen's, the players have had less time to get on the practice courts and work on their game before tournaments.
In the last few weeks those who have chosen to compete in the major tour events held over the last month will have had to contend with at least two changes of surface in a short space of time - going from two weeks on the clay courts of Amiens and Roland Garros, to having a couple of days to adjust to the hard courts used for the French Super Series, followed by another few days to get their game up to scratch for the lawns of Queen's Club.
Reid admits this quick turnaround can present a challenge in itself but believes this will change in the future.
"To go from clay to grass is hard enough but to throw in a hard court tournament in the middle is even tougher," remarked the two-time Grand Slam champion.
"I know those who organise the tour are talking about ways to make it easier for us as they understand the challenges so hopefully that gets changed soon.
"I'm just enjoying my time on the tennis court again though right now so wherever I'm playing I'm determined to play the best tennis I can and hopefully get some good wins and results under my belt."
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