Gordon Reid has secured the first part of what could be an unforgettable weekend for Scottish tennis by winning the wheelchair final of the Australian Open.
Playing his first ever grand slam singles title, he edged out Belgium’s Joachim Gerard 7-6 (9/7) 6-4 to be crowned champion in Melbourne.
After completing victory in an hour and 37 minutes, Reid flung his racket into the sky before punching the air in celebration.
The Scot could yet make it two Australian Open triumphs as he plays in the wheelchair doubles final alongside Japan’s Shingo Kunieda later on Saturday. They are up against French pair Stephane Houdet and Nicolas Peifer.
And with the Murray brothers Andy (men’s singles) and Jamie (men’s doubles) also into finals, Scotland may claim a historic winners’ medals haul.
Reid enjoyed the support of a vocal group of friends throughout the contest and he thanked all them individually on the side of the court before making his victory speech.
“I think I’ll be buying them drinks all night to say thank you,” Reid said.
“Congratulations to Jo on getting to his first final, you played great and I’m sure it won’t be your last final as well.
“Thanks to everyone who came today to support wheelchair tennis. It’s always amazing to be able to showcase our sport and I want to thank everyone.”
Reid had earlier knocked out his doubles partner Kunieda, who had won the Australian Open in eight out of the last nine years.
Gerard said: “Congratulations Gordon, you played amazing this week you deserve it. I wish I could hold the trophy but next time. We were not far and we can do better next time.”
After an early exchange of breaks, the first set was tight all the way through as first Reid threatened to break at 4-3 and then his own serve came under pressure at 5-5.
Neither player relented and it was close in the tie-break too as Reid had to save a set point at 6-5 before converting one of his own to snatch the set with a thundering forehand winner.
The second was just as tight but Reid rose his game at the decisive moment again, breaking at 4-4 with a brilliant backhand drop-shot and serving out to claim his maiden major win.