Rav­en­ous Reid reaches sec­ond Aussie fi­nal with straight-sets win

The Herald - Sport - - AUSTRALIAN OPEN - CALUM CROWE

SCOT­LAND’S Gor­don Reid has reached his sec­ond men’s dou­bles fi­nal at the Aus­tralian Open af­ter he and his part­ner, Ar­gentina’s Gus­tavo Fer­nan­dez, beat Ger­many’s Joachim Ger­ard and Bel­gium’s Maikel Sch­ef­fers 6-1, 7-5.

It may have been a straight-sets victory but Reid and Fer­nan­dez were pushed hard by their semi-fi­nal op­po­nents, hav­ing to come 2-0 down and then 5-3 down in the sec­ond set.

Reid and Fer­nan­dez will now play the de­fend­ing cham­pi­ons and top seeds Stephane Houdet of France and Shingo Kuneida of Ja­pan in the fi­nal overnight.

“I’m de­lighted to be back in an Aus­tralian Open fi­nal af­ter a good solid per­for­mance from us to­day,” said 23-year-old Reid, who part­nered Sch­ef­fers to last year’s fi­nal. “This will be our sec­ond fi­nal in as many tour­na­ments to­gether, so we will be all out to win to­mor­row.

“Af­ter Maikel and I fin­ished run­ners-up to Stephane [Houdet] and Shingo [Kuneida] last year I’m re­ally hun­gry for a first Grand Slam ti­tle.”

He­lens­burgh-born Reid was crowned Ten­nis Scot­land’s In­ter­na­tional Player of the Year in 2014 but his jour­ney to this point has not been seam­less. He re­cently crit­i­cised the or­gan­is­ers of the Aus­tralian Open for fail­ing to in­vest in the wheel­chair events in Mel­bourne.

Reid, who was paral­ysed from the waist down just a week prior to his 13th birth­day, in­sisted that or­gan­is­ers of the grand slam events should in­vest more in or­der for the sport to grow.

He said: “If the prize money were to be dou­bled or even tre­bled at the grand slams, con­sid­er­ing how much is al­ready spent, how much would the tour­na­ments re­ally miss that?

“It would to­tally change our sport as play­ers would be earn­ing enough to train as pro­fes­sion­als and the level of com­pe­ti­tion would rise as more peo­ple would com­pete.”

BACK IN THE BIG TIME: Gor­don Reid and part­ner Gus­tavo Fer­nan­dez are one step from glory.

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