Men's Wheelchair Doubles Final - Part 1 Wimbledon


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Men's Wheelchair Doubles Final - Part 1

Clare Balding introduces live coverage of the final of the men's wheelchair doubles, as Stephane Houdet and Nicolas Peifer take on Alfie Hewett and Gordon Reid.


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Third Championship point. He's got it! Look at what it means to them!

:00:55.:01:06.

Good morning and welcome to Wimbledon for a weekend of finals.

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From one o'clock, we will be concentrating on Centre Court, with

:01:10.:01:13.

Venus Williams facing Garbine Muguruza. But our very first final

:01:14.:01:17.

here at Wimbledon is the wheelchair men's doubles, and it features the

:01:18.:01:22.

British pair and defending champions, Gordon Reid and Alfie

:01:23.:01:27.

Hewett, who are just starting so-so warm up. They are up against the

:01:28.:01:32.

French pair of Houdet and Peifer, who they beat in the final last

:01:33.:01:35.

year, but who beat them in the Paralympics. It is a bit overcast,

:01:36.:01:44.

and there is a 2000 capacity here, on Court No. 3, which means more

:01:45.:01:47.

people will be able to see this final than ever before, when they

:01:48.:01:51.

realise it is here! Steve, this is going to be a great final? It's

:01:52.:01:55.

going to be fantastic. I have watched them all their way through

:01:56.:02:01.

this competition, but that is enough from me, Jordanne Whiley, no

:02:02.:02:04.

stranger to Wimbledon finals, you have got another one tomorrow. But

:02:05.:02:07.

for now, it is about the guys. They're going to be feeling nervous?

:02:08.:02:12.

Naturally. It is a final, and it is a tough match. But if I know the

:02:13.:02:16.

boys, I know how much they want it, so they're going to be pumped Fish I

:02:17.:02:21.

met up with the two dies yesterday after their semifinal win.

:02:22.:02:41.

There's no way you could say that was an easy semifinal? We never

:02:42.:02:48.

thought it was going to be easy. They are two really good doubles

:02:49.:02:53.

players, very experienced, and we did a very good job to come back

:02:54.:02:56.

after losing that second set to win it.

:02:57.:03:09.

Now, looking forward to the final, how are you feeling about it today?

:03:10.:03:16.

It is what we wanted, we want another crack at the French boys. We

:03:17.:03:20.

beat them here last year, and we want to beat them again. I think we

:03:21.:03:24.

have shown some great signs of a kind of tennis that we need to play

:03:25.:03:30.

to do that. Hopefully, on Court No. 3, the British public will get

:03:31.:03:33.

behind us and create a good atmosphere on that court. It's quite

:03:34.:03:37.

interesting, actually, watching them develop as a pair. In the early

:03:38.:03:41.

days, Jordan was the senior partner, Alfie was the younger one coming

:03:42.:03:46.

through, do you feel it is more equal now? Definitely. And at times,

:03:47.:03:52.

I have seen Alfie taking the lead, which really shows maturity. And

:03:53.:03:55.

also they have been taking advantage of the ice baths that we have heard

:03:56.:03:59.

about with Andy Murray, taking two a day. The two of them got in together

:04:00.:04:03.

yesterday, to help them recover from the long matches under a lot of

:04:04.:04:08.

pressure. A want to do well here because it is their home crowd,

:04:09.:04:12.

their family, and general supporters in the crowd. Steve, at least they

:04:13.:04:17.

have got a really professional approach but? They really have, but

:04:18.:04:19.

it shows the friendship they have got as well! Coming through the way

:04:20.:04:25.

they have, Gordon Reid may be overseeing a little bit of Alfie's

:04:26.:04:30.

development. They're already saying, Gordon is trying to push Alfie back

:04:31.:04:36.

down, he's seeing him more of a threat than somebody to mentor now.

:04:37.:04:38.

It has been really good watching them develop. The chemistry is not

:04:39.:04:43.

just on court. What about the French pair, they are really strong? They

:04:44.:04:48.

are rev really talented players. They have shown that, in the

:04:49.:04:53.

Paralympic final, and also some times this year when they have

:04:54.:04:57.

beaten them. It's going to be tough but I really believe in the boys. It

:04:58.:05:02.

is a big day, I'm thrilled that it has got a bigger court, and I know

:05:03.:05:05.

as the match progresses, it's going to start filling up, and that's

:05:06.:05:10.

going to help the boys, isn't it? I think so. Home crowd, Wimbledon,

:05:11.:05:15.

they are defending champions as well. They've got a lot to play for.

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This is not something they have just turned up for, they have put in a

:05:21.:05:23.

lot of time and effort to be at their best for this competition.

:05:24.:05:26.

Winning this is something they want to do and they have worked hard for

:05:27.:05:30.

it. Jordanne Whiley, talk us through the relative strengths Gordon, first

:05:31.:05:35.

of all, what are his best shots, how does he play? Gordon is very handy

:05:36.:05:41.

at the net. He has good skills, very talented. Alfie is fearless, young,

:05:42.:05:46.

he just wants to go out and give it his best every single time he's on

:05:47.:05:51.

the court. Although two bounces are allowed, is it more effective to

:05:52.:05:55.

take it on the first bounce if you can? Definitely, if you can do that

:05:56.:06:00.

you definitely have the advantage. The ball really does slow down when

:06:01.:06:04.

you're playing on the grass. Going back to the relationship, if you

:06:05.:06:09.

watch Alfie and his body language, and how different it is from Gordon

:06:10.:06:13.

Reid. He really lets his frustration show, whereas Gordon sits back and

:06:14.:06:20.

absorbs it a lot more, internally. Alfie is very, very open about his

:06:21.:06:24.

body language. And Gordon also, he tends to have a lot of supporters,

:06:25.:06:27.

and quite often they will turn up wearing their hair band thing that

:06:28.:06:35.

he's got? Definitely. Alfie is very expressive, he has always been like

:06:36.:06:41.

that, he's a little bit like myself. What has their record been like so

:06:42.:06:46.

far this year in the Grand Slams? Cordon and Alfie have done quite

:06:47.:06:50.

well this year. Obviously, they are defending the title from here last

:06:51.:06:57.

year. But they have struggled this year against Houdet and Peifer so

:06:58.:07:00.

I'm really hoping they can pull it out of the bag. Steve, what do you

:07:01.:07:04.

think about how the match might go? I don't think it's going to be very

:07:05.:07:08.

easy for either of them. If you look up to the build-up to this, in the

:07:09.:07:12.

semifinals yesterday, it went to three sets. They pulled it back in

:07:13.:07:17.

the third set. How are you looking at the pairings, and I don't think

:07:18.:07:22.

this is going to be easy for anyone, what do you think? It's not an easy

:07:23.:07:28.

match, it's really tough, four amazing, talented players and I

:07:29.:07:32.

think it's going to be an amazing match. There is going to be an awful

:07:33.:07:35.

lot of support here as well. It could be the first of the British

:07:36.:07:39.

successes this weekend. We've got hopes in the next doubles tomorrow,

:07:40.:07:42.

but also, in the wheelchair doubles, Jordanne Whiley yourself, and Yui

:07:43.:07:49.

Kamiji, the partner you have describe as your bag for life! And

:07:50.:07:55.

she still is my bag for life! Should be good? I really think so, again,

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it's the chemistry, it's the look between you, it says so much. You

:08:01.:08:03.

don't need to talk when you're playing with her. No, we don't, we

:08:04.:08:09.

literally just have eye contact, a little wink and a smile, and

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everything is fine! It must help so much if you can naturally understand

:08:16.:08:18.

each other. It is a very special bond when you have that with

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someone, because you don't necessarily need to do the talking

:08:22.:08:25.

all the time and the tactics. We're so lucky that we have that, and I

:08:26.:08:29.

think that is a base foundation of why we're so great. Absolutely, it

:08:30.:08:33.

is key. You haven't got time to talk, it doesn't matter about

:08:34.:08:39.

language, or how much you can communicate, you need to be able to

:08:40.:08:42.

read each other's body language. It's just the little nods and

:08:43.:08:48.

smiles, they go along way. It's going to be fascinating,

:08:49.:08:51.

best-of-three sets, and the only difference in the rules is, the ball

:08:52.:08:57.

can bounce twice. Everything else is exactly the same. It is a fairly

:08:58.:09:06.

still day, there's just a small threat of rain, but hopefully it

:09:07.:09:09.

will stay dry. We can hand you over to commentary now, with Nick

:09:10.:09:21.

Mullins, and the quadfather himself, Peter Norfolk.

:09:22.:09:26.

NICK MULLINS: On the other side of the net, the French pair they beat

:09:27.:09:31.

in a third set tie-break last year. This is what they've done so far,

:09:32.:09:38.

the French were taken to three sets yesterday by Stefan Olsson and

:09:39.:09:44.

Maikel Scheffers in the semifinal. Gordon Reid and Alfie Hewett working

:09:45.:09:50.

really hard to come through against Gustavo Fernandez and Shingo Kunieda

:09:51.:09:53.

late yesterday evening, so it has been a fairly quick turnaround for

:09:54.:10:00.

them, shifting from a more homely surroundings of Court No. 17 to

:10:01.:10:08.

Court No. 3 here. Peter Norfolk is alongside me. Winner of 100 Grand

:10:09.:10:19.

Slam titles in his time! Anything he does not know about this sport is

:10:20.:10:22.

barely worth knowing. Good morning, Peter. Good morning, everyone, good

:10:23.:10:30.

morning, Nick. A lot of anticipation and excitement for this one. A bit

:10:31.:10:36.

of history. I commentated on a fabulous match back in Rio 2016,

:10:37.:10:42.

which unfortunately the British pair lost, but it was a thrilling match.

:10:43.:10:49.

That's Stefan, who, the Paralympic gold medallist. Collecting a modicum

:10:50.:10:58.

of Wimbledon revenge to claim the gold medal. And they are building up

:10:59.:11:04.

quite a history, these two now. They played each other most recently at

:11:05.:11:06.

the French Open, at Roland Garros. And this really should be wheelchair

:11:07.:11:21.

tennis of the highest quality. The French top seeds, favourites, Houdet

:11:22.:11:27.

and Peifer, against the British defending champions. They are the

:11:28.:11:36.

top four sides, so in the doubles rankings, number one, two, three and

:11:37.:11:50.

four. That's the 26-year-old who lives just outside Paris, Peifer,

:11:51.:11:58.

not far from the Palace. And his partner, who is now 46, continuing

:11:59.:12:02.

to play at an incredible level, one of the old soldiers of the sport,

:12:03.:12:05.

Stephane Houdet, former world number one. Currently third in the rankings

:12:06.:12:10.

and as good as he has ever been, Peter? Absolutely, he's fit as a are

:12:11.:12:14.

going to, hugely intelligent and personable. He's taken over the

:12:15.:12:18.

mantle, I think I was the oldest player at one point! He still loves

:12:19.:12:28.

the sport, loves playing. He's got this special chair where he has try

:12:29.:12:31.

to change his sitting position. Is that the car bomb one that we were

:12:32.:12:37.

talking about last year -- the carbon one? Absolutely, and it's

:12:38.:12:41.

completely innovative. He's not sat on a conventional seat. You look at

:12:42.:12:49.

the Peifer on the right, in the moulded carbon fibre one. Every time

:12:50.:12:53.

your body moves, the chair moves with you. Houdet has got suspension

:12:54.:12:59.

on the chair, and they've put a lot of research and development into

:13:00.:13:03.

this. It must cost a few bob? It sure did. I understand it was about

:13:04.:13:09.

?100,000. It is a one-off. Most chairs don't cost that much, that's

:13:10.:13:15.

for sure! But it is an interesting development. As we look at Gordon

:13:16.:13:22.

getting a last-minute tweak by the wheelchair repair man. And that is

:13:23.:13:31.

really important in terms of the way Gordon Reid will want to play?

:13:32.:13:37.

Absolutely. He's got way too much play there. If it's too low on the

:13:38.:13:47.

ground, essentially, it would be taking the big wheels off the grass

:13:48.:13:51.

and you won't be going anywhere! If it's too high research the ground,

:13:52.:13:58.

when he leans back to get a smash or serve, the chair is going to tip too

:13:59.:14:03.

much. It is crucial to get it right. I'm surprised he's doing that now,

:14:04.:14:06.

but then again, they haven't played on this court yet. No, they were out

:14:07.:14:10.

on court No. 17, as we were saying. Now, for this final, they're on

:14:11.:14:34.

Court No. 3. And that is where we are, where the old Court No. 2 used

:14:35.:14:40.

to be before they rebuilt it and moved it a little further south. It

:14:41.:14:47.

is a wonderful arena and a fabulous place to showcase this sport for the

:14:48.:14:52.

next couple of hours. Yeah, it's a great court, really good. Hopefully

:14:53.:14:59.

it will get filled up with a lot more crowded. They're only just

:15:00.:15:03.

coming in, really, into the grounds. The bigger the crowd, I think the

:15:04.:15:09.

more the players will play to that. So, here we go. Gordon Reid has had

:15:10.:15:17.

his pit stop. He and Alfie Hewett are ready to try and win this

:15:18.:15:22.

doubles title for the second year running. It will be Gordon Reid who

:15:23.:15:30.

will get us under way. Permaul lush grass, the harder it is

:15:31.:16:24.

to get any kind of speed? -- the more lush the grass. Totally right.

:16:25.:16:31.

Even though you have a second bounce, if you want it, the ball is

:16:32.:16:34.

dying. Gordon Reid, the 25-year-old

:16:35.:17:07.

left-hander from Glasgow. It's the French pair who strike

:17:08.:17:55.

first. From a British pass back, best not to be too alarmed by the

:17:56.:18:00.

breaks of serve. Sometimes it can be more tricky to hold serve from the

:18:01.:18:04.

chair. There will be more breaks over the course of this final. But

:18:05.:18:14.

immediately, an indication of what Houdet and Peifer offer as a

:18:15.:18:15.

challenge. First to serve for the French,

:18:16.:18:25.

Stephane Houdet. Stephane Houdet, one of the great

:18:26.:19:35.

flag flyers for this sport for such a long time now. I was wondering

:19:36.:19:38.

whether he was going to challenge there. If they can, on this court...

:19:39.:19:52.

What a shot by Hewett! It was a lovely forehand crosscourt from

:19:53.:20:00.

Peifer, and Hewett smashed it back across the front of Peifer for a

:20:01.:20:02.

winner. Look at Houdet's serving, he's

:20:03.:20:24.

lifting his wheel right off the ground, you watch! The effort he

:20:25.:20:31.

puts into it! That's Alfie Hewett, Norfolk's

:20:32.:20:57.

finest. Only 19 years old, pitching himself up against a 46-year-old

:20:58.:20:58.

serving. That was a good drop shot by Peifer,

:20:59.:21:27.

but Alfie saw it coming. I think Peifer was trying to be a bit too

:21:28.:21:29.

clever. That's a really nice angle. I think

:21:30.:22:10.

you will probably see more of that tactic today, with the green grass,

:22:11.:22:15.

itch much -- it's much harder for the guys to push the chairs.

:22:16.:22:29.

UMPIRE: The ball was called in. They do have Hawk-Eye today, they didn't

:22:30.:22:36.

have it on Court No. 17 yesterday. His challenging will get better! I

:22:37.:22:40.

think he just wanted to do it! It is really noticeable, how much

:22:41.:22:59.

greener, how much lusher, this court is. It is, it is so much slower. He

:23:00.:23:08.

saw that drop shot early, but it's hard to get the chair moving on the

:23:09.:23:23.

grass. Great pick-up by Hewett. It was, but Houdet just picked it up

:23:24.:23:32.

and lobbed it over the top - beautiful.

:23:33.:23:53.

UMPIRE: Game, Houdet and Peifer. NICK MULLINS: The French go two

:23:54.:24:13.

games up. It is a repeat of the French Open final from Roland

:24:14.:24:19.

Garros, where Houdet and Peifer took the title in straight sets. That was

:24:20.:24:22.

on clay. The British coaching team. That was hard work, but the hard

:24:23.:25:02.

work paid off. It was good work by Hewitt, saw it coming, great pushing

:25:03.:25:08.

in that hard part of the court, and Houdet couldn't quite control the

:25:09.:25:16.

volley. Who were trying to put it behind Hewett, because he knows

:25:17.:25:21.

Hewett is not going to be able to spin on that lush brass. -- grass.

:25:22.:25:32.

The side spin on that by Hewett! The crowd are loving that!

:25:33.:26:08.

That's the problem on serve - the receiver is moving all the time to

:26:09.:26:15.

get into the right position, and if you serve it into the hitting zone,

:26:16.:26:24.

it's going to be a winner. Yes, they are on the move. It is an integral

:26:25.:26:33.

part of the game. Absolutely right. Hewett saw that Peifer was moving

:26:34.:26:38.

very much, and swatted his forehand down into the tramlines. You've got

:26:39.:26:44.

to keep the chair moving - it's hugely important on the grass.

:26:45.:27:06.

Got to be careful - that's why they like big courts, so you don't run

:27:07.:27:12.

into walls and things, and damage the chair. I think even the crowd

:27:13.:27:17.

were getting worried! Houdet almost tipping out of his

:27:18.:27:58.

chair. Yesterday, watching the Argentinian Gustavo Fernandez, he

:27:59.:28:07.

was flying around like Boris Becker. Full of entertainment. So, deuce on

:28:08.:28:15.

the Hewett serve. You can see they're still trying to

:28:16.:28:49.

get used to this court, it's all reactive, the ball is staying low,

:28:50.:28:50.

and it's hard to push on this court. We've had a little bit of rain in

:28:51.:29:48.

south-west London first thing this morning - nothing serious, just one

:29:49.:29:55.

or two spits and spots. A little bit of a drizzle at the moment. It's not

:29:56.:30:02.

great for the chairs, either. If you've got titanium, it can end up

:30:03.:30:05.

slipping through your fingers. And the defending champions are on

:30:06.:30:27.

the scoreboard for the first time in this final. There might be some rain

:30:28.:30:35.

in the air, but it is not a dampening things? Certainly not. The

:30:36.:30:40.

best tennis at the moment seems to be coming mainly from Hewett and

:30:41.:30:49.

Houdet? Absolutely, but I think all four players are doing really well.

:30:50.:30:56.

It really is important, the equipment, you are only as good as

:30:57.:31:00.

your chair? Absolutely, to get the prep just right is crucial. These

:31:01.:31:06.

chairs can cost ?3000 to ?4000. With the grass, we saw Gordon Reid

:31:07.:31:13.

adjusting the back wheel up a bit, because the movement is very

:31:14.:31:19.

challenging. And the grip as well as important? Absolutely. But only on

:31:20.:31:26.

the grass, in terms of slipping, but the grip of your hands on the rim as

:31:27.:31:32.

well. Great work from the Scotsman.

:31:33.:32:44.

Fantastic overhead, very cool and calm.

:32:45.:33:13.

This time it is Houdet, who again took a little bit of a tumble. He

:33:14.:33:26.

hit it straight back to him but he was made ready for its, but the ball

:33:27.:33:34.

didn't bounce enough. He has been a regular visitor to the

:33:35.:33:55.

Wimbledon, since it became the last of the Grand Slams to invite the

:33:56.:34:02.

world's best players on wheels in. Always been the feeling that

:34:03.:34:04.

wheelchairs on grass were not necessarily a great makes. But

:34:05.:34:15.

people like the four we're watching right now have this proved that.

:34:16.:34:18.

Absolutely right, the chairs don't harm the grass, they're designed to

:34:19.:34:23.

skid across it as much as possible. Gordon Reid and Alfie Hewett setting

:34:24.:34:48.

up the opportunity to get the break of serve back.

:34:49.:35:12.

We are all square again in the final.

:35:13.:35:27.

The French, much happier to do their work in or around the baseline. But

:35:28.:35:34.

as we have seen over the past couple of days, Gordon Reid and Alfie

:35:35.:35:37.

Hewett, one at the net, one at the baseline. Yeah, a bit more

:35:38.:35:45.

aggressive. Again, Hewett's going in, trying to change the play up.

:35:46.:36:55.

Gordon Reid, who has letters after his name these days, he collected

:36:56.:37:05.

his MBE from the Queen recently. It has been quite a 12 months for both

:37:06.:37:08.

of them, Gordon Reid and Alfie Hewett. Gordon Reid shared champagne

:37:09.:37:17.

with Andy Murray and his team on that final Sunday last summer, when

:37:18.:37:21.

they became singles champions. And he deserve it. A lot of time and

:37:22.:37:26.

effort into the sport, great ambassadors, all of them. Just a

:37:27.:37:34.

little bit of a indication breakdown. -- any indication --

:37:35.:37:52.

communication breakdown. Yeah, they are all still feeling their way on

:37:53.:37:53.

this court. And for the first time in this

:37:54.:38:55.

final, the British pair are ahead. Just beginning to find their way

:38:56.:39:04.

around the court, Peter? Yes, and that's what they like doing, trying

:39:05.:39:10.

new things. The idea of Alfie Hewett going into the net, your opponent is

:39:11.:39:14.

going to be looking at him and what he's doing, rather than the server.

:39:15.:39:26.

It was a fabulous serve out wide. I think we will see more of that.

:39:27.:39:36.

Calls from the crowd, that's Alfie Hewett's lob! Grandad, ma'am,

:39:37.:39:44.

sister, brother. They've done well to get seats, and somewhere amongst

:39:45.:39:49.

them will be the coach as well, Steve! They're down in force from

:39:50.:39:56.

Norfolk, a little place which is equidistant between Norwich and

:39:57.:40:04.

Great Yarmouth. Gordon Reid and Alfie Hewett not lacking for

:40:05.:40:07.

support, as you would expect, out here on Court No. 3 at the moment.

:40:08.:41:24.

Well, Gordon Reid did push, and eventually, they win the point.

:41:25.:41:31.

Peifer was pushing as hard as he could with those long arms, didn't

:41:32.:41:35.

quite manage it. The crowd loved that.

:41:36.:43:03.

How about that?! Fantastic, Gordon saw the drop shot coming. Drop shot

:43:04.:43:11.

for drop shot. It's what they needed, the break of serve. It was a

:43:12.:43:22.

lovely drop shot, second bounce, Gordon had time to scoop it back

:43:23.:43:28.

across court. On the line, great hands.

:43:29.:43:38.

I'm expecting them to start playing on Peifer, actually, he's making a

:43:39.:44:00.

few little mistakes. He had the spotlight all to himself

:44:01.:44:20.

last month, when he became the first Briton to win the French Open

:44:21.:44:27.

singles title. An indication of his fighting capabilities, coming back

:44:28.:44:31.

from a set down, saving two match points, he's a battler, Alfie

:44:32.:44:42.

Hewett. And very often, it seems, Peter, he's the weather vane of the

:44:43.:44:47.

British duo. When Hewett is playing well, they're playing well. He's

:44:48.:44:53.

very outward in his emotions, and you can tell how it's going, whether

:44:54.:44:57.

he's chuntering, whether he's smiling. You're did write. Also a

:44:58.:45:06.

bit more aggressive, coming into the court. -- you're dead right.

:45:07.:45:20.

The French working hard here to win this break back. The world number

:45:21.:45:32.

three and the world number five, amongst the best this sport has to

:45:33.:45:38.

offer. And the British break of serve didn't last long.

:45:39.:45:49.

CLARE BALDING: The French stopping a run-off four consecutive games for

:45:50.:46:00.

the British pair there. It is quite interesting, the French pair are so

:46:01.:46:03.

strong and experienced, but sometimes they can get cross with

:46:04.:46:09.

each other, Houdet getting particularly cross, Louise? Yeah,

:46:10.:46:18.

they are quite amusing, those little arguments. Gordon and Alfie are both

:46:19.:46:24.

playing exceptionally well, aren't they? They certainly are. I still

:46:25.:46:30.

feel Gordon and Alfie have got a good bit of momentum now. Hopefully

:46:31.:46:34.

they can carry it through this set. Louise, you said earlier, it is the

:46:35.:46:40.

first time you have seen Hawk-Eye used in wheelchair tennis, is it

:46:41.:46:46.

also the first time that an umpire has had to say seats, please, does

:46:47.:46:50.

-- to the crowd, because they're coming pouring in? Absolutely. This

:46:51.:47:02.

is fantastic. It is a great thing to see, all this interest. And I would

:47:03.:47:05.

say right now, it's about 90% full, once these people have sat down.

:47:06.:47:10.

This is a very tight match, as we get to the business end of the first

:47:11.:47:16.

set. NICK MULLINS: Yes, this court holds

:47:17.:47:21.

a couple of thousand, and it's very nearly full.

:47:22.:48:41.

Peifer, who has been a double amputee since early childhood. He

:48:42.:48:47.

took up this sport when he was only ten and became the world's best

:48:48.:48:49.

junior player for a couple of years. The effectiveness, particularly on

:48:50.:49:08.

this surface of that sliced backhand, Peter. Yeah, I think they

:49:09.:49:15.

need to use the slice more. If you slice it, they can't get underneath.

:49:16.:49:19.

And the court is certainly taking the slice, especially there.

:49:20.:49:30.

Couple of aces now for the French. And there is nothing to separate

:49:31.:49:39.

them in this men's wheelchair doubles final at Wimbledon. These

:49:40.:49:46.

two trying to defend the title that they won so famously last year.

:49:47.:49:54.

Once again, time for Gordon Reid to serve.

:49:55.:51:08.

Houdet whereas those golf gloves which he used to wear when he was a

:51:09.:51:18.

golfer. He was brilliant, the world number one in weird -- in wheelchair

:51:19.:51:29.

golf. He switched to tennis when he met Johan Cruyff. He switched sports

:51:30.:51:38.

but kept the gloves! And is now brilliant at this one. And also, the

:51:39.:51:48.

gloves stop his hands slipping on the push rims. He goes through quite

:51:49.:51:59.

a few pairs, too, actually! UMPIRE: Mr Reid is challenging the

:52:00.:52:23.

call, the ball was called in. UMPIRE: Game, Houdet and Peifer.

:52:24.:52:29.

NICK MULLINS: How well did Stephane Houdet control that game, to give

:52:30.:52:43.

the French a break I'm? Where are we with the sport in this country at

:52:44.:52:50.

the moment, Pete? I'm hearing that more disabled folk than ever are

:52:51.:52:53.

playing it up and down the country, around the clubs that have access

:52:54.:52:59.

for disabled player suggest it seems from the outside to being a decent

:53:00.:53:04.

state? Yeah, we do, we've got a really good position at the moment.

:53:05.:53:08.

We had our most successful Paralympics last year. And we won

:53:09.:53:14.

six medals just we've got chairs in tennis centres, the tennis

:53:15.:53:20.

foundation are doing a great amount of work. That's the charity who

:53:21.:53:23.

helped fund the sport in this country? Yeah, they control the

:53:24.:53:28.

performance side, but also they help. You can go to any tennis

:53:29.:53:34.

centre, essentially, and learn to play. If you're watching this at

:53:35.:53:41.

home, and think, I don't have one of those snazzy Chios, you don't have

:53:42.:53:44.

to because they may well have won at your local tennis centre. Absolutely

:53:45.:53:53.

right. -- snazzy chairs. The court is the same, the balls are the same.

:53:54.:54:01.

And here's the Frenchman, one of the best for years and years and years,

:54:02.:54:03.

serving for the first set. Super reverse backhand by Hewett

:54:04.:54:37.

there. Reverse backhand yet again by

:54:38.:55:08.

Hewett, that's rev in a row, too strong for Houdet to control,

:55:09.:55:09.

leaning out of his chair. And this first set goes on! Light

:55:10.:56:09.

drizzle here on Court No. 3 at Wimbledon. Yeah, quite difficult to

:56:10.:56:16.

play in the drizzle, to be honest, it makes the push rim slippery,

:56:17.:56:22.

there can be struggling pushing the chairs, if it continues.

:56:23.:56:55.

Clever play by Houdet there. Gordon Reid did a backhand and they saw it.

:56:56.:57:23.

It was outstanding chasing initially from Houdet, the hard work from Reid

:57:24.:57:33.

and the winner from Hewett. Yeah, he pushed really hard out on that soft

:57:34.:57:40.

grass, and Hewett saw that Houdet was out of position, split the

:57:41.:57:42.

French pair again. One of the cool things about this

:57:43.:58:08.

sport is where you can stuff the balls. And Hewett, one of those who

:58:09.:58:17.

uses the spokes to good effect. Yeah, but you have to be careful

:58:18.:58:27.

they don't come out of the spokes. The French just using that lusher

:58:28.:58:33.

green bit around the net to good effect. Yeah, it is a tactic. If the

:58:34.:58:40.

ball does come out, for the first time, it is a let come and after

:58:41.:58:42.

that...? It is a point away. Keeping the pressure on, aren't

:58:43.:59:07.

they? Yeah, trying to raise the temperature.

:59:08.:59:21.

There you go! Alfie Hewett has held serve. And the defending champions

:59:22.:59:37.

are game away from the first set. CLARE BALDING: I wanted to talk to a

:59:38.:59:43.

little chap here called Cameron. How old are you? Ten. And who is your

:59:44.:59:49.

favourite player? Alfie Hewett. And you have got his hair cut. Are you

:59:50.:59:52.

playing tennis yourself, and how often? I play about... And is this

:59:53.:00:02.

the level you want to be playing at one-day? Yeah. What does it mean to

:00:03.:00:08.

you to see a crowd this big at Wimbledon, watching your favourite

:00:09.:00:11.

player, Alfie Hewett, in the final, is this a really good day for you?

:00:12.:00:17.

Yeah. And who have you come with? My mum, my brother, my sister and my

:00:18.:00:22.

dad. Fantastic, we need to start chanting, don't we, because this is

:00:23.:00:25.

a very tight first set. What are you going to chant? Come on. Let's hope

:00:26.:00:36.

the boys can do it now. This rain is starting to come down pretty

:00:37.:00:37.

steadily, I have to say. At what point will the umpire

:00:38.:00:56.

decided to take them off? At what point is it unplayable? When the

:00:57.:01:00.

players start slipping and missing pushes. Obviously it is a lot

:01:01.:01:03.

earlier than standing up. I am joined by Peter Norfolk. Pistol

:01:04.:01:41.

Pete, as we call you. Thank you. They do make it look easy, don't

:01:42.:01:46.

they? I can assure you, it is hard work in those tears on grass.

:01:47.:01:57.

We need a tie-break in the third set in the final last year. We have got

:01:58.:03:09.

one in the first set this year. Arena is really starting to come

:03:10.:03:14.

down. Alfie Hewett looking towards the umpire, suggesting he might not

:03:15.:03:21.

be averse to stopping. They will want to finish the set, but this

:03:22.:03:26.

could affect how they are pushing. Alfie has decided that if he set up

:03:27.:03:43.

at the net there is less pushing. That is quite hard.

:03:44.:04:27.

We were threatened with one or two showers throughout the day.

:04:28.:04:39.

Houdet was using the rain to put side spin on the ball. Shot off the

:04:40.:04:51.

grass. He doesn't look entirely happy with life at the moment. The

:04:52.:05:02.

aluminium hand rims get very slippery. I am sure the officials

:05:03.:05:09.

will want to finish this set before the do anything. Still on serve in

:05:10.:05:11.

this first set tie-break. Intelligent play by Houdet. Saw

:05:12.:06:05.

Hewett going back towards the back fence.

:06:06.:06:19.

That is a doubles ploy. Hit the ball a lot more down the middle.

:06:20.:07:10.

Splitting the two players. Try to get and miscommunication. One is

:07:11.:07:18.

going one way and one is going the other. As soon as you give someone

:07:19.:07:20.

an angle, they have an angle back. It is still raining. Slightly more

:07:21.:07:42.

than spitting, you would see. I'm not sure that spitting is the phrase

:07:43.:07:46.

that Carol would use, but it will do for us.

:07:47.:08:57.

Good serve by Gordon Reid. They needed an nice serve down the middle

:08:58.:09:05.

T. There is the break back and we are

:09:06.:09:43.

back on serve. Low percentage, but so worth it. A little summit meeting

:09:44.:09:51.

for the French. Oh dear. Alfie is usually so secure

:09:52.:10:26.

overhead. He is in close to the net. That could be crucial. Probably

:10:27.:10:36.

should have been set point for the defending champions. Instead it is

:10:37.:10:46.

set point to last year's runners up. On the Hewett serve.

:10:47.:11:14.

Well, the British pair won the titles last year by winning over

:11:15.:11:22.

three sets. They're going to have to do it again if the are to defend

:11:23.:11:27.

their title. The French peer take the first set on a tie-break. 7-6.

:11:28.:11:40.

Talking about how the game has developed...

:11:41.:11:52.

It is so tense. Louise Hunt and myself are very close to the action.

:11:53.:12:08.

So little in it. A couple of unforced errors. And great

:12:09.:12:12.

performances on both sides. Steve Comer when the rain was heavy, what

:12:13.:12:17.

sort of difference does it make for them? The difference is more about

:12:18.:12:22.

your control than it is about ball control. The responsiveness of your

:12:23.:12:32.

chair is really put down. It spends through your hands a little bit.

:12:33.:12:37.

When you try to push, there will be some giving your hands. The two

:12:38.:12:41.

bounces is one thing, but if you simply can't get to the ball, it

:12:42.:12:46.

doesn't matter how many bounces you are allowed. Would Gordon and Alfie

:12:47.:12:53.

have any gloves for wet conditions? Or do you just not normally play

:12:54.:12:59.

when it is wet? If the rain gets any more, they won't be able to play.

:13:00.:13:05.

But it is a personal choice whether you wear gloves. Are they playing

:13:06.:13:12.

well enough to bring this back? Absolutely. No doubt in my mind.

:13:13.:13:21.

Fitness has come into it. They have had a long week already.

:13:22.:13:32.

The French and Wimbledon are a little bit slower. Start of the

:13:33.:13:43.

second set, Stephane Uday. -- Houdet.

:13:44.:14:04.

The rain is not as severe as it was, but is still in the air.

:14:05.:14:43.

It looks like it will be a solid first game of the second set for the

:14:44.:14:51.

French peer, which is not what the British peer would like.

:14:52.:16:00.

A good return of serve from Alfie Hewett. Lots of pressure from

:16:01.:16:09.

Houdet. Great shot by Alfie Hewett.

:16:10.:16:34.

Splitting the peer. That is one of the shots of the

:16:35.:18:35.

match. Still be reversed top-spin backhand out to the tramlines. See

:18:36.:18:38.

how high that kicks up. Good pushing by Gordon here. Right

:18:39.:19:31.

outside the court, outside the tramlines. Houdet just popped it too

:19:32.:19:40.

long. Now the longest game of the final.

:19:41.:20:03.

That is genius! The quality of the pick-up. To keep that rally alive

:20:04.:20:12.

and then what Alfie Hewett did to finish it. Fantastic pushing. The

:20:13.:20:19.

commitment to that. What a great shot. No wonder everyone is

:20:20.:20:26.

standing. Lovely drop shot. He just kept pushing. Flick it crosscourt.

:20:27.:20:34.

That is like Federer. That will give them something. They were looking a

:20:35.:20:38.

bit flat. That is exactly what we needed.

:20:39.:20:44.

So the defending champions have the break of serve at the start of the

:20:45.:21:06.

second set, asset they must win to keep this final live.

:21:07.:22:36.

Good shot by Nicolas Peifer. In that situation, you have to hit it to the

:22:37.:22:47.

guy at the back of the court, not at the front.

:22:48.:23:04.

Too strong. Gordon hit that straight at Nicolas Peifer. Couldn't control

:23:05.:23:11.

the volley. When long on the baseline.

:23:12.:23:44.

Starting to use a lush green patches. Alfie Sullock. He also saw

:23:45.:23:55.

that Houdet was not moving the Stationery. Can get off the mark

:23:56.:23:59.

quick enough on the grass. Nicolas Peifer using side spin to

:24:00.:24:29.

take it further out of the court. Well played. There is a challenge.

:24:30.:25:23.

The ball was called out to. He has come to the assistance of the

:25:24.:25:53.

French. Replay the point. There was some frustration on court 17 that

:25:54.:25:57.

they didn't have Hawk-Eye. Now we are seeing the other side of it. It

:25:58.:26:01.

is a learning process to use it. If the rain continues, I think they

:26:02.:26:21.

might pull them off court. Ladies and gentlemen, play is

:26:22.:26:38.

suspended. There we go. It has been threatening for the last 25 minutes.

:26:39.:26:45.

It is becoming harder and harder for players to manoeuvre themselves

:26:46.:26:55.

around the court. Not just the grip of the tyres, pumped to 150 psi, but

:26:56.:27:01.

also the grip of the hands to get them there in the first place. Yes,

:27:02.:27:07.

it is a hands on the metal hand rooms. If you miss a push, you won't

:27:08.:27:16.

get to the ball and it gets a bit dangerous. Skidding, not controlling

:27:17.:27:22.

the chair. Hopefully it is not for too long. What is your inkling at

:27:23.:27:32.

the moment? Interesting. It is about who is going to take the initiative.

:27:33.:27:38.

Both players seemed to fade in and out at the moment. There is no real

:27:39.:27:48.

pattern. One minute it is Nicolas Peifer not concentrating. I felt

:27:49.:27:57.

Gordon wasn't at one point. They need a period where each player is

:27:58.:28:04.

able to continue the momentum going. Look at that out there. Fillet of

:28:05.:28:15.

Wimbledon Park,., OK to sail around in, but it is not all right to play

:28:16.:28:19.

tennis, particularly in a wheelchair. The final of the women's

:28:20.:28:30.

wheelchair tennis will be delayed because of this. Diede De Groot and

:28:31.:28:40.

Sabine Ellerbrock will be on court later. Right now, the men's doubles

:28:41.:28:48.

final is on hold. The French won the first set on a tie-break.

:28:49.:28:58.

The crowd are giving some support. The information we have is this rain

:28:59.:29:01.

will last for about 15 minutes. Fingers crossed we will get this

:29:02.:29:10.

final back on court at some point this afternoon. They save 15

:29:11.:29:13.

minutes, but it is not looking great, that's the truth. What we

:29:14.:29:19.

have seen has been fantastic. So tight. Louise, how important for

:29:20.:29:25.

Gordon and Alfie to get that early break and set in this second set?

:29:26.:29:29.

Obviously Alfie is under pressure on his serve, but there was lots to

:29:30.:29:34.

play for? Absolutely. Good start to the second serve. It might help them

:29:35.:29:38.

and give them more time to regroup. I think Alfie will be fine. Look

:29:39.:29:43.

forward to them getting back out on court soon. Steve spoke of the

:29:44.:29:48.

difficulty of pushing when it is wet on the outer rim of the wheel, but

:29:49.:29:53.

also the ball is picking up moisture and the grass is lush. The ball is

:29:54.:29:58.

dying. There has been some great pushing from Alfie. You think the

:29:59.:30:05.

point is over, and next thing you know the hitting winners. With the

:30:06.:30:10.

extra weight of the ball, those second bounces make it very

:30:11.:30:21.

difficult. We spoke about the grass. You have come back from winning on

:30:22.:30:29.

clay. It makes a huge difference. In a way, clay can almost be more

:30:30.:30:36.

reactionary. They can bounce off the lines in all sorts of weird and

:30:37.:30:44.

wonderful directions. How impressed and excited are you? I spoke to that

:30:45.:30:50.

ten-year-old boy Cameron earlier. He told me he is playing three times a

:30:51.:30:56.

week. This final is live on BBC Two. And added sort of glow of the

:30:57.:31:00.

inspirational side of it, getting their kids to know they can play

:31:01.:31:01.

tennis? Yes, and what is wonderful is, how

:31:02.:31:12.

many people are here. I hope that everybody at home is watching this,

:31:13.:31:14.

no matter what your disability is going to there is a way to play

:31:15.:31:18.

tennis. Whether it is purely for enjoyment, or you want to make it to

:31:19.:31:23.

the top. These guys on court today are showing you what level you can

:31:24.:31:27.

get to. We want to give you the opportunity to see as much tennis as

:31:28.:31:31.

you can, so while we wait for the rain to pass, let's have a look at

:31:32.:31:35.

the semifinal from yesterday which got Jordan Reed and Alfie Hewett is

:31:36.:31:38.

to this point. We'll pick it up in the third set.

:31:39.:32:22.

That was a bit of a mistake by Fernandez, hitting it back to

:32:23.:32:41.

Hewett, he didn't give his partner a chance to move, really. And there is

:32:42.:32:48.

the break, and Britons move ahead in this decisive third set.

:32:49.:33:41.

That's Gordon Reid's girlfriend, Marina.

:33:42.:34:04.

So, the last vestiges of sunshine on court. On this second Friday of the

:34:05.:34:19.

Championships. Reid and Hewett, their nose is now in front in this

:34:20.:34:21.

third set. It's been a routine that's worked

:34:22.:34:44.

well, the idea of having Hewett buzzing around at the net, on the

:34:45.:34:52.

Reid serve. Not so much when Fernandez is returning, however.

:34:53.:35:02.

Yes, it's a really good Zen. -- really good tactic.

:35:03.:35:28.

This will be testing the fitness of Shingo Kunieda's injured elbow.

:35:29.:35:59.

Great recovery there, kept them in that point.

:36:00.:36:27.

Every point now being treated for what it is, because every point

:36:28.:36:46.

takes defending champions a step does to Sundays final.

:36:47.:37:09.

PETER NORFOLK: Hit the chair, lose the point. If the ball hits the

:37:10.:37:48.

chair before it bounces, you lose the point.

:37:49.:38:12.

To see it is one thing, to have the touch to do it is another. Also,

:38:13.:38:32.

it's harder to push, the ball doesn't bounce up so much. Although

:38:33.:38:39.

you've got two bounces, still not quick enough.

:38:40.:39:06.

A point four double break in this third set.

:39:07.:40:39.

Yes, there's just no defending that. The number of points that he's won

:40:40.:40:45.

with that big howitzer down the middle. There he is, moving forward,

:40:46.:40:53.

using the chair, his hips, his shoulders, everything!

:40:54.:41:07.

Great shot, what a return of serve. Hewett decided to attack, look where

:41:08.:41:50.

he's sitting, right over the baseline, didn't give Shingo Kunieda

:41:51.:41:53.

a chance to move away from his serve position.

:41:54.:42:11.

Nearly there, boys! A double break, and they're within a game of getting

:42:12.:42:23.

back to a Wimbledon final. Just the feel of this semifinal, the

:42:24.:42:42.

tone of it, has changed in the last 15 minutes? Yes, it's been quite

:42:43.:42:49.

tense, and you can see that it means a lot to all of these players, but

:42:50.:42:58.

not necessarily nervy, but mistakes are being made. It's about who can

:42:59.:43:06.

grasp the next game by the scruff of the neck, and at the moment, it's

:43:07.:43:10.

Alfie Hewett who seems to be playing the big points well. Gordon is

:43:11.:43:17.

playing steady Eddie. Chance to serve it out.

:43:18.:43:27.

Opportunity to right again all the stories of last summer to IF they

:43:28.:43:39.

can get into the final once more. IF Alfie Hewett can hold on to his next

:43:40.:43:42.

service game. Sound head on his shoulders for a

:43:43.:43:50.

19-year-old lad. Shaking his head, he didn't really

:43:51.:44:34.

mean to do that. As soon as Fernandez had hit that, he was

:44:35.:44:38.

racing into the net, because he realised there was going to be a

:44:39.:44:40.

drop shot coming. Lovely controlled forehand by Gordon

:44:41.:45:08.

Reid, into the tram lines. Look at that.

:45:09.:45:18.

They are at it again! Reid and Hewett, the best of British on

:45:19.:45:40.

wheels, rolling into another Wimbledon final. Great way of

:45:41.:45:54.

finishing. And how well did they play in that second set. They took

:45:55.:46:01.

control of it, in the last 20 or 25 minutes, dominating. Once again, in

:46:02.:46:05.

tandem together, the chance to become a Wimbledon champions for the

:46:06.:46:12.

second summer running. That was Gordon and Alfie in action

:46:13.:46:16.

yesterday. We had to bring you that because of the rain stopping play.

:46:17.:46:18.

No play before 1:15pm and win No-one... ..tells us...

:46:19.:46:33.

..what to choose.

:46:34.:46:35.

Clare Balding introduces live coverage of the final of the men's wheelchair doubles. The French pairing of Stephane Houdet and Nicolas Peifer take on British pair Alfie Hewett and Gordon Reid.

Plus a look ahead to Saturday afternoon's ladies' singles final between Garbine Muguruza and Venus Williams on Centre Court.