Clare Balding introduces continued coverage of the final of the men's wheelchair doubles, as Stephane Houdet and Nicolas Peifer take on Alfie Hewett and Gordon Reid.
Browse content similar to Men's Wheelchair Doubles Final - Part 2. Check below for episodes and series from the same categories and more!
My dad is perfect! -- that is perfect. Wimbledon champion again!
It is a much brighter afternoon and we are all set to go again with this
wheelchair men's doubles final, three hours after the rain drove
them off cod three on the other side of Court One. We are ready to resume
again. The contest between the French top seeds, the favourites and
the British defending champions. The French Stephane Houdet and Nicholas
Peifer and Gordon Reid and Alfie Hewett. And when the rains came, it
was the Britons who were fighting their way back into this final,
having lost the first set on a tie-break, 7-6, right at the start
of the second set, they have taken an early lead, breaking the server
of the French. The 25-year-old left hand from Glasgow there. The men's
singles champion here last year, he won the doubles as well with Alfie
Hewett. They do not lack support. They are in a right old battle
today, against Houdet and Peifer. Enjoying wheelchair tennis again at
Wimbledon is one of our best ever wheelchair tennis players, who won
ten Grand Slam titles. He got ten Paralympic medals as well. This has
been a very good contest so far. Good afternoon. It is poised to be
really exciting. Anglo-French contest again. I don't know if any
of you remember from the Olympics last year, this was one of the
defining matches, these players played out, and the British player
unfortunately took silver and the French took gold and I watched that
and it was so thrilling. I have got a feeling, this is gearing up for
that as well. It is also a repeat of the final last year, that went to
three sets. We will see. Here is Alfie Hewett.
It is about how quickly every player can get started. When they look at
this as a new match or a continuation of one? A new view, a
new vision. Brilliant recovery. From Gordon
Reid. His singles fight ended on Thursday. He is working so hard to
hold on to his doubles crown. The British player will be pleased about
that miss by Houdet. The Norfolk teenager there, he is
from Great Yarmouth. That is a really significant hold,
coming back out after the rain delayed at dues. -- deuce. I was
thinking which players would come out stronger. Gordon just came out
there, walloped a high forehand out wide. 2-0 up, second set. Just long.
Had a look to the umpire who is Brazilian. They do have Hawk-Eye on
Court number three. They have decided that was not worth
challenging. Wonderful touch. He will have to do
a bit more of that, I think. That is the kind of form that won him
there's singles title here last summer and won him Olympic gold in
Rio. I think you will try and see Gordon and Alfie try and mix it up a
bit more, come closer to the net. Rather than both staying back.
Houdet is doing that now. Break point against the serve of
Nicholas Peifer. The 26-year-old who lives just outside Paris,
Versailles. That is a rather tame way to tackle
the second break, but it has been a wonderful start. A wonderful start.
Post resumption for Alfie Hewett and Gordon Reid. You're aware, Peter,
that lots of people now, enjoying wheelchair doubles for the first
time this afternoon, bring us up to speed with the rules and
regulations, pretty much what you see in the able-bodied game. The
rules are the same, you are allowed the second bounce, the first round
must be in the confines of the Court and the second can be anywhere. In
doubles, that means they can use the whole court and you can see them
even going into the canvas on the sides, the roof etc. If the ball
hits the chair before bouncing then you lose the point, if you get the
ball in the wheels, you must not fall out. If you do it, it is a let
and if you keep doing it, you lose a point. Wheelchair tennis is the same
as tennis, tennis is tennis. And here are two of the best that this
version of the sport has had to offer, Nicholas Peifer and Stephane
Houdet. A Frenchman took the title that day at Roland Garros, on clay.
This time, we are on grass. The British duo working hard to take us
into a third deciding set, 3-0. Fantastic. Great reaction by Alfie
Hewett there. Peifer took that out of the sky. Straight into the
netting zone and Alfie Hewett, backhand, reversed down the line for
the winner. Judged that perfectly. Lovely
languid forehand there. Won the Paralympic title by beating
the bloke who he is playing with today. Alfie Hewett took the silver
and Gordon Reid took the gold. And right now, Houdet and Peifer have
not got going since the rain delay. They are looking a bit sluggish. The
British players were a set down and they had to come out firing. We
could go to the third set, but you can never write off the French,
especially Houdet. Stephane Houdet, 46 now. Continuing
to play at such an incredible level, he is really one of the old soldiers
of the sport, it is a former world number one. He is just behind the
current world number one, Gustavo Fernandez.
It is good if your partner is hitting a deep shot and one of the
tactics is to follow him in and get close to the net. Again, another
good shot by Hewett, he is been the aggressor at the moment. -- he is
being the aggressor. That is a good drop shot. On that
green grass, the ball guys, well controlled forehand drop shot. ?1,
two bounce and then it dies. -- ?1. They got the cover song quickly when
it started to rain around half past 12. Heavy conditions this morning.
They will not be playing any quicker now, those lush green patches are
big targets for the drop shot. This, for the Britons, is an opportunity
to go 5-0 up and surely be on the verge of taking this into a third
deciding set. Good try by Gordon. He saw Peifer
rolling in and coming up to the service line and thought he would do
a high lob over the top and he would have had an open court for him to
come back. He has been one of the great flag
flyers for this board for so long, before that he was a flag flyer for
golf and he has never given up the trick of wearing gloves when he
plays sport. Actually a world number one golfer, he is multitalented,
Stephane Houdet. It will have helped him, when the rain came, but gloves,
giving him a bit more grip on the tyres.
O, they are making a mock up of it. Look at the Houdet. What are you
doing? A great get by Gordon, but look. Not a lot of sympathy.
Stephane Houdet is a qualified vet in Paris.
He was giving Peifer are talking to as well. Trying to get his head up,
trying to get him to concentrate. It was a good return but Peifer sat
still on the baseline. It was a feature of this final
before the rain came. They were just a little bit more imaginative in
their court positions. They are gambling at the net a bit more.
You are right. And Alfie is pushing in and putting pressure on Peifer.
Peifer is making the errors. Just to dispel my theory he goes and
does a superb backhand crosscourt down the sideline! Hugely talented
these players. This is the longest game of the match.
You can see Hewett was moving his chair all the time on the return of
serve. But to no avail, Houdet did a wonderful serve. It is not the pace,
it is the placement. That was a great smash. Hewett
missed three of those in the first set. I am a bit confused as to why
two French blokes are talking to each other in English on the court.
But there was no confusion about that smash from Alfie Hewett.
They have not had a challenge yet. They are enjoying using Hawk-Eye for
the first time. They are on the board for the first
time in this second set. It is wonderful that the sport is
getting this exposure, Peter. You were one of those who in the early
days went to Athens and Beijing when the BBC covered this life. You were
setting the pace down. But the game and the sport has moved on. At the
moment these four are at the forefront and from a British
perspective and an's prospective Alfie Hewett and Gordon Reid are
doing great. Yes, they are fantastic ambassadors. They are pushing the
boundaries of tennis as well. It is fantastic to be on the BBC and to be
at Wimbledon. We never expected that two decades ago. The technology has
moved on as well with the chairs and the rackets. It is great to see.
What are the chairs made out of? Most of them are detaining,
extremely light. Bespoke products. You do not have to have a canister
to play tennis, but it does help. This is Alfie Hewett. Serving at 4-1
in the second set. How well did he play? He is having a
wonderful month or so. He made a bit of wheelchair tennis history in
Paris last month when he became the first Briton to win the French Open
singles, beating Gustavo Fernandez in the final at Roland Garros, the
world number one. They also make him IPC athlete of the month. He has had
a great quarter here. You can see it in his play, he is feeling
confident, happy and fit. They started to play for the first
time in 2007. It was the first time Wimbledon invited wheelchair
players. They had been playing at the other Grand Slams on the hard
courts for a while. It has got to be a timely challenge,
that is the phrase. For the Brazilian referee that was not
timely. In the mind of Stephane Houdet it
was timely, but on we go. Alfie Hewett has come out inspired
since the rain delay. The young man from Norwich. He is guiding this
British duo towards the third set. That is how you do a reverse
backhand top-spin across court in wheelchair tennis.
Went as high as number two, the Frenchman in the world. This is at
number five. The sport is being played at its
best at the moment at the best tournament in the world.
He is playing the tennis of his championships right now. The great
forehand return. Peifer had not moved from service position when the
ball went past him. Oh, it had to be. He was almost
sitting in the front row. That was outstanding. A flick of the wrist at
the end. Wow. That is the talent. There we go, some brilliance from
the Frenchman. Houdet on the left, Peifer on the
right. Houdet took to disability golf Festival after he had a crash
on his motorbike. He was a really good able-bodied junior tennis
player before the crash, became one of the more decorated tennis
players. He switched to tennis after meeting Johan Cruyff, his foundation
was a big supporter of wheelchair tennis. You'll find Johan Cruyff
doing juniors and competitions each year, all about the new blood,
bringing youngsters into the sport. The foundation is still hugely
virtual. -- hugely influential. That's where some of these players
have come from. The tennis foundation is doing good work as
well. There are working to get products into centres. British
wheelchair tennis is being driven in the right direction.
Gordon Reid looking to serve out the second set.
Gordon overrun that, he span round. And he span straight into the balls
so he couldn't really hit a very good shot. Houdet just came in and
hit it away for a winner. Looks like they're going to get
broken again, the British pair. Yes, the Britons who had led 5-1,
still lead 5-3. They still have the break of serve. It's getting just a
little tighter than they would have expected. That's when it's going to
be problems, especially for the British, because they need this
second set to go to a third and deciding set. Once more, Stephane
Houdet. There's been a change of momentum in
this second set. I think they got to 5-1 and a relaxed, took an effort
off the pedal. Hopefully that will galvanise them
into being a bit more positive. They got to keep the chairs moving. Keep
positive. The French roll to their bags and
the water and the towels having won the last three games and just giving
Hewett and Reid a little bit to chew on here. And it will be a test of
Alfie Hewett's new-found confidence, he's been working really hard, we
know, over the last few years, on the nerves. He'll happily admit that
on big occasions like this previously, he is still a teenager,
still only young, but the nerves would sometimes get the better of
him. He's got to, all of the work he's done over the next few minutes,
he's got to use that work he did with the sports psychologist. We've
been encouraging our juniors to go to big tournaments like the
Paralympics to taste and feel what the atmosphere and pressure is like.
He's been here before, he's played one Wimbledon, played the
Paralympics, one the silver medal there, just won his first Grand Slam
in France. He's getting used to this pressure. They're going to come out
and serve for the second set. The pressure is well and truly starting
to build. Right then, healthy, what have you got? -- Alfie? Serve this
and you will be in a third set. They were racking up the pace in
there and Alfie hit back to Peifer's line and gave him more as an angle
to hit out of the trams. Great shot by Gordon Reid. Houdet at
full strength didn't get to that. Right into the bottom corner.
Never a good time to do a double fault. Only the second in the final.
They'll get away with it. Maybe. Made up for his double-faulted with
a lovely backhand winner. That's what we used to call a daisy
cutter. Having led 5-1, it could be 5-5 very shortly.
That's brave, isn't it? A break point down.
That forehand, through his whole body weight into that.
That's cool and collected. Great fishing there. -- great pushing.
Bearing down the line. Tried his flashing backhand again,
didn't quite come off. The first half of this final, it's very often
that he is the barometer of the team, Alfie Hewett. There's a level
of consistency that we'd played at but Hewett can fluctuate, he's
playing like the player that was winning all those points once they
resumed half hour ago. You're right, and I think when
Hewett is aggressive and pushing and doing his flashing backhand is, Reid
places nice, level game, they start winning a string of points in a row.
This is starting to reach critical proportions from a British
perspective but well done to the French, they've charged their way
back into the spinal. They were 5-1 down a few -- into this final. They
were 5-1 down a few units ago and it seemed inevitable that there would
be a third set but it could still end here.
I love that shot. First bounce off the serve, move in. Wheeling right
over the baseline. Lean into the shot, which it away for a winner.
Houdet almost saw its trickling over. Didn't quite do it.
The damage was done when Hewett to Reid time to look where the gap was,
to maximise the damage. Having forced their way back in,
they suddenly drop their serve. You wonder just how good Alfie Hewett
could be if he is playing at the levels he is playing at the moment
as an 19-year-old. He has got so much more developing to do, so much
more to achieve. Yes, he has got a long way to go. The only problem is
you can get injuries. The boundaries have been pushed, but you have to
look after your body as well. He had an elbow injury and he is making his
way back from that. You do recover when you are younger, but to give
yourself longevity, you have to look after yourself. Also his tournament
planning has to be spot on. These are all full-time professionals now.
Absolutely, they go around the circuit. There are many tournaments
around the world. There is big prize money. Quite a bit of value on a
Wimbledon title. Gordon Reid has got a couple of them. He is about to
serve. It is the bigwigs.
CHEERING It is on the line. Arms down from
the baseline died. Peifer left that thinking Houdet was covering him.
As high as the quality of the tennis has been, the quality of the
challenging has been ropey. You need more practice, boys.
REFEREE: Game and second set. They won the title in the third set last
summer. They are into a third set here this summer. They are refusing
to give up their Wimbledon title. Hewett and Reid have taken us to a
decider. They are smiling actually. Just thinking they needed that. They
will settle a bit more now. That made them feel a bit more
comfortable. Of all the points, which ones catch your eyes. The ones
in yellow are the good points. First serves in, the best are from the
Britons. They are playing a bit more solid
and they will feel a bit more comfortable on the grass now. Alfie
has been coming in and switching that play on serve. As one is
serving, the other one comes in. The opponents have got to look for the
gap. It means a lot. He is so animated.
Gordon Reid meantime in the background has the look of a man who
knows there is still a lot of work to do to retain the title. He likes
Alfie getting excited. He pushes him along on court. Centre Court were to
mean Muguruza has just become the women's champion.
Getting the third set under way with new balls.
There have been one or two of those over the course of the day that he
would take back if he could. Houdet hit it from the top of the racket.
Not as secure in the overheads as he normally is.
All their friends and family are in town. Those who were not friends
before today will be very quick to become friends. That is what it is
about. Come and watch some wheelchair tennis and get a
masterclass in doubles from the top players. Being Wimbledon champion is
not something you get to do every day of your life.
They will be the first pair if they could ever retain their title. Alfie
Hewett. Got to keep the chair moving. Alfie
Hewett was a bit guilty just sitting there. He blocked his view.
Good change of direction by Hewett. A lovely backhand down the line.
It is a cool day in South West London today. Nowhere near the heat
we had in the first week. There is Stuart Wilkinson and Karen Ross from
the tennis foundation. Nowhere near as hot as the first
week. We have had that three hour rain break.
A final being played in two pass. The first part was definitely shaded
in French colours. Houdet and Peifer won the first set. Since the
resumption it has been the other way. That was a super serve. He has
got much more reach and look over the net and it gives him much more
angles to serve it to. Interesting to see one or two
interruptions over the last few minutes because of people in the
crowd moving around, late to take their seats. It is fascinating to
see how the tournament they will have in Milan goes in November which
will be played and experimental rules. One of the rules off the
court is people can come and go whenever they want. They do not have
to wait for the change of ends. If they want to get a hot dog and 0-40,
they can get a hot dog. Relax the game a bit, make it a bit more
user-friendly. In Rio last year Johnny Vegas walked onto Lucy
Shuker's court and sat there for about 15 minutes and no one said
anything. The best view of the court. How much were you distracted
by movement when you were in the crowd when you were playing? With
lots of noise and with lots of people, some people are very close
to you on court. When you are not completely focused you start looking
and seeing and hearing everything. Then it gets difficult. When you are
a it does not matter. There could be on court coaching by
headsets, no let's. No advantages, you just play a deciding point to
deuce. Meantime, back to the job in hand.
The men's wheelchair doubles final between the French pair, Stephane
Houdet and Nicolas Peifer, and the British pair, Alfie Hewett and
Gordon Reid. The history between these two pairs, it's a lengthy
history, it does not favour Hewett and Reid. This is the tenth occasion
they've met and they've only won twice. One of those twice was here
last year so it was a big one. But the bulk of the numbers asked -- are
stacked for the French. That was also when Alfie was growing into his
new-found status as he was coming up into the world rankings from the
juniors. He could probably take off of those away.
It reminded me, going back to coaching, our world team cup, like
the Davis Cup, we have coaches on court and one of the think they say
is wouldn't it be more interesting if they were able to change tactics
in the singles? Great tennis, he's got it back! Oh,
a disappointing end to what was the point of the match so far. The work
Reid did! Look at this. Get that back, he's right on the back fence.
Great pushing. However, the net result is break
point. They have won the game of patients.
I was just thinking, which one, because they started getting a bit
tentative. Houdet tried a big forehand and it
didn't come off. Quite a big game, this. Hewett and
Reid it need to take advantage of this point.
Well played. Saw off a break point. Won the game point.
We remain on serve. If you're just joining us, it's the men's
wheelchair doubles final at Wimbledon, we were interrupted by
rain for three hours. This is Gordon and Alfie's chance, I
think. They know that Peifer can be new -- he can be changeable and he
can make mistakes. Well, how significant might that be?
They've got the break of serve in this deciding set.
Their respective armies are in full cry. Maybe lots of people watching
this back home, maybe in their chairs, thinking, I quite fancy a
bit of wheelchair tennis, what do they do, where do they go, how easy
is it to take up the sport? Really easy, just go down your local tennis
Centre. There are hubs as well, you can get hold of the tennis
foundation, they've got a big website. There's lots of chairs in
centres and coaches. You can just get started. It's exciting, the
crowd! That's how I got started, I went down to my local tennis Centre
and said, I want to play tennis. There are so many more opportunities
now. You don't have to have one of these
nifty chairs, you can use -- leave your day chair at the side of the
court and these chairs are available for you, so if you fancy it, you
know what to do. That was in, surely? The one called
it. That's a very good challenge, is it? Its way in.
Going to have to do some training on that. The quality of the challenging
has fallen some distance short of the quality of the tennis. To be
fair, we don't have a Hawk-Eye in most of the other tournaments so
they're getting used to it. I think you're being very kind!
These are the moments for which Alfie Hewett has worked so hard, for
the sports psychologist to help him, to calm the nerves, he's been in big
situations like this before. French Open champion a month ago on the
close at Roland Garros, fully focused.
Quite a big period of the match, this. The middle of the third set. I
think Alfie and Gordon can get on top of the French pair, they have a
good chance. I almost said good serve.
Starting to wonder if we're going to do this again, if we're going to win
it together again. That was a big game. If you look at the French,
they fade in and out. The British duo can keep the pressure on.
Alfie wasn't taking any chances on his overheads this time.
Wow, that's what you can do playing tennis on wheels. Longest rally in
the match, 33 shots. Look at this daisy cutter. Skimming the top of
the net. The ball didn't come up off the grass, that's why he couldn't
really get under it. Full court play, full credit to them.
That's is strong mentally from Stephane Houdet as much as anything,
holding onto his service game. It's heating up a bit, isn't it? This is
where we are, out on Court number three, up the hill. On Court 17, for
the quarterfinals and the semifinals. They've moved to one of
the grand show courts near the millennium building. It holds a
couple of thousand. It was full first thing this morning before the
rain came and the finals began on number one and centre. Very healthy
population still, largely by folk who are not entirely neutral!
Mums and dads, aunties, uncles, brothers and sisters, and coaches.
They are all trying to stay calm from a British perspective for now
because Hewett and Reid have the break of serve. More people are
coming into the stadium to get a view of wheelchair tennis at its
best. Potentially two games away. It is a big game to hold for Reid.
You can see they are positive. Hewett is trying to upset the rhythm
by coming in and out. Gordon Reid lost the use of his legs
just before his 30th birthday. He had a disease that affects the
spinal-cord and he was paralysed for six months.
Once he regained some movement he began to play the sport initially
just to keep fit. Then they realised he was pretty good at it and now he
is winning Wimbledon titles. You can see the French heads going
down a little bit. It is not going their way. It is going the British
way. That is exceptional from Peifer.
Strong wrists. Oh, missed it. Confusion in the
French camp, that is why. They are nearly there.
Houdet and Peifer have worked so hard and played so well to make this
final a spectacle. I think we will see Hewett and Reid
pressing a bit more to elicit some mistakes from the French.
The French pair have been together now for over 100 matches, ten years.
They are not giving up yet. Not by a long chalk. Not when you have
someone of the ability of Stephane Houdet flying around the net. They
will push this pair to serve it out because they can put pressure on the
serve. They will need at least one more
game before we work out who the Wimbledon champions will be. Where
were you the most nervous, Peter, when you were winning your
Paralympic medals? Five of them and ten Grand Slam titles. When were you
most nervous? The first round, the semifinals. It is all or nothing
essentially. If you win, you are in the final. The reality comes in the
final. And then the very last game serving for the match. That is when
you have to focus so much. It becomes tunnel vision. You have to
exclude everything and pick the spot where you are going to serve.
Because you are choosing, you are deciding, where the ball is going
and in a way where it is coming back. You need to think of two
shots. They are being roared on by a big support. Alfie Hewett and Gordon
Reid have enjoyed calling themselves Wimbledon champions over the last
year. It is interesting how the nerves
fluctuate between each pair. Depending on what the score is, the
nerves build and then they deflate. It has been an advantage in this
final so far. Absolutely, sometimes it is good to be behind. Then the
pressure comes off. He will be looking for a big serve
because he has got nothing to lose now.
Communication. That is why you hit the ball down the middle. It is so
effective. Both of them were doing backhand. Normally you would say it
is the forehand. That is a ripper. That is what he
has got to do. He has got to take the ball by the horns and use his
chair and his body and go for it. Be aggressive and not passive.
Oh, dear. Stephane Houdet raised his game at the time he needed to. They
also went a bit passive. They did not go for the win. But that is
often what happens when you are serving for a match.
It will be a third set tie-break if it goes to 6-6.
The pressure is off Hewett and read now. It would be nice for them to
break back. Oh, he has missed it. Houdet has
missed his little drop volley. Oh, that is just brilliant from
Alfie Hewett who is firing again. That is what they want. That
forehand crosscourt. It flashed past the front of Houdet.
You could hear the crash and that was Houdet's chair coming down onto
the ground. Great chair control. Unlucky,
though. Wow. Isn't that the nerves of steel by the Frenchman? I suspect
I was not the only one who forgot to breathe during the rally. Still
another break point. It was long. I do not think these
challenges are going to improve percentage-wise. They cannot have
many challenges left. It's good, solid tennis. He thought
he was going to go for the usual forehand but he headed into the
trams. But play. I was just saying to myself, come on
Alfie Hewett, rip a backhand top-spin, and he did. He eyed it up
and he went, wash! In moments like that, he's been the best player on
the court. If it was a highlight reel, he would beat providing most
of the shots. The extra pace with Hewett again on
his forehand, made Houdet overcook it. Karen Ross on her feet. She's
been with Gordon Reid for a decade or so now. She was with Andy Murray
went he was growing up in Dunblane. She knows what this moment might
mean. Oh, he's got it! He has got it and
the family are little bit excited! Well, they've been here before.
Sure, it's brilliant. That's why we watch it, that's why we play, that's
why we love sport. They absolutely have loved being champions. A couple
of weeks ago, Gordon Reid added MBE to his name on the back of that
Paralympic medal, met the Queen in Edinburgh. Alfie Hewett has been
French Open champion. But this is where it started for them 12 months
ago on these courts, at this place, at Wimbledon. It's really defined
them as a partnership. Gordon Reid's girlfriend in the white dress
leading the applause. And again, one game. But we know how tough that can
be sometimes. This time, it will be on the serve of Gordon Reid.
That's a good omen, isn't it? And miscommunication by the French
again. And Hewett and we'd take the first point.
That's the pressure of the double faults, not surprising. So much at
stake. Calling yourself Wimbledon champion. Not going to have anything
in out left! -- any fingernails left!
The right shot for Gordon, hit it right at the wheels of Peifer and he
got a short ball and he could put that away really easily.
Two championship points. To defend the title.
Celebrations in the standard at a bit premature. It looked it but
Peifer was way too fast there and guided it between me two British
players. Still another match point. And a reminder that if this goes to
6-6, where it entering a tie-break, just like last year to decide who
the champions are. Two championship points have come
and gone. Now there's one more. People can barely watch in the
commentary box. Do a big serve, that's what I'd do!
Especially for that, go big. They're being careful, quite rightly.
Thing is, you can't pick it. It keeps swinging, the momentum keeps
changing. The pressure keeps changing on each player.
And we're into a tie-break. And hats off to Peifer and Houdet. Under
enormous pressure. Made sure that just like last year, this men's
doubles final will be decided in the most domestic of fashions. --
dramatic of fashions. The French are serving first as well which gives
them a slight advantage. The championship points came and went
for the British. Fabulous reach by Alfie Hewett
there. Maybe outfoxed Houdet. He does keep pulling out the big
forehand and backhand when they really, really need it. Could not
get much tighter! There is the first mini-break in
this tied deciding tie-break. That was wide of the centreline. I
don't think we've got one right, yet. And the trend continues.
Your heart goes out to Stephane Houdet. Not a great time to
challenge, tie-break, second serve, changes your with and your
smoothness. -- changes your rhythm. Just gone off the boil a little bit,
Gordon. CROWD: ??CAP NEXT come on, boys.
Their coach is off his feet. Karen Ross next door is offering support,
the crowd are offering support. They used as support me through my
trials and tribulations as well. A fantastic reach by Hewett. He has
been a little superstar over the last half an hour. He is the one
driving them forward now. They have had championship points
before. They have got four more of them.
Gordon and Alfie can afford to be positive. They can afford to take a
couple of risks. They have a couple of spare points. Be aggressive.
They have done it. They have done it again. Hewett and read. Alfie and
Gordon, Wimbledon champions again. Amazing. Amazing scenes.
How good was he? Gordon Reid, the Paralympic champion, the Paralympic
gold medallist, alongside the Paralympic silver medallist. They
have another 12 months of being able to call themselves Wimbledon
champions. How about that? Unbelievable, it is fantastic. As
Gordon was pointing to Alfie again, similar to their match last year.
When Alfie is hitting those backhand shots, it puts pressure on the
opponents. He lifted them up in that tie-break. Glorious. Let's not
forget the work that the coaches put in. The back room teams. I am not
entirely sure the official steward should be doing that. There you go,
any semblance of neutrality thrown out of the window. It has been that
kind of day. Brilliant, absolutely fantastic. I work for Stephane
Houdet as well, one of the great men of this sport. He has contributed to
wheelchair tennis for so long. He is a fabulous ambassador. This is an
exhibition of wheelchair tennis for everyone. We see it all the time and
we have been pushing the boundaries. These four players are marvellous.
The talent is incredible. The president of the French tennis
Federation is amongst those getting the autographs. Look at Alfie
Hewett's face. I think they knew how close they came. Who wants the
sweatband of a Wimbledon champion? I hope he gets those free. That is
where the sport has changed! You laid the foundations for this,
Peter. It is just brilliant. One of the wonderful things as well seeing
those kids get their autographs, we are of a generation were watching
somebody played tennis in a wheelchair was something new for us,
something we had to get used to, something we learned about. For this
next generation watching people playing tennis in wheelchairs is
commonplace, that is what happens. Absolutely and also the history of
disability and the changes in society for various things. This is
the norm. In my daily life I can do everything you can do, I can play
tennis in the same as everyone else, it is just that I am sitting down.
Ladies and gentlemen, the trophies will be presented on court to the
winners and the runners-up of the wheelchair doubles. Please welcome
to court David Rollinson, the member of the committee of the management
of the Championships and deputy president of the LTA.
Firstly, this year's runners up from France, Stephane Houdet and Nicolas
Peifer. And now the 2017 Wimbledon champions
from Great Britain, Gordon Reid and Alfie Hewett.
Let's grab a work with our champions. Alfie, how good is it to
come here and defend your title? It is absolutely amazing and to do it
in such a close battle as well against the French. They fought for
every single point even when they were 5-3 down. They made a great
match of it. Congratulations to them. It was a terrific match in
terms of quality and as Alfie said, Gordon, the fight from Stephan and
Nicholas, they saved four match point in the end and they put you
under pressure. They do not like doing it the easy way that is for
sure. I would like to thank them for the way the match was played, in the
best spirit possible. And look at this crowd, listen to it. You guys
are amazing. I have been playing wheelchair tennis for 12 years and
never once did I think we would fill a stadium out in Wimbledon like
this, especially as the women's singles final was happening on
Centre Court. I hope you enjoyed the match and thank you for the support.
I do not think there will be a single person here who did not enjoy
it and who was not applauding every shot of the near three hours of
action, spread over a longer than that because of the rain delays. How
tough was it in the closing stages of the third set knowing you were
that close to retaining the title to go through and do it? When you have
four match point and they saved them all and you have to go into a
tie-break it is quite tiring and you have to restart and go again. We did
a good job of going out there and having no regrets and just going for
it and playing instinctively and that is what we did in the end. It
is one of the best tie-breaks we played. You have got a whole section
of family, friends, supporters, coaches. What would you like to say
to them? They have been there for us ever since the start of our
journeys, especially my guys back over there. And the coaches over
there and everyone else is spread out around the court, it is great to
experience this with them and celebrate with them. There will be
some watching, like little Cameron who is ten years old, who wants to
follow in your footsteps. What do you hope next for wheelchair tennis?
What do you hope that this and having it on Court the can now
propel you to do? That is what it is all about. And last year the sport
has grown massively, especially in this country. The more opportunity
we have on this stage to showcase the sport, the more chance we can
inspire young people to pick it up and it can have an impact on their
lives as well. Hopefully we can peep people in the sport and keep going
on the Centre Court may be in a couple of years. Well fed and well
played. To our champions once again, Gordon Reid and Alfie Hewett.
They speak so well and they played so well as well. It was immensely
exciting. I mentioned little Cameron who is sitting there behind, because
he wants to be the next Alfie Hewett. What an inspiration those
guys are. The thing about disability sport, this is about professional
people playing the best sport they possibly can and it shows what they
can do. They have now grabbed the union flag and Gordon and Alfie are
celebrating with their trophy. They have come through 6-7, 7-5, 7-6. The
French pair saved four match point. It was a thrilling match and they
thoroughly deserved their victory. I cannot tell you what a joy it is to
be here in front of such a large crowd applauding high-quality
tennis. Well done to them. Coverage continues on BBC One of the mixed
doubles final. Goodbye.
Clare Balding introduces continued 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.