Reid defeats world No.1 to reach Super Series final
British No. 1 Gordon Reid secured a first career win over Japanese world No. 1 Shingo Kunieda today to reach the second ITF Super Series men’s singles final of his career in South Africa.
World No. 7 Reid reached the Airports Company South Africa SA Open final for the second year in a row after a 6-4, 3-6, 6-3 victory over four-time ITF World Champion Kunieda.
Reid hadn’t taken a set off Kunieda in five previous meetings on the NEC Wheelchair Tennis Tour before Friday’s contest, but built on 3-0 leads in the first and third sets in Johannesburg as the two players met in a semi-final in South Africa for the second time in a week.
Kunieda had beaten Reid 6-4, 6-2 in last weekend’s semi-finals at the Gauteng Open, but Reid ensured that he reversed that result for a career best performance, ending Kunieda’s 43 match winning streak that went back to June 2012.
“I feel ecstatic winning in three against Shingo as I’ve never even taken a set off him and I’m very pleased to show the mental strength to come back from losing that second set,” said Reid, whose first Super Series final was against Kunieda at last July’s British Open Wheelchair Tennis Championships in Nottingham.
“Shingo has such a big reputation but I dug in, brought out some big shots at key times and didn’t let the occasion affect me too much,“ added the British fourth seed, who was runner-up to compatriot Marc McCarroll in the 2012 South Africa Open, when the tournament was an ITF 1 Series event.
The Scotsman will now face world No. 2 Stephane Houdet of France in Saturday’s final and will also aim for a second men’s doubles title in a week after partnering Frenchman Michael Jeremiasz to set up a title decider against top seeds Houdet and Frederic Cattaneo.
Reid has also paired up with British women’s No. 1 Lucy Shuker to reach the mixed doubles semi-finals in Johannesburg, in the first Super Series tournament of the year at which the International Tennis Federation are trialling a mixed doubles draw.
Meanwhile, in the women’s doubles top seeds Shuker and Marjolein Buis of the Netherlands beat second seeds Katharina Kruger of Germany and Kgothatso Montjane of South Africa 6-1, 6-2 to lift the title.
And there has been further success for British players on the Tennis Foundation’s Wheelchair Tennis Performance Programme with world No. 2 Andy Lapthorne yesterday reaching Saturday’s quad singles final where he will come up against South African world No. 7 Lucas Sithole.