British wheelchair tennis star and Rio 2016 medallist Gordon Reid visited Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre yesterday (27 October) ahead of the prestigious NEC Wheelchair Tennis Masters which returns to London next month, taking place at the centre from 30 November until 4 December 2016.
Speaking of the upcoming competition, Reid said: “I’m really looking forward to playing at Lee Valley again. Last year I was quite ill during the tournament and didn’t feel as though I performed to my best or showcase my range of techniques.
“However I always enjoy playing in front of a home crowd – last year’s tournament was really well supported so hopefully following Paralympics GB’s success in Rio, we’ll get even more supporters to Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre to watch some great tennis.”
Thirteen-year-old Alex Chaston from Greenwich, who regularly trains and competes in wheelchair tennis at the centre, was lucky enough to join Reid on court and hopes to follow in the footsteps of his Paralympian hero. Alex said: “It was really exciting meeting Gordon and it made my day. Being able to wear his gold medal was really cool
“I’d advise anyone thinking of trying wheelchair tennis to find their nearest centre and try it out. I’ve tried quite a few sports but tennis was the one for me.”
Scheduled to compete alongside fellow homegrown champions Andy Lapthorne, Jordanne Whiley and Lucy Shuker, Reid has become the favourite to take home the NEC Masters title next month following his recent success at the Rio 2016 Games and triumph at the Australian Open earlier in the year.
Reid secured a silver medal in the finals of the wheelchair tennis Men’s Doubles category with his teammate Alfie Hewett before going on to win gold in the Men’s Singles during this summer’s Paralympic Games. The British no.2 is currently placed behind the Frenchman Stephane Houdet in the International Tennis Federation’s (ITF) global rankings, who also qualified to compete in the celebrated annual tournament.
Tennis fans can purchase their tickets for the tournament via: www.tennisfoundation.org.uk. Child tickets are priced at just £1 for weekday and weekend matches whilst adult tickets can be snapped up for £10 and £15 for the weekday and weekend matches respectively.