Gordon Reid is currently on a streak of ten successive Grand Slam doubles titles but that run almost came to an end before his Wimbledon campaign even began.
The 30-year-old from Alexandria, who is supported by the LTA’s Elite Programme for wheelchair players, has been troubled by an injury affecting his left wrist for more than a year now, with the latest development a torn tendon immediately after Roland Garros.
Up to now, the issue has not prevented Reid from competing at Grand Slams, but the latest blow left his chances of appearing at SW19 hanging by a thread.
He explained: “Three weeks ago I ruptured the tendon in my wrist when I was competing in France.
“They gave me a 20 percent chance of playing here so it’s kind of a small miracle that I’m here so that just makes me want to savour the experience even more.
“It’s already a bit of a bonus that I’m here so I’m just looking forward to getting back out there and enjoying it.
“We weren’t sure if there was going to be a surgery needed or not but luckily I’ve regained most of the function in my wrist in a short space of time and that’s the reason I’m here. I’ve been back on court for a week and I’m feeling good so I’m ready to go.
“I first felt the wrist injury in March last year, so it’s been coming and going since then. I managed to get a period of six months over the summer last year before Roland Garros until the US Open where I had no issues at all which was the perfect time with the Paralympics and Wimbledon.
“But I was really affected by it in Australia, I had just come back at Roland Garros and then it went again. I’m hoping the end of the saga is near. I’m being looked after well by the medical team so that’s all we can ask for.”
As well as their bid for a fifth Wimbledon doubles title here alongside Hewett, Reid will also be competing in the singles, drawn in the first round against none other than his doubles partner.
The duo met last year in Tokyo at the Paralympics, with Reid coming out on top to take the bronze medal, and while it is inevitably a tricky situation, the pair have become used to it.
He added: “We know the draws are small for us at Grand Slams so it was due to happen at some point. That is just the way it is, we’ve been in this situation many times in other tournaments so we’ll get that match out of the way and then come back together on Friday.
“We’ve been doing it for so long that it’s second nature, it’s always an interesting match-up with Alfie because of the fact that we know each other so well and know each other’s games, we know our strengths and weaknesses and discuss it all the time to help our doubles. There is no advantage to him or me because we’re in the same position.”
The main priority now is more Wimbledon success, with Reid having one singles and four doubles titles to his name at the All England Club.
But this competition will not mark the end of the grasscourt season for Reid, with the LTA’s British Open Wheelchair Tennis Championships in Nottingham coming the following week, an event in which Reid is desperate to thrive.
He said: “For me, personally, I’ve really had limited matchplay opportunities this year because of the wrist injury.
“I didn’t play from the Australian Open to Roland Garros at all so I’m desperate to play more matches and I’m really looking forward to another tournament on home soil next week in Nottingham.
“There’s such an appetite for tennis in the country and when Wimbledon finishes, it’s a case of ‘what do we do now’.
“If people want to watch tennis and support British players on home soil, then come to the British Open next week.”
For the latest action on the British summer grass court season, check out the LTA Website