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June 10, 2023

Alfie Hewett

Gordon Reid

Paris, France

Press Conference

HEWETT-REID/De la Puente-Fernandez

7-6, 7-5

THE MODERATOR: Guys, congratulations on your match today. Any questions, please raise your hand.

Q. Hi, guys. Alfie, just wanted to ask you about mixed emotions today. How was that going from the singles to obviously winning the doubles again?

ALFIE HEWETT: Yeah, obviously happy to finish the day on a good note and a happy one. Yeah, never easy to come off the back of a singles final, or Grand Slam final loss, and within a couple hours go again.

You know, we've worked hard in the partnership to be able to make sure that those situation, scenarios, will potentially arise, and if so, what can we do to bring the best out of us in the final.

Today was difficult. I think I struggled a little bit with some of my emotions after losing that. Just to pick yourself up so soon and go again, it's difficult.

But I asked Gio for some energy and some noise and some passion from my team, our team as well, and once the adrenaline got going in that final, it's a Grand Slam final, it's not that difficult to get into it.

So in the end, it was okay. But, yeah, exhausted now (smiling).

Q. Alfie, Gordon, congratulations. Another tight clay court battle this season that left us on the edge of our seats. This match, you had a complicated relationship with deciding point, but when it mattered, you put it away, didn't you?

GORDON REID: Yeah, I mean, I think the amount of deciding just as they were just shows how tight the match was. Especially that first set, you know, could have gone either way.

The guys, the other end of the net, came with a few definite tactical approaches we hadn't seen before. They obviously had a plan in mind. So yeah, it was quite an interesting match to play. Obviously a big fight and a big effort from Alfie to come back from a tough singles earlier on, but he's a professional guy. I expect that from him.

Yeah, obviously we're just both real pleased to get over the line.

Q. You and Martin were having quite a few tete-a-tetes at the net there with the angles. Alfie, did you ever think, I'm just going to leave him to it, get on with it?

ALFIE HEWETT: I want to see the rally from, I think -- was it the first set that you hit the one? I want to see that so badly. That's got to be up there as shot of the year.

GORDON REID: It's only because you hit it around the net post.

ALFIE HEWETT: You finished it off. (Laughter.)

Q. You've talked about a burgeoning acting career for you both. Gordon, microphone, speeches at the end of this match?

GORDON REID: Yeah, technical difficulties (smiling). Not sure what the issue was there.

ALFIE HEWETT: I didn't want to listen to him anymore (smiling).

GORDON REID: It was a really nice crowd out there. It's a nice court. I think the people that were there created a great atmosphere. They were really in the match, and you know, that really adds to it for us. Thankfully the mic managed to stay on long enough to give them a thanks.

Q. I know you didn't have things all your own way in the doubles final last season, but how strong a psychological edge do you think you have over other pairs on tour given you've won so many of these at this level over the last three years?

ALFIE HEWETT: I think it's been some roundabouts, really, because you can see it from one perspective where maybe some teams will get a bit tighter or feel like they need to do something a bit more against us because of that record and because of how well we've done this season. But then you come up against someone like Gusty and Martin, and I think they channel it in a positive way. You can tell they're two really pumped athletes anyway.

But when it comes to playing us, they want it even more, because they want to be the pair that sort of ends our consecutive streak or have a win against us.

Yeah, it's difficult to say. I think for us we try and play that into our hands, and maybe when it comes to the crucial points we are, I want to say a bit more relaxed about it, but probably play those points smarter, which I think show today was such a tight match. When it came to those deciding deuces or breakpoint, game point, set points, we were very solid and actually they sort of tried to force it in the end.

Q. This time next year we will have the French Open and the Paris Paralympics. What do you think of the facilities here? What do you think this place will be like when it opens its doors to the Paras next summer?

GORDON REID: I'm sure it will be ready. I'm sure it will be ready to go. It's similar to Wimbledon in the fact it's a little bit of a smaller area for the venue compared to the U.S. and Melbourne, so that has those challenges in itself. But, you know, I'm sure that they're going to be 100% prepared.

It was awesome, I warmed Alfie up for his singles this morning on Chatrier, and that was the first time we've been down there and be on the court. That was a really fantastic experience to just kind of witness and get a grasp of what it's like to be on that court and the environment around.

So, yeah, hopefully we can create some memories there next year.

Q. Gordon, it's ten years almost since Andy Murray won that famous Wimbledon title, a sort of pinnacle moment post-war for British tennis. What are your memories of that? Am I right in saying you celebrated one of the wins in a nightclub, first or second one?

GORDON REID: His first one I was courtside with my old coach Karen, which was amazing, so got to see that live. Then the second one, no, we were supposed to be going out from the Champions Dinner, he, Andy invited us to go and join him at whichever club they were going. I was with my brothers and my sister and introducing and having a little chat.

When we all got in the car, we just got split up and ended up we didn't know where he was going. He had to phone me the next morning, I think slightly hung over, to say, Sorry we didn't end up going to the same place, but hopefully there's another opportunity for that in the future.

Q. You have gone all over the world playing these matches, especially in the Grand Slams. Can you take us through one by one and explain the difference in the atmospheres and what's your favorite, the difference in the atmosphere and mainly the reception and what's your favorite?

GORDON REID: Well, I think the obvious answer is Wimbledon's our favorite, as home athletes. We always get great backing there, and support at Wimbledon has grown year on year, as it has on all the slams.

Yeah, obviously all four slams have their own unique sort of personalities. Melbourne is a bit more chill there, a bit more relaxed. US Open is quite a feisty atmosphere. Today I think the French just really got into that match and provided a great atmosphere. So, you know, I think we obviously enjoy them all. And especially when you're winning, you definitely enjoy them more.

I don't know what your favorite is.

ALFIE HEWETT: Well, dumb question, really (smiling). It's the same as Gio. Wimbledon is such a great tournament for us Brits to play. The atmosphere is second to none. You can't really compare it to any other Grand Slam, but what Gio said about the crowd, the atmosphere, the visibility of wheelchair tennis, it's certainly growing, in all the other slams as well.

When I first came on to the Grand Slam scene, on the tour a few years ago now, Wimbledon was the only real tournament where you'd get spectators come and watch wheelchair tennis whereas now, like that doubles final, there's no home nation player playing yet the stand was pretty full. It was the same in Australia, same in New York.

I think it's maybe a result in wheelchair tennis becoming more entertaining and the players are getting better, the speed of the game is getting faster. Yeah, the attention that it's getting from the media is all growing and people are becoming more aware of it.

People watch and then people get invested and make some noise. That's what it's all about.

Q. I think during the women's singles match I kept hearing these roars from somewhere. I was trying to figure out what's going on, and then I realize, I think it was your match that was doing it. You talk about Wimbledon, that was the only place to get crowds. Do you think that was because the Paras in 2012 were such a massive success and such a massive event in British sport?

GORDON REID: Yeah, I think definitely. I'm sure you'll see that here in France as well after the Games next year. There's a big upturn in sort of interest and the amount of people that wanted to follow Paralympics sport and wheelchair tennis, as well, in their home country after 2012. I'm sure it will have the same impact after the Paris Games.

I think especially for us personally, we're obviously going to have more interest in our matches at Wimbledon being British athletes. You know, I think you've seen it with Dylan Alcott in Australia, and, you know, the French guys here before.

So yeah, as Alfie said, it's growing and growing, and hopefully we can be a part of that as well to try and attract more people.

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