Wheelchair tennis player Joachim Gérard of Brussels won Wimbledon in singles on Sunday for the first time in his career, defeating the British athlete Gordon Reid in the final on the London court.
The 32-year-old wheelchair tennis player from Belgium is the number four player in the world, and took home his first Grand Slam singles tournament victory at the Australian Open earlier this year.
“My goal is to try and become world number one,” said Gérard. “And then to stay there as long as possible.”
“I’m going to try to keep climbing up the rankings to get there. And I know that this will require a lot of consistency in my results and not playing three good tournaments and then three bad ones. We’re going to have to improve on that.”
After one hour and 44 minutes, the final score on the Wimbledon board on Court 3 at the All England Club was 6-2, 7-6 (7/2).
The victory is the second singles grand slam title for the athlete, who will be participating in the Olympics later this month.
“I want to do my best in every tournament. At the Paralympic Games, I’ll be going for the gold medal, that’s clear,” Gérard said.
“The Games are a dream for every athlete: the first dream is to participate, the second is to win a medal, and the third is to win gold. I was very happy to win bronze in Rio, despite the disappointment of losing the semi-final, and I want to do better in Tokyo. I have already achieved two stages, so why not the third this year? But I won’t be the only one. Many other players will want to go for the most precious metal.”
Gérard’s Wimbledon victory comes after a year of no formal tennis matches in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Gordon Reid won Wimbledon in 2016, and defeated Gérard in the final at the Australian Open that same year.
Now this year, Gérard has taken both titles, adding to an extensive list of accomplishments that includes four Masters titles (2015, 2016, 2018, 2019) and a bronze medal from the Rio Olympic Games.
Gérard has also won at Wimbledon in the past (2019), in doubles. This was his first singles win at the prestigious competition.