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When Gordon Reid found out 10 years ago that he would lose the use of his legs because of a disease that affected his spinal cord, he was not sure if he would ever be able to play tennis again.
But he was determined to find a way to keep playing a sport he loved, so the athlete started playing wheelchair tennis.
And earlier this year, the now 24-year-old from Alexandria, West Dunbartonshire, UK, beat Joachim Gerard of Belgium to win the first grand slam singles final of his tennis career at the Australian Open, The Telegraph reported.
Reid said although he was devastated at first when his disability was diagnosed, he decided he wanted to continue to play sports, and eventually found comfort in playing tennis.
“I took up the game to keep fit, keep myself active. As time went on, though, I realized I could get pretty good at this and that maybe I could get to the slams. From there, you just set your goals as you go along,” he told the Telegraph.
He said winning a grand slam was never the goal when he started playing, he just wanted to play a sport and be active again.
“To be honest, I didn’t even know wheelchair tennis existed,” he said. “But as time went on I realized I could be quite good at this.”
He has worked with his coach, Karen Ross, since he was 15 years old.
He described the feeling when he realized he had won the grand slam as “pure joy.”
“It took a couple of seconds to realize what had gone on. Then I heard everyone going crazy and it really hit me. Now I’m going to enjoy it,” he said.