Day 13 Diary: Career Slam complete, Japanese class on show

 - Alex Sharp

Friday at Roland-Garros saw plenty of dreams realised and silverware held aloft.

Roland-Garros 2020 has rolled into crunch time with finals, records and trophies on the line. 

We can’t blame you for focusing on the huge bouts on Court Philippe-Chatrier, so here is what you may have missed around the grounds.

Unbeaten Brits complete the set 

Unfortunately, the tennis world missed Wimbledon this summer, but for the three wheelchair Grand Slams up for grabs, Alfie Hewett and Gordon Reid combined to take the trio of titles back to Great Britain.

Their eight previous majors as a team came in Melbourne, London and New York, and now they have added Paris to complete their career Grand Slam.

“It’s something we’ve been keeping an eye on for a while now, and Roland-Garros has always been that tournament where we’ve not managed to play anywhere near our best,” said Hewett, after the duo clinched a seventh trophy in as many events this season. 

“It’s been such a strong year, and we really believed that we could go out there today and get that elusive trophy.

“Definitely yesterday when we played our match, we could tell there was some bad memories floating about in our heads, and it affected our performance a little bit. But today, we thought this is our chance.”

Reid: 'It's a totally different feeling'

Defending champions Shingo Kunieda and Gustavo Fernandez raced 5-2 in front and held three set points, before the Brits mounted their majestic 7-6(4), 1-6, 10-3 comeback.

Reid, who won in Paris with Kunieda in 2015 and 2016 was delighted to complete the set with his compatriot.

“It’s a totally different feeling. In 2015 with Shingo was my first Grand Slam title in singles or doubles, so it was almost like a weight off my shoulders that I’d got it,” said Reid, the Rio 2016 Paralympic champion.

“Now I’m the older and more experienced player on the team. Every title feels amazing – it never loses that special feeling when you win the trophy. Hopefully it’s not the last one either.”

Hewett could complete the Roland-Garros double with the singles trophy on Saturday.

“It would mean a lot. It’s where it all really started for me in my Slam career, back in 2017. The last couple of years singles-wise haven’t really been too victorious, so it would be incredible,” the three-time Grand Slam singles winner said.

“I’ve played some great tennis this week and to have back-to-back Slam titles in doubles, back-to-back singles finals is something that I’m very proud of. This time I want to make sure I get the double as well.”

Federer vibes in the juniors

It’s an all Swiss final in the boys' singles and as you’d expect Roger Federer is prominent in the build-up.

The 20-time Grand Slam champion, currently recuperating from surgery, practised with both finalists Leandro Riedi and Dominic Stephan Stricker earlier this season in Dubai.

Kamiji hails 'dream' Japanese duel

Yui Kamiji capped a sensational on-court 2020 with a second wheelchair Grand Slam singles title from three finals.

The world No.2 added a fourth Roland-Garros silver plate to her trophy cabinet with a dominant 6-2, 6-1 victory over compatriot Momoko Ohtani.

It was an historic occasion, as the first time two Japanese players had contested a wheelchair singles final at a major.

"I still can't believe two Japanese women were in the final of a Grand Slam. I was so excited last night, it’s a dream," the Australian Open winner said. "I hope at the Paralympics next year this can happen again.

“Of course, I’m very happy. This is my second Grand Slam title of 2020. I feel very comfortable on the clay here, it’s where I won my first Grand Slam too. I couldn’t be happier with this title.”

Mladenovic: 'It was time'

Elsa Jacquemot is the first French player to feature in the girls' singles final since Kristina Mladenovic claimed the junior title in 2009.

The third seed defeated Filipino No.2 seed Alexandra Eala to reach the title match, where she will face unseeded Russian Alina Charaeva.

“I’m super happy for her. It was time. Hopefully she will succeed to make this step to win the title,” Mladenovic said. “Winning in 2009 was a very big memory for me.

"All my results on the pro circuit started from this win in Paris. It gave me so much confidence to deal with the key moments on the big courts, to take on big names."

Quads decider goes down to the wire

American veteran David Wagner and US Open winner Sam Schroder dispatched quad wheelchair singles finalists Dylan Alcott and Andy Lapthorne 4-6, 7-5, 10-8 in a thrilling doubles title decider.

“We want to thank Roland-Garros for having the quad division represented for the second year in a row. We greatly appreciate that,” said Wagner, the 24-time quad major winner in singles and doubles.

“It’s an honour to be here. Sam thanks for playing doubles with me, appreciate it, I’m glad we can win this one. I look forward to coming back next year to try and play my best tennis again. We’ll do what we can to increase our draw size for the quad division, let’s keep growing the game.”