10 July 2019
Lapthorne eyeing up history in Wimbledon final
Andy Lapthorne believes his upcoming final against doubles partner Dylan Alcott is the perfect platform to champion quad wheelchair tennis at Wimbledon.
The 28-year-old beat former partner David Wagner 7-5 6-4 playing some of the best tennis of his career in the very first quad singles match held at the All England Club.
Victory sealed a place in Saturday’s inaugural final against Australian Alcott, who beat Lapthorne to Paralympic gold in Rio three years ago, and again at the Australian Open when the two contested a historic final on centre court in 2017.
“I heard the crowd on Dylan’s court when he won today and Saturday’s final is going to be crazy,” said the 2014 US Open singles champion.
“What we need is the same opportunity that we got in Australia when they put us out on Rod Laver before the Williams sisters played.
“I think we need to be on a big court here too personally because I have got so many people coming to support and I know Dylan gets a lot of support too. So we just need the right place to play and at the right time and we are capable of getting the big numbers in.
“It is the perfect scenario because me and Dylan get to play together in the doubles as friends, and then we play again in the final and I am just really looking forward to getting into it and giving it my best.
“Dylan is a massive personality and is so good for the game and he is what we are all aiming to be – to break the glass ceilings in our sport and I am so excited to finally play him at home at Wimbledon.”
A broken wrist threatened to keep Lapthorne out of this year’s Wimbledon – a blow he knows would have been difficult to take.
But hard work and determination from the player and his support team behind the scenes has led the Middlesex man back to the iconic grass courts.
“I am buzzing to be in the final at Wimbledon but it means more to me to repay the people that have stuck by me when things got tough,” he said.
“The team behind me that have been supporting me making all of this possible and are so important to me and I didn’t want to be going into a third and fourth place play-off.
“That was one of the biggest motivations because I didn’t want to be pushing out on to the court and telling people that I wasn’t playing in the final.”
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