24 January 2019
Lapthorne settles for second in quad doubles at Australian Open
Britain’s Andy Lapthorne and partner David Wagner finished runners-up in the wheelchair tennis quad doubles after losing a dramatic Australian Open final in Melbourne.
Lapthorne and American Wagner were beaten by Dylan Alcott and Heath Davidson 6-3 6-7 12-10 as the Australian pair successfully defended the title they won in 2018.
It was the third consecutive final between the two pairings with Lapthorne and Wagner looking to regain the crown they last held after defeating Alcott and Davidson in 2017.
The US Open champions got off to a slow start as they lost the first set, before rallying to pinch the second on a tiebreak and send the match into a deciding champions tiebreak.
Lapthorne and Wagner opened up a 5-2 lead but Alcott and Davidson got it back to 9-9 before they eventually prevailed in an epic finale to take it 12-10.
The final was the only match of the men’s quad wheelchair doubles competition and came after Lapthorne, a three-time Paralympic medallist, had lost 6-1 6-1 to Davidson in the quad singles.
Alfie Hewett in action in Melbourne
It was his second defeat in the round robin matches, following his loss to second seed Wagner in his opening match, and means his chances of reaching the final are over for another year.
Elsewhere, fellow Brits Alfie Hewett and Gordon Reid missed out on a place in the men’s wheelchair doubles final after losing to Stephane Houdet of France and Australian Ben Weekes.
The reigning Wimbledon and US Open champions, Paralympic silver medallists in the doubles at Rio 2016, were the number one seeds in Melbourne but were beaten 6-2 7-5 in their semi-final.
British hopes now rest on the shoulders of Lucy Shuker, who pairs up with South African Kgothatso Montjane to face Marjolein Buis and Sabine Ellerbrock in the semi-finals of the women’s doubles.
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