Double Paralympic silver medallist Andy Lapthorne is hoping to keep his party of travelling fans in check when he takes to Wimbledon for the very first time as a quad singles player.

The All England Club has introduced the event this year having opened its doors to the quad doubles last year and Lapthorne is eager to claim the inaugural crown.

The 28-year-old will be in both events after recovering from a broken wrist and will proudly take to the grass in front of his friends and family, who have a reputation for getting a little carried away when court side.

“Lots of my mates are serious football fans and not so much tennis so I have been teaching them the etiquette of when to cheer and when not to cheer,” said Lapthorne, who faces a singles opener against American David Wagner.

“I remember double faulting in Rio and one of my mates shouted, ‘Come on Andy we haven’t come all this way to watch you double-fault’, but they are also the guys that keep me relaxed.

“I am a season ticket holder at West Ham myself so I get a lot of support from them and their fans and I can’t wait to show them what I can do.

“It is an honour just to be here to be honest and this has been long time coming.

“I love playing at Wimbledon because it gives friends and family the chance to come out and support and then also the public as well.”

Lapthorne and Wagner won the Wimbledon quad doubles together in 2018

Lapthorne finished as a runner-up at the Rio 2016 Paralympics to doubles partner Dylan Alcott but is hoping to meet the Australian in the final this year and give the crowd a showpiece performance.

The Middlesex man has come a long way since rushing home to watch his idol Tim Henman on the television and is proud of his sport for being one of the torch-bearers of disability sport.

“Tennis is leading the way for disability sport in my opinion because it is the only sport being played alongside the non-disability players now so we feel part of the tournament now,” he said.

“If I make it to the final that would be crazy and I am hoping that I can play Dylan [Alcott] there because I think the atmosphere in that game would be a really good thing for the sport.

“It is just nice to be here playing quad singles though to be honest because this is where I fell in love with tennis and if I did happen to win, it would be a dream come true.

“The Grand Slams are amazing though and it is incredible to play in front of the bigger crowds here and moments like that for a disability athlete are incredible.”

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