13 July 2018
Wimbledon triumph 'best of my career', says emotional Lapthorne
Andy Lapthorne’s lifelong dream has become a reality, with his name now emblazoned forever as a champion on the Wimbledon honours board.
Lapthorne and American David Wagner beat Australian Dylan Alcott and Lucas Sithole of South Africa in the first quads wheelchair doubles match at SW19.
A boisterous Court 3 crowd yelled their fervent support for the four players, with home hero Lapthorne, a five-time Australian Open doubles champion and triple Paralympic medallist, getting a stream of compliments from the stands.
Andy Lapthorne and David Wagner triumphed in the Court 3 clash
While the historic clash was an exhibition on paper rather than a Grand Slam, an emotional Lapthorne hailed the 6-2 6-3 triumph as the greatest moment of a career already glittering with titles.
“It’s up there,” said 27-year-old Lapthorne, who also won the US Open singles title in 2014 and the doubles three years later. “It might have been an exhibition but this tops absolutely everything in my career.
“I’ve won Grand Slams in New York and Australia, but this is very special and something that I’ve strived for for ten years.
It might have been an exhibition but this tops absolutely everything in my career
“It’s just amazing, I just don’t really know what to say and I’m trying not to cry to be honest!
“It’s what dreams are made of. It’s something that I have campaigned for for a very long time – for it to actually become a reality was very special and I enjoyed every second.
“It’s always important to win and be the first two names up on the honours board is amazing. It’s special and I am just lost for words.
“It was a really special day, everything I dreamed of and more – just an amazing experience.”
David Wagner, Andy Lapthorne, Dylan Alcott and Lucas Sithole at start of play
The double Paralympic silver medallist also revealed his hope of a Wimbledon quads singles rematch with Alcott after the pair faced off at Australia’s Rod Laver Arena last year, with the support firmly in the Melbourne man’s camp.
But Lapthorne and Wagner were superior on the day in this pioneering encounter, with the American equally passionate about his maiden appearance at the All England Club.
“It’s a great honour just to be on this court, pushing on grass and showing it can happen,” said Wagner. “We work hard, we train hard and this is part of what we wanted.
“It’s great playing with Andy, it’s such a great honour to be here, I didn’t think it would ever happen and it has and I didn’t think we let anybody down.”
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