Britain’s Andy Lapthorne will contest his fifth quad singles final in six years on Sunday at the British Open Wheelchair Tennis Championships after coming from a set and 4-0 down to beat Dutchman Sam Schroder on Friday at Nottingham Tennis Centre.
I’ve got a pretty special record here, I just need to win it now, and that record will look a lot better. I know I’ll go out there as the favourite on Sunday. Usually I’m the underdog. I played Niels a few weeks ago in Amiens and beat him 6-2, 6-2. But it’s his first Super Series final and I have to be aware that he’s young and he’s fearless and I have to compete hard. If I compete hard. good things will happen. Andy Lapthorne
Players on the LTA’s GB Wheelchair Tennis Wold Class Programme will therefore contest three world ranking finals this weekend at the Super Series tournament on the UNIQLO Wheelchair Tour, which is part of the LTA’s summer series of major events.
Lapthorne avenged his loss to world No.5 Schroder in the final at last month’s Open de France Super Series as he completed an impressive turnaround in fortunes for a 2-6, 7-5, 6-2 victory. World No.3 and top seed Lapthorne, who now plays another Dutchman in first-time Super Series finalist Niels Vink, said:
“Sam was playing well and I wasn’t varying it enough early on. Heart and desire is what it’s all about this week. As long as I compete well, that’s all I can do. I love winning, I love competing, I love playing those kind of matches. Playing matches like that, against a guy that pushes me to my limit and pushes me to dig deep within myself is the reason I play the game.”
Lapthorne booked his place in his third successive British Open final with a glorious forehand winner to set up match point and he followed up with another searching forehand that forced Schroder into one final error. Lapthorne continued:
“I’ve got a pretty special record here, I just need to win it now, and that record will look a lot better. I know I’ll go out there as the favourite on Sunday. Usually I’m the underdog. I played Niels a few weeks ago in Amiens and beat him 6-2, 6-2. But it’s his first Super Series final and I have to be aware that he’s young and he’s fearless and I have to compete hard. If I compete hard. good things will happen.”
With reigning US Open champions Alfie Hewett and Gordon Reid already into Saturday’s British Open men’s doubles final, Jordanne Whiley and her Japanese partner Yui Kamiji booked their place in the women’s doubles final on Friday’s fourth day of competition.
Four-time Wimbledon champions Whiley and Kamiji, playing their first match together since this year’s Wimbledon and since Whiley returned from maternity leave, beat Lucy Shuker and Momoko Ohtani of Japan 6-3, 6-1 in a semi-final that featured two Brits.
With Whiley and Kamiji now set to play Dutch top seeds Diede de Groot and Aniek van Koot in a rematch of their recent semi-final at Wimbledon, Whiley said:“I’m really happy with our performance today. I’ve been pleased with my singles this week, but I felt everything pulled together better today and to win my first doubles match and get to my first final with Yui since coming back from my maternity leave is really special.
“We’ve only played the Dutch once on grass at Wimbledon and I don’t think that has much bearing on playing then on a hard court now, although the Wimbledon semi-final was very nearly ours. So I think we have a really good chance tomorrow in the final.”
While Reid is set to partner Hewett in the men’s doubles final, the Rio Paralympic gold medallist and current world No.7 pushed world No.1 and 2017 British Open champion Gustavo Fernandez to a third set in this year’s men’s singles semi-finals. However, Reid’s bid to reach his third British Open final ultimately ended 6-2, 3-6, 6-2 as Fernandez set up a meeting with Japan’s Shingo Kunieda
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