When you are talking about dream starts to a Grand Slam campaign, Andy Lapthorne’s opening quad singles match at the 2017 US Open must count amongst them.
It’s great to beat such a great athlete and it’s been a long time coming. Andy Lapthorne
Drawn against Dylan Alcott, a player who he had previously met 23 times on tour and only won four exchanges, the odds were stacked firmly in his opponents favour going into the match.
But defying the odds is something the British number one is no stranger to and by defeating Alcott in his first round robin match at this years tournament in straight sets 6-4 6-1, he ended the Australian’s unbeaten run – his last defeat also coming at the hands of Lapthorne in January 2016 at the Melbourne Open, once again in straight sets.
Meaning World number two, Lapthorne remains the only the player to have beaten the current World number four in his last 50 matches
Lapthorne said: “ It’s great to beat such a great athlete and it’s been a long time coming.
“Every win is important at the minute so we just keep taking it one match at a time as a team.
“Ball by ball is my motto and the score has not been coming into my mind so much recently.”
And asked whether his success in St Louis last week, where he took both singles and doubles titles in the final Super Series event of the year helped his confidence going into the match Lapthorne continued: “I’m always confident but I know I’m playing well off the back of the title last week.”
And it was clear from the first point that Lapthorne went into his first match of his 2017 US Open campaign looking for only one outcome – to win it – and that’s what he did masterfully.
Momentum was with the six time Grand Slam champion from the start as he took the first three games in the opening set before Alcott even got a game on the board.
Then with Lapthorne 4-1 up his opponent launched a brief comeback and took the next two games to close the gap before the Brit powered to a six game winning run which saw him take the first set and lead 4-0 in the second set.
Play then remained on serve leaving Alcott to serve to stay in the set and the match.
After saving one match point at 30-40 to take it to deuce, Alcott did have a chance to make his opponent serve out for the match.
But when the second match point presented itself, Lapthorne wasted no time and it was game, second set and match to the British number one.
Lapthorne will now take on the USA’s David Wagner, who defeated fellow American Bryan Barten 6-2 6-1 in his opening round robin match.
Before he and Wagner team up to play in the quad doubles final on Saturday against Barten and Alcott.