Andy Lapthorne - World No 1 and Finals of Aussie Open
February 2, 2020
At the end of a week that began with Britain’s Andy Lapthorne realising a‘lifelong dream’, the 29-year-old focused on encouraging others to follow their own dreams on Saturday, in the wake of finishing runner-up in the Australian quad singles final for the third time since 2013.
One of four players on the LTA’s GB Wheelchair Tennis World Class Performance Programme to have reached or contested five title deciders from six events at Melbourne Park, Lapthorne became world No.1 in singles for the first time in his career last Monday.
While the reigning US Open champion’s hopes of back-to-back Grand Slam singles titles ended in a 6-0, 6-4 loss to Australian Dylan Alcott, Lapthorne chose focus on‘the bigger picture’.
Speaking on Rod Laver Arena, the Australian Open’s centre court, he said:
“I’ve been coming here for years and cheering on Andy Murray and hearing ‘Come on Andy’ on this court, so many times. For that Andy to be me today is honestly…you have no idea. I might have lost today, but that will stay with me forever.
“If there’s one disabled person at home that’s watching this and wondering whether they should go for their dreams, we are proof down here that you should. I was up there (in the stands) the other night watching Nick Kyrgios and cheering on Nick and now I’m sitting on the court in front of this there’s this amazing crowd, so f there’s anyone out there, just go for it.”
Lapthorne took Alcott to deuce in five of the six games in the opening set of the quad singles final, but having beaten the Australian 6-1, 6-0 in last September’s US Open, he ensured that he got more than one game on the board himself in Alcott’s home city. A succession of winners saw Lapthorne take 3-2 and 4-3second set leads, only for Alcott to come back for his sixth Australian Open title. Lapthorne added:
“It’s always disappointing to lose, especially in a Slam final, but equally when you get to play on such a big court, in such a big occasion you also have to be happy about the fact you got yourself into the position to be able to be part of a moment like that. “
For news and updates from the Australian Open wheelchair tennis draws and the fortunes of the Brits follow on Twitter @the_LTA and @WChairTennisGB and on the LTA website at www.lta.org.uk.
To find out more about the LTA’s work with disability tennis, head to www.lta.org.uk/play or email firstname.lastname@example.org.